History

Early 1990s

Wall Watchers had its genesis in the early 1990s, when founders Howard "Rusty" Leonard and his wife Carolynn first entertained the idea of starting a Christian ministry aimed at bringing improved levels of disclosure and accountability to Christian ministries.

In the course of giving to a number of Christian ministries, Rusty and Carol felt the need to better fulfill their own stewardship responsibilities and began requesting basic financial information from the ministries they supported. For Rusty, at the time a portfolio manager for a large investment management firm, and Carol, an accountant, this seemed like a very simple request that any ministry should be happy to honor. Rather than being overwhelmed by a spirit of transparency and accountability on the part of the ministries they supported, the Leonards were shocked when ministries seemed to go out of their way to withhold financial information from them. If financially savvy donors like them had trouble getting information, they wondered, then how uninformed and ill-equipped must the average Christian donor be to exercise stewardship in this important area.

This experience corresponded to a time when they were studying the Bible. The context was of the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel and his calling to be a watchman for the house of Israel (Ez. 33:7). Along with the circumstances going on in their life at the time and their background it was as if the Lord were speaking to them through that text.

The Leonards concluded that they were being called to start an organization that would serve as a "watchman on the wall" by providing a much needed information service to Christian donors.

The Watchman symbol used by Wall Watchers is an Old Testament watchman standing on the wall of the city blowing the shofar (ram's horn). In the same way that the Watchman empowered people to act for themselves by sounding the alarm, Wall Watchers empowers people today by providing them with the information they need to make better informed giving decisions.

But Wall Watchers is more than just a Watchman, and in the same way that the shofar was used for many different purposes in the Old Testament (as a call to worship, proclaiming the presence of God, to assemble people), so to Wall Watchers goals are broader than simply sounding an alarm, and include facilitating increased giving, helping people become better stewards, and bringing donors and ministries together.

And so over time the ministry has taken on a greater scope as an information service as able with increased funding.

July 1998

Wall Watchers officially got off the ground in July 1998 by incorporating as a nonprofit organization in the State of North Carolina.

August 1999

Wall Watchers received recognition from the Internal Revenue Service of its tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).

September 1999

Wall Watchers launched thegoodsteward.com (www.thegoodsteward.com), an educational website for equipping people with the knowledge to become better stewards.

December 1999

An informational website (www.wallwatchers.org) was launched in December 1999 making Wall Watchers vision, mission and intentions more accessible to the public.

September 2000

MinistryWatch.com (www.ministrywatch.com) was launched providing the donating public with access to organizational and financial profiles on nonprofit ministries in the United States.


Vision
As the Lord blesses our efforts, Wall Watchers will help all Christians make more informed financial decisions by guiding them toward the principles of good stewardship found in His Word. Better financial decisions will lead to increased wealth creation and a greater capacity to donate generously to the Lord's work.

Wall Watchers' MinistryWatch.com service will increase the confidence of donors by providing an independent source of information on Christian ministries to aid them in making their giving decisions. Greater knowledge of the good works being done by Christian ministries and insightful analysis of the activities of these ministries can only lead to higher levels of giving by those who feel called to financially support God's work.

We hope that as we look back in ten or twenty years at what Wall Watchers has accomplished, we will be able to clearly see how our efforts have enabled many to become more knowledgeable about the wonderful and sacrificial works being done in the world of Christian ministry.

Our goal is to facilitate the joy of giving through the gift of knowledge, and to make financing those works easier for those on the "front lines."


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