By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
MONROE, La. (LBM) – Supporters of Granberry Counseling Centers recently gathered to celebrate the ministry’s 25th year of helping improve the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health of ministers and their loved and ones, and others, around the state.
Held at the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home Family Ministries campus in Monroe, the Sept. 30 event included remarks by entity President and CEO Perry Hancock, past LBCHFM Executive Director John Williams and Granberry Director Kathy Eichelberger. LBCHFM trustees, Granberry counselors from around the state, former Granberry staff and other guests also were in attendance. Louisiana Baptist Executive Director Steve Horn closed the event with a prayer of thanksgiving.
“We have offered so many people healing and hope,” Eichelberger told the Baptist Message. “So many people come to us who have lost hope, whether it’s in a marriage relationship or some other area of life.
“We help and encourage our clients through our counseling, and if they are Christians, we also do our best to help strengthen their personal relationship with the Lord,” she continued. “We combine Christian counseling with discipleship by encouraging clients to have a daily prayer and devotion time, and to worship and be in community with other Christians.”
The ministry was established through the vision and generosity of Ray and Mary Anna Granberry. Their million-dollar gift in 1996 helped launch the Christ-centered counseling ministry a year later.
Since 1997, Granberry counselors have served more than 30,000 clients, including 600 pastors and their families. Today, the ministry employs licensed, professional Christian counselors who operate out of 12 locations around the state.
Counseling is available at no cost to Louisiana Baptist ministers, their spouse and/or dependent children through a partnership with Granberry and the LBC Pastoral Leadership team. The maximum fee for others is $90 per 50-minute session, but financial assistance is available. No one is refused help due to financial reasons.
During the coronavirus pandemic, all Granberry counselors received training and board certification in tele-counseling so clients could continue their counseling uninterrupted.
“One of the things that was so difficult during COVID was the isolation and lack of community which increased anxiety among so many people,” Eichelberger said. “God created us to be in relationships and it was very rewarding to see people helped and encouraged through the tele-counseling we were able to offer them. It was a privilege to help them walk through those hard times and recognize God at work in their lives.”
Because of the increasing need for counseling, there are plans to add two additional counselors to the Granberry team.
“We want to continue to offer affordable, professional Christian counseling and help individuals and families improve their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health,” Eichelberger said. “We pray for God’s wisdom and discernment in our counseling ministry. We don’t have all the answers, but we know He does.”
For more information about Granberry Counseling Centers, call 877.345.7411 or visit www.granberrycouseling.org.