In June 1988 Pastor Karen was
ordained an elder in a Word of Faith Church in
Baltimore, Maryland. Preaching since age 17, she
went on to minister all over Baltimore and surrounding
areas as an evangelist. Her initial sermon was
preached in December of 1976 at Sharp Street Memorial
United Methodist Church in Baltimore, Maryland
where she had been a member since birth.
December 1999 Pastor Karen came under the covering
of Bishop T. D. Jakes in preparation for opening
the church doors in April of 2000.
On April 9, 2000, under her leadership, Set the
Captives Free Outreach Center (STCF) opened at
the Comfort Inn, in Woodlawn, Maryland. The church
opened with five adult members and seven children.
It continues to grow rapidly to this day. The current
membership is 2,000.
On August 8, 2000, God blessed STCF with a 3,000 square foot fully equipped facility at 9816 Liberty Road, Randallstown, Maryland. The Lord continued to show favor, attendance was steadily increasing, the word was alive, lives were being changed, and marriages were being restored. This resulted in the need for multiple services. Even with the new worship schedule of an 8:00 and 11:00 a.m. there was no more room to seat the members, regular attendees and visitors.
In January, 2001, LIBERTY was launched. LIBERTY is STCF’s television outreach which airs every Sunday at 8:30am on the WORD Network Internationally and WNUV channel 54 in the Baltimore-Washington, Delaware and Pennsylvania markets God continued to show favor, increasing weekly viewer-ship from just a few thousand to over 15, 000 today. Pastor Karen was the first woman pastor asked to preach on the local television program “Grace & Glory” which
airs on the ABC affiliate in Maryland ,channel
2, Sundays at 7:00 a.m. She is the guest preacher
every second Sunday of the month at 7:40 a.m.
Pastor Bethea was reordained at the Potter's House on October 12, 2002. She is a member of PHIPA (The Potter's House International Pastor's Alliance) and is under the covering of her spiritual father Bishop T. D. Jakes of Dallas, Texas.
In November of 2002, Pastor Karen stepped out on
faith again as God blessed STCF with a 33,000 sq.
ft. facility, located in Woodlawn, Maryland. The
building had been a clothing warehouse and was but
a shell. With God’s favor and the faithfulness
of the STCF church family fulfilling their pledges,
part of the building was quickly converted into a
1,000 seat sanctuary.
In August 2005, after renting with the option to buy, STCF purchased the facility. At that time renovation completion began. It was an exciting time as the church family witnessed weekly changes to the former warehouse!
In April 2006, STCF completed the renovation of 7111 Windsor Boulevard. The 33,000 square foot building now contains a 1,000 seat sanctuary with state of the art screens and technology, offices, multipurpose rooms, a kitchen, the church bookstore, the nursery, a baptismal chapel, The Mays-Woodson Christian Academy educational wing complete with brand new child accessible bathrooms, a state of the art television studio and a state of the art recording studio built by a leader in the industry, Jonathan Lesane. God has really been good to STCF!
In April 2006, STCF also launched its record label, “Flow of the Spirit Records.” The first artist, Deaconess Deborah Scott, was signed in May and her first recording is scheduled to hit the market January 2007! It is being produced by Pastor Gary Wyatt of Seattle, Washington. She was featured at the Women’s Conference in May 2006. Her demo, “Center of His Will,”produced
by Jonathan Lesane, sold out!
On April 12, 2006 the completed building was officially
dedicated to the Lord in a special service with Pastor
Karen’s pastor and covering, Bishop T. D. Jakes,
of the Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas. Bishop
Jakes wept as he prophesied about STCF’s
future and all the lives that will be changed through
In September 2006, STCF opened its school, the Mays-Woodson
Christian Academy, headed up by Pastor Linwood Bethea.
Staffed with state certified, spirit filled instructors
and certified by the state of Maryland, the school
provides a high quality Christian education for children
from Pre-K to 2nd grades. Grades 3-4 will be added
in the fall of September 2007. The Summer Enrichment
Program which runs June-August is now in its’sixth
year and is an extension of the school.
On May 15th, 2007, Earvin "Magic" Johnson,
formerly of the Los Angeles Lakers, was the keynote
speaker at a town hall meeting at Set the Captives
Free on the HIV epidemic in the Baltimore-Washington
Region. This ministry is committed to assisting those
living with this health challenge.