The Development of Stockton Leadership Foundation

In January 2005 six Stockton community and religious leaders, through the encouragement of Gordon Donoho from One By One Leadership in Fresno, formed a Task Force to consider creating a faith-based non profit in Stockton to serve as an umbrella for church and community leaders to work together on issues in our city. This Task Force, made up of Bill Stoermer, Bill Ross, Richard Lopez, Rob Goin, Bill Brown, John McBride and Wayne Bibelheimer, was an informal workgroup who shared a heart for Stockton, a vision for the betterment of the City, and a common desire to focus leadership and direct resources toward the needs of the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized.

The fruit of this Founding Task Force was the launching of Stockton Leadership Foundation (SLF), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit public benefit, faith-based, organization. A Board of Directors was formed and began regular monthly meetings in January of 2006. We introduced ourselves to the City of Stockton at a Luncheon meeting on March 14, 2007. Our Non-Profit Status requirements were completed in November of 2007.
IRS Employer I.D. #  20-4054308

Stockton Leadership Foundation (SLF) is affiliated with Leadership Foundations of America (LFA), a network of local faith-based organizations that mobilize leaders from all walks of life to tackle a city’s biggest problems, and is active in over 30 cities across the United States with an additional 40 more cities in the membership process.  Website of our National Affiliation:

Additionally, we continue to be mentored in our development by One By One Leadership of Fresno. Website of our Sister Fresno Affiliate:

Our Identity
The Stockton Leadership Foundation is a Faith-Based Non-Profit comprised of civic, business, and religious leaders devoted to the physical, social, and spiritual transformation of greater Stockton.  As followers of Jesus Christ, we seek to connect people of faith from across our community with others of good will to renew our community.

Our Mission
Our mission is to provide Faith Based leadership that connects and collaborates with organizations to empower and serve the less fortunate.

Our Vision
Our vision is to transform greater Stockton into a community of hope and charity.

Our Values

  • We value the city of Stockton.  We are committed to both people and place and we seek physical, social, and spiritual renewal.  Stockton’s communities should be places of relationship, opportunity, and grace for all.
  • We value the vulnerable.  We see God's unrelenting concern for the poor, widowed, migrant, sick, imprisoned, homeless, and oppressed.  We wish to work in partnerships across our community to build opportunities and a better life for those who live at the margins.
  • We value leadership.  Stockton’s diverse leadership needs to be engaged.  We value a biblical view of leadership that seeks the welfare of others, heals divisions, creates unity, uses everyone’s giftedness, and accomplishes tasks.
  • We value empowerment.  Our work should not patronize, but free and empower people down to the grass-roots level.
  • We value reconciliation.  The power of the Gospel is in joining hands rather than building walls or pointing fingers.  This work requires listening, respect and united efforts for the welfare of the city.
  • We value risk. Creativity, innovation, and courage will be required.
  • We value the faith community and the tremendous resources and enriching contributions available from the congregations of our city.  We seek to network these resources with others such as the business sector, civic agencies, and educational institutions to renew the Stockton community.

Our Unique Asset
The unique asset of the Stockton Leadership Foundation is the network of personal relationships among pastors, business, professional and civic leaders in the Stockton community. God has been weaving this network together for a number of years through pastor’s prayer meetings, pastor’s lunches, drive-by prayer, annual Lenten Season “Seek God for the City” prayer vigils, Easter Sunrise Services and other combined efforts which have given visibility to the unity of the Body of Christ.

These relationships cross denominational and ethnic lines and are characterized by mutual encouragement and support, plus a common concern for the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of our community. When our gatherings include people from across denominational and ethnic lines, we informally call ourselves the “Church of Stockton” because we believe that the Kingdom of God is bigger than any of our local churches. The formation of Stockton Leadership Foundation is an attempt to “incorporate” this network of friendships to maximize its effectiveness for the benefit of our city.

This asset of relationships is reflected in a data base of over 200 email addresses and approximately 300 hard copy mailing addresses, enabling us to communicate to the entire spectrum of the Faith Community in Stockton. Our data base also contains contact information for Faith-Based Non-Profits and Community-Based Non-Profits as well as City and County Agencies.