History

About | History | Team | Partners | Programs

Founded in 2008 by Jim Jewell and Rusty Pritchard, Flourish is a product of scores of conversations, interactions, and interviews to determine what is missing in the Christian environmental movement. The co-founders, in partnership with others, have sensed an openness in many churches to a conversation about creation care, and a commitment to actions that make a real difference in human lives and landscapes. Together with those partners and a talented staff, Jim and Rusty invented Flourish to meet the needs of churches, families, and individuals seeking to live out authentic, Christ-centered lives with a faithfulness to our stewardship mandate.

Jim has served for over 30 years with various Christian causes and organizations, including World Vision, Trinity Forum, and Prison Fellowship, where for ten years he was chief-of-staff to Chuck Colson. Rusty has been involved in Christian ministry for nearly 30 years, has conducted international scientific research in economics and ecology, and taught environmental studies for seven years at Emory University in Atlanta (in a department he co-founded).

They met while working for the Evangelical Environmental Network, Rusty as national outreach director and Jim as chief of operations. Together they sensed God’s calling to a creation care ministry that celebrated and encouraged the work of the church as it builds the common good, shows compassion, and demonstrates the love of Christ in a pluralistic, post-Christian culture.

At about the same time, they met Kendra Langdon Juskus and Jonathan Merritt. Kendra joined the EEN team for a brief time, during which she took the EEN magazine Creation Care to a new level as managing editor. Jonathan Merritt met Jim and Rusty shortly after he began to envision the Southern Baptist Environment and Climate Initiative. Flourish is in large measure influenced by Kendra and Jonathan’s perspective, recognizing that faithful Christian churches need access to ministry resources on creation care that build faith, encourage discipleship, and demonstrate practical concern.