Zuzu's House

The Zuzu House ministry began in February of 2018 as an organization to assist vulnerable teens in the Marshfield area. This ministry was started by Rev. Nicholas W. Inman and was endorsed as an official ministry of the Elkland Independent Methodist Church.

In February of 2020, a new and much larger location (6400 square foot) was purchased for Zuzu's House. This new location will allow for additional space and will enable our resource center to offer more life skill classes and the opportunity to house more vulnerable teens from our local community.

About UsGive

Our History

The name Zuzu House was chosen from the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It was chosen as the goal is to make sure that each of these vulnerable teens have a wonderful life and that they each understand the value of their own existence.  

Before beginning this ministry, Rev. Inman contacted Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu, It’s a Wonderful Life) about starting such a home and organization. He explained to her about the number of homeless and vulnerable teens in the Marshfield community and how there was such a large need for such a ministry. Karolyn (a former Missouri resident) wholeheartedly agreed to serve as the honorary chairperson for the board of directors. Rev. Inman then contacted Dr. Jeanine Roose (Violet Bick, It’s a Wonderful Life) and asked her to serve as a board member as Dr. Roose is a Clinical Psychologist and has a heart for vulnerable teens.

After bringing Karolyn and Dr. Jeanine onboard with the organization, the following individuals were approached to serve and agreed to become charter board members: Michelle Slavens, Ruthie Davis, Amanda Burris, Fay King, T.J. Bransfield (Superintendent of Niangua Schools), Lisa Tindall and Sarah Inman. Later, other dedicated community members joined the organization to serve on the board of directors as well.

In July of 2018, the board voted to start an auxiliary of local citizens to assist in raising awareness and funds for the house. They felt that such an organization would allow more community members to become involved with the house. The group would officially form in 2019 and they would elect, Sunny Fuller as their charter President. The auxiliary is called, The Friends of Zuzu’s House and they meet monthly at the Webster County Library. Dues are $10 per year and everyone is invited to join and participate in the auxiliary.

In February of 2019 a physical location was obtained for Zuzu’s House in Marshfield. Fay King volunteered to serve as the house restoration director and she coordinated the work necessary to restore the home and preserve its historic features. Countless community volunteers assisted with the restoration work inside and outside of the home. It was officially dedicated in April of 2019 as the kickoff to the 14th annual Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield.

Three living cast members (Karolyn, Dr. Jeanine and Carol Coombs Mueller) from the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” participated in the dedication ceremony and reenacted a scene from the movie, where a house blessing is performed. Lulu Roman (Hee Haw) performed at the dedication ceremony and Fay King was presented the Cherry Blossom Medal for her hard work and dedication to the house. Several hundred attended the dedication ceremony and the program ended with the singing of, “Bless this House,” which will continue to be the prayer of those who work, live and support this resource center for vulnerable teens called, Zuzu’s House.

In February of 2020, a new and much larger location (6400 square foot) was purchased for Zuzu's House. This new location will allow for additional space and will enable our resource center to offer more life skill classes and the opportunity to house more vulnerable teens from our local community.

Bless this house, O Lord, we pray.
Make it safe by night and day.
Bless these walls so firm and stout,
Keeping want and troubles out.
Bless the roof and chimney top.
Let thy love flow all about.
Bless this house that it may prove
Ever open to joy and truth. Bless us all that we may be
Fit, O Lord, to dwell with thee.
Bless us so that one day we,
May dwell, dear Lord, with thee.

Meet The Board

Karolyn Grimes "Zuzu" (Honorary Chairman)

Karolyn Grimes

Karolyn was a child actress and appeared in 16 films. Throughout the years, she has become the unofficial Ambassador for the beloved film, “It's a Wonderful Life".  She played the part of Jimmy Stewart's daughter, Zuzu. The film has a positive impact on many lives. Through her travels for the film, she uses the film's message of hope in her appearances. She has worked with Habitat for Humanity, CancerResearch, Hospice, Parkinson Disease, Alheimers Disease and other organizations that touch people's lives. Karolyn was orphaned at the age of 15, so the Zuzu House holds a special place in her heart.

Reverend Nicholas W. Inman

Nicholas Inman

Nicholas is the Founder and President of Zuzu’s House and the Senior Pastor at the Elkland Independent Methodist Church.He is the chairman of the Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival and the director of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum.Nicholas believes that every child in our community should have the resources available to have a wonderful and productive life. It has been his vision that Zuzu’s House would be that resource in the Marshfield community.

Nathan Pratt

Nathan Pratt

Nathan has been working in the digital industry for over 15 years. He started as a networking engineer that doubled as a web developer. As time went on, He gained a deeply versed background within the marketing realm. In 2013, He started a marketing agency and continued to build upon a foundation of full-scale digital advertisement. He is happily married to his wife, Arwen, and has 3 children, Kennedy, Boston, and Chandler.

Nathan has a Bachelors in Business Management and Masters in Organizational Leadership from Evangel University.

He has a strong passion and love for being a part of his community and giving back.

Michelle Slavens

Michelle Slavens

Michelle is married and has two children, Tyler and Hannah. She owns and operates two small businesses; Absolute Screen Printing and AAA Storage and Autos, Inc. Michelle is a charter member of the Elkland Independent Methodist Church and serves on the church’s governing board. She is the founder and leader of the “Mending Hearts Grieving Support Group” and a board member of “On Angels' Wings”, a non-profit organization which provides professional pictures for families faced with the possibility of loss and offers support these families.“Children are my passion and I see the need in our community and I want to help make a difference.” Michelle says, “It is important to provide teens in our community with the resources when they have no place to go. Every child deserves a wonderful life and it brings joy to my heart to make this become a reality.”

Ruthie Davis Letterman

Ruthie Davis Letterman

Ruthie is an active member of James River Assembly of God and a member of the Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival Auxiliary. She is currently a realtor at Keller Williams, founder of Conway Betterment League, founder of BlossomNU and studying to be a counselor. She is also the co-captain of the Conway Neighborhood Watch. “My passion is to help children overcome their hurts and pains to become prospering adults of the community.”

Marty Rader

Marty Rader

Marty has worked with children in many different situations and held positions such as a manager, a group home parent and worked with inter city youth. While working as a group home parent he was able to travel with children to over 38 states to enlighten them about our country and taught independent living skills to at risk teenagers, which included gardening and raising farm animals to be self sufficient. Marty has worked with the American Red Cross as a volunteer for emergency preparedness and is certified in CPR and first aid. He enjoys volunteering as a Sunday school teacher and as a camp counselor. Marty is currently a self employed entrepreneur working in the home remodeling business.

Kevin Wright

Kevin Wright

Kevin started in ministry in 2002 and has served an associate pastor and youth pastor.
Kevin worked for two years at Bridges for Youth after school programs as both Deputy Director as well as working daily at various centers.

He also served as President of Choice Ministries Addiction Recovery Program for four years. Kevin is currently serving as Pastor/Teacher at Restoration Community Church in Marshfield since 2016 and is proud to sit on the board of Zuzu’s House.

Sarah Inman

Sarah Inman

Sarah is a proud alumnus of Evangel University where she obtained her Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. She is currently the owner/broker of a local real estate firm, Liberty Family Realty. Sarah serves as a volunteer for many local non-profits and is active in the ministry’s of her church.“My goal is to help as many youth as possible through the services and resources at Zuzu’s House.” Sarah says, “Vulnerable teens often get overlooked, I’m so glad there is a place in Webster County where they can feel safe, and get the help they need.”

Lisa Tindall

Lisa Tindall

Lisa has lived in Webster County her entire life. She obtained her Bachelors in Nursing at Cox College and loves her work as a Registered Nurse. As a mother of three, she has a heart for caregiving and helping youth achieve their greatest potential. She is a certified instructor in Mental Health First Aid and has a deep passion for helping individuals with addiction recovery.

Fay King

Fay King

Fay King has enjoyed living in Marshfield all of her adult life, she continued her education throughout her life by attending night classes at Drury and OTC. She and her husband owned and operated Webster County Sanitation, Marshfield Insulation and Aluminum and lived on the farm raising cattle. She and a colleague started Century Realty in 1974.

Fay has been passionate about being engaged in civic organizations, businesses and Professional Women, she was president of Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce, one of first women Rotary Club members, founding member of Marshfield Area Community Foundation and the Marshfield Cherry Blossom Festival.

As board member of Zuzu’s house she was honored to be project manager for the ministry building. She is strongly aware of the needs of many youth in our community and continues with a desire to help meet these needs of these special children.

Kevin Smith

Fay King

Kevin was born and raised in Webster County. He attended Elkland Elementary School, then graduated Marshfield High School.

He has a special connection to Zuzu's House- it used to be his family church, Elkland Full Gospel Church. The old part of Zuzu's  House was once the old Miller School. His parents bought the property with the old school house to start the church.

As the Church grew a new sanctuary was added. Eventually a Fellowship Hall was also built. The years went by, membership fell off as the people moved on in life, the Church was closed in 2019. Kevin loves the fact that his family Church will continue to be a blessing to others in the form of Zuzu's House.

Bruce Blankenship

Fay King

Bruce currently serves as the pastor at the Show Me Cowboy Church in Marshfield Mo. He and his wife have lived in the Marshfield area since 1980, instilling in their three sons a need to serve their community and fellow man.

Bruce retired after 41 years of service at the local Caterpillar dealer in Springfield, Mo holding a number of different service-related positions. He also retired in 2011 as a Master Chief Petty Officer after serving 31 Years in the United States Navy Seabees (reserve with multiple active-duty deployments).  

Jas 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Latest News & Updates

For all of our latest news and updates, see below.

Dedication and Ribbon Cutting from the original Zuzu House location in Marshfield.

The Zuzu House Board of Directors and the Elkland Independent Methodist Church Board met together for the real estate closing of Zuzu's House. Those pictured in the front row: Tom Robinson (Chairman, Elkland Independent Methodist Church Board), Bill Rankin (Elkland Independent Methodist Church Board) and Sarah Inman (Zuzu's House Board). Back row: Nicholas W. Inman (Senior Pastor, Elkland Independent Methodist Church and President of the Zuzu's House Board), Kevin Wright (Zuzu's House Board), Ryan Cooksey (Elkland Independent Methodist Church Board), Fay King (Zuzu's House Board) and Michelle Slavens (Elkland Independent Methodist Church and Zuzu's House Board).

Jeanine Roose (Violet Bick, It's a Wonderful Life), Rev. Nicholas W. Inman (Founder, Cherry Blossom Festival) and Karolyn Zuzu Grimes (Zuzu Bailey, It's a Wonderful Life) speak at the Presidential Prayer Breakfast at the 2018 Cherry Blossom Festival, which benefited the Zuzu House ministry.

Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu) speaks about the Zuzu House Ministry at the 2018 Presidential Prayer Breakfast during the Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield.

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