Alcorn is well-versed in God's multiplying mercy

Mercy Multiplied founder Nancy Alcorn speaks to Chapel on Monday about how her ministry started 39 years ago and has continued to grow with God’s help.

Story by Rick Vacek
Photos by Ralph Freso
GCU News Bureau

Nancy Alcorn wanted to talk about how faith gives us direction, and she came to Chapel armed with enough Bible verses to permeate young minds from every direction.

She worked for the government for eight years before realizing it didn’t have the solutions God does. She felt His powerful push to found Mercy Multiplied, a ministry that helps struggling young women ages 13-32 overcome their challenges by turning to God.

Alcorn cited numerous Bible verses during her talk and reminded her audience that God's Word still applies to today's troubled world.

That was 39 years ago, and now she shares her “Keys to Freedom” study in 22 nations. She came to Grand Canyon University seeking, simply, to share what has happened in her life in the hope that it would inspire the assembled students.

She began with Romans 10:17:

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word about Christ.

“We’re supposed to continually be in the Word of God so our faith would build,” she said.

Then she turned to Hebrews 11:6, which reads in part:

Without faith it is impossible to please God …

“One of the first things God taught me was you have to be all in, totally committed to Christ,” she said. “The most miserable human beings are the ones that try to live with one foot in the world and one foot in the Kingdom.”  

Romans 12:1 says we are to dedicate our bodies to God, she said, noting that many women who come to Mercy Multiplied have hurt themselves with drugs, alcohol and self-abuse.

“Our bodies are meant to be dedicated to God,” she said, “and we carry Christ on the inside of us. We’re actually a temple of the Holy Spirit.”

Alcorn teaches the women who come to her ministry that our bodies should be dedicated to God.

Romans 12:2 provides the basis for her ministry and solace from a troubled world:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.

“The world is constantly changing, but the Word of God remains the same,” she said, pointing out that Psalm 119:89 says His Word is “forever settled in heaven.”

She had more. There’s Malachi 3:6:

“I, the Lord, do not change.”

And Hebrews 13:8:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

“So if somebody comes along and tries to tell you, ‘Oh, you know that Bible is old. It was written so long ago, you know. The world’s changed. After all, this is, like, 2022. What are you thinking? Of course if it feels good, you can do it. You can just live any way you want to, and God loves you unconditionally.’ No, that is not what the Word of God says. So we need to keep our minds renewed to this Word …” she said.

“It’s just so important that we stay fully committed to Him because He’s put gifts and talents and abilities in each and every one of you. He’s got a destiny for you. He’s got plans and purposes for your life.”

Those plans are laid out in Jeremiah 29:11, she said:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Alcorn began Mercy Multiplied after seeing how the government could not meet the needs of troubled women and instead made them worse.

She told the story of starting Mercy Multiplied in 1982, after working in a women’s correctional facility. She heard the counselors and psychiatrists there telling those women they were damaged goods and had no hope. Many of the women committed suicide after they were released.

“It frustrated me so much. It made me so angry,” she said. “And I will tell you that … you might want to pay attention to what makes you angry because it might be a key to something that God wants you to do in your future to step out and either volunteer somewhere or start something …

“I just know that the other side of anger was a lot of passion because I’m very passionate about what God has allowed me to do the last 39 years. Because you know what? They’re not going home and committing suicide. They’re going home and fulfilling God’s call on their life because they have a new heart and a new spirit. The shame and the guilt and the condemnation has been lifted off of them, and they know who they are in Christ, and they have renewed their mind to the Word of God.”

She rejects the concept that someone who is an addict always will be an addict. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Alcorn said that, at God’s direction, she left her home in Tennessee and went to Monroe, Louisiana, to open her first center with three things in mind: no state or government funding, take in women for free, and her needs would be met if she blessed other Christ-centered organizations by donating 10% of Mercy Multiplied’s income.

Alcorn said we must recognize how strong God's assistance is, but you have to trust Him and take the first step.

She wondered how all this was possible, but God then directed her to Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
  in all your ways submit to Him,
    and He will make your paths straight.

She saw it all in a vision, but Psalm 119:133 emphasized taking the first step:

Direct my footsteps according to Your word;
    let no sin rule over me.

“It’s one step at a time. It’s not planning your whole future, it’s one step,” she said. “I’m back in Nashville saying, ‘God, give me what I need.’ He goes, ‘No, it’s not, give me what I need to go, it’s go and give me what I need.’”

Psalm 119:105 backs that up:

Your Word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.

She closed by telling the story of a man who, through incredible coincidences, wound up sitting next to her on a flight from Las Vegas in the late 1980s, at a time when her center for pregnant women there was overflowing. She needed to build another one.

Alcorn was exhausted and had no desire to talk. She even feigned being asleep. But he wouldn’t be deterred from having a conversation, found out about her ministry and insisted on learning more.

She gave him a crumpled-up brochure and didn’t think much of it until he called a few weeks later and told her he had turned away from a wayward lifestyle and been born again three months earlier, was the product of a violent rape and had just inherited millions from his late mother. He had been looking for a place that could use that money.

“Now how good is God?” she asked the audience incredulously.

She closed with one final verse, Psalm 119:130. “I never saw myself as super smart,” she said, “but when I got ahold of this Scripture, I knew that I could do whatever God wanted me to do.”

The entrance of God’s Word gives light;
    it gives understanding to the simple.

Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or [email protected].

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  • To watch the full Chapel service, including the music of the Worship team, the announcements for the week and Nancy Alcorn’s talk, click here.
  • Next Monday’s speaker: Beth Guckenberger, Back2Back Ministries

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Bible Verse

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

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