The Raytown Community Inter-Faith Alliance (RCIFA) was formed in 1999, as a reincorporation of the Raytown Ministerial Alliance. Following this decision, the Assembly of God and Baptist churches opted out of their previous participation. The key organizers of RCIFA were Pastor Kevin Cameron, Ivanhoe United Church of Christ, Pastor Marty Hermanstorfer, Ridgeview Christian Church (DOC), and Pastor Harold Johnson, retired from First United Methodist Church.[1]

The mission of the RCIFA is to provide spiritual presence and support to the Raytown area. The group implements this vision in many ways. RCIFA members hold a business meeting once month and share a meal, and one member provides opening prayer at the City Board of Alderman meeting twice a month. The group organizes and leads the Raytown MLK Celebration every January, a tradition which has continued since the 1980’s and is the second largest of its kind in the Kansas City metro area. Over the past four years, RCIFA has sponsored an essay contest within the Raytown school district, relating to the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The organization took over the annual Raytown Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in 2004. This transformed the event into an interfaith gathering and celebration. RCIFA also organizes a local Thanksgiving service.[2]

In 2018, RCIFA changed their name to “Faiths of Raytown” (FoR). The new name reduced resistance to the word “interfaith” and better fit the meaning and purpose of the organization. The abbreviation, FoR, reflects that the organization is for Raytown, for inclusion, for Raytown schools, and for the freedom and expression of faith. The current president is the Rev. Michael Stephens; he has also served as vice-president and secretary. The current treasurer, Rex Block, has also served as present, vice-president and secretary.[3]

[1] Stephens, Michael and Rex Block, interview by Geneva Blackmer. 2019. Raytown Community Inter-Faith Alliance (January 7).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.