Do I need counseling? We understand that there are times in life where you just need a helping hand. In fact, many people are doing very well in some parts of their lives while struggling in others. Now might be the time when you need someone to come alongside and encourage you from the Bible.

  • FAQ
  • Meet Our Counselors

Is there any hope for this to work?

We believe that God has given us all we need to know Him and to live in a way that is pleasing to Him. All our difficulties may not evaporate. However, when a person willingly submits to God’s instructions and clings to his promises there is hope and help. There are answers for dealing with whatever you might be facing. In fact, many of our counselees see significant progress in 8-12 weeks.

What kind of concerns do people that come for counseling have? We see people with all kinds of concerns, but the most common would be those struggling in their marriage, helping parents with their children, those dealing with sexual sin, and those struggling with their emotions (e.g., depression or anger). In all cases, we use the Bible, God’s Sufficient Word, to answer the problems of life.

Are the counselors qualified and when is counseling available? All of our counselors, whether they are pastors or laypersons, go through a rigorous training program in biblical counseling. At this time, our counseling is offered on Mondays from 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm and Tuesdays from 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm.

What can I expect if I come?

First of all, you can expect that everything will be held in strict confidence except where, in the counselor’s judgment, there is a biblical requirement to involve others (e.g., criminal activity). Second, you can expect that our staff will care for you and treat you with respect. Third, you can expect our staff to encourage you in your successes and encourage you to think and behave in a way that pleases Jesus Christ.

Where do I begin?

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at 423-877-7875 ext. 28 or you may complete the form at the bottom of the page. We would love to hear from you.

How much does counseling cost?

We believe in, and know, the one and only true God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In serving you, we experience and express the love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the power and partnership of the Holy Spirit. We pray you will know this. Because we know Him, and by definition, counseling is discipleship, we give our time to you free of charge in His name. You have no stated or implied obligation to pay for the counseling you receive from this ministry.

Because Stuart Heights Baptist Church provides the facilities and the counselors volunteer their time, we can offer the counseling free of charge. However, we require a $25 registration fee to be paid at the time the application for counseling is submitted. We ask that a 24-hour notification be provided to cancel any appointment. When the counseling plan is completed and there are no missed appointments without 24-hour prior notice, the registration fee can be refunded.

Most counselors, secular and religious, charge between $60 and $200 an hour for their counsel. Although we do receive support from our church, we are dependent upon individuals to help us continue this work. Even though we do not charge, and willingly give up our right to payment, do not expect poor counsel. You will receive the best counseling available. Should you wish to donate funds, your tax-deductible gifts will be used to help continue this ministry to you and to extend it to others.

Susan Bradley is a mother of three adult children and 6 grandchildren. She attends the Chattanooga campus and has served in women’s ministries for over 30 years. She has served with The National Memorial for the Unborn and with Choices Arise Abortion Recovery Program. She has some college training and is a certified counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.

Bill Brandenburg is married to Krystal and they have three children. He has been a member of Stuart Heights Baptist Church since 1996 and attends the Chattanooga campus. Currently he serves as a Sunday school teacher for two classes, teaches Growth Track 3, and coordinated the Audio/Visual ministry across all three campuses. Bill graduated from Tennessee Temple University with a BS in Psychology with Specialization in Ministerial counseling. He has served in the Biblical Counseling Center since 2011.

Krystal Brandenburg is married to Bill and they have three children. She has been a member of Stuart Heights Baptist Church since 2007 and attends the Chattanooga campus with various ministry participation involving her at all three campuses. She currently serves as the Stuart Heights Baptist Church treasurer, Sunday school class secretary, and the Chattanooga Campus Audio/Visual lead. She is also active in foreign missions, traveling to Honduras since 2008. She has served in the Biblical Counseling Center since 2012 and has attended 3 of the ACBC certified training courses in Lafayette, IN.

Sonia Harris and her husband Oliver became members of Stuart Heights in 2006. She is now widowed and attends the Chattanooga Campus. She has two adult children and one grandson. She is working to develop the English as a Second Language (ESL) ministry and is involved in the women’s discipleship (D-Groups). Sonia serves as the Prayer Coordinator at Stuart Heights Baptist. She has a B.S. in Occupational Therapy and is working on her Master of Arts in Theological Studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Online. She is a certified Biblical Counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC)

Ron Hawks and wife Rebecca married in 1991. They have been members of Stuart Heights since 2008 and attend the Hixson Campus. Ron is a certified counselor with the Association of Certified Biblicals Counselor and has served in the counseling ministry since 2012. He is now retired and serves in an advisory role. He is a U. S. Marine veteran of six years having served in various campaigns in Southeast Asia. Ron is a graduate of Arizona State University (B. S. economics) with a graduate certificate in financial operations from the University of Denver and post-graduate work in information technology and investment banking at the University of Oklahoma. Ron enjoys helping others, is a volunteer FCC license examiner, a member of the Marine Corps League, and is passionate about shooting and genealogy.

Jim Herndon has been married to his wife, Peggy, since 1971. They have 5 children and 10 grandchildren. Jim and Peggy currently serve in a Missionary Care Team for Word of Life Fellowship, Inc. This involves domestic and international travel for counseling and Bible teaching assignments for Word of Life. They have been members of Stuart Heights Baptist Church since 2014 and they attend the Chattanooga Campus.  Jim began as a volunteer Staff Counselor in the Biblical Counseling Center in 2014 and he became a certified counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors in 2015. In 2015 he developed a partnership with Stuart Heights Baptist Church and Word of Life Fellowship, (The GreenHouseProject), an intensive Spiritual Enrichment Workshop serving vocational Missionaries and Pastors. Jim accepted the responsibility as Coordinator / Administrator of the Biblical Counseling Center in January 2020

Peggy Herndon has been married to her husband, Jim, since 1971. They have 5 children and 10 grandchildren. They have been involved in teaching, evangelism, counseling and discipleship ministries with Word of Life International since 1978. They served from 1980 to 2013 at the Word of Life Argentina Bible Institute Campus / Word of Life Youth Camp. They began a Cross Cultural Language / Bible Program in Argentina for Word of Life International in 2000 and directed that ministry for 7 years. From 2010 to 2013, they coordinated the counseling / discipleship program for married students enrolled in the Word of Life Argentina Bible Institute. The Herndons returned to the United States in 2013. Peggy began as a Staff Counselor and receptionist in the Biblical Counseling Center 2015. Beginning in 2020 she also assists Jim with administration responsibilities and as a receptionist at the Biblical Counseling Center.

Wendy Land is married to Jason and has a teen-aged daughter, Madison. Wendy and her family have attended the Soddy Daisy Campus since 2012. Wendy and Jason teach Sunday School and serve in our Student Ministry. She has been a staff counselor in the Biblical counseling center since the summer of 2016. Wendy is currently pursuing certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

Ann Pike is married to John. They have 3 children: Bryan, Chris, and Becky and 4 grandchildren. She has attended the Chattanooga Campus since 2010. Along with being part of the counseling staff, Ann assists John with the Young Married Sunday school Class and also serves as a Baptismal Host. Currently, Ann is working with John as project manager at Adams Lithographing.

John Pike is married to Ann. They have 3 children: Bryan, Chris, and Becky and 4 grandchildren. He has attended the Chattanooga Campus since 2010. Along with being part of the counseling staff, John teaches the Young Married Sunday school Class and serve as a Baptismal Host. He leads Small Groups, teaches Stuart Heights University Classes, Growth Tracks 2 and 3. John strives to promote the undistracted Pursuit of God. John works at Adams Lithographing.

Billy Simmons has been married to Libby since 1977. He has 2 sons and 5 grandchildren. He and Libby have been members of the church since 2003 and attend the Chattanooga campus. He has been a biblical counselor at Stuart Heights since 2006. Billy is a Sunday school teacher, member of the Chattanooga Campus Leadership Team, and active in various ministries. He is a retired naval officer and is retired from Unum Group US.

Stacy Tate married Eddie in 1993 and they have one son Isaac. Stacy and Eddie have been members since 1996 and attend the Chattanooga Campus Traditions service. She has worked with AWANA for many years and she has been a part of the counseling center since it opened in 2000. She has a B.S. in Psychology from UTC and a MBA in Organization Development from A.I.V. She has attended all of the Counseling Training Tracks at Faith Baptist in Lafayette, IN. She is currently pursuing certification with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).

Greg Pepoy married Kathy Camp February 6, 2016 and they attend the Hixson campus. He has been a member since January 2016. Before relocating to Chattanooga, Greg served as a police officer for thirty years in southern California. He has completed three and a half years of college at Long Beach State College in Administrator of Justice in Police Management and is currently attending Liberty University Online. He has been active in the counseling ministry since January 2017.

Jennie Storm married David on April 17, 1999.  They have a son, Isaiah. They have been members of Stuart Heights Soddy Daisy campus since March 2019. Jennie has worked as a Certified Ophthalmic Technician for over 20 years. Currently she is a staff counselor in the Biblical Counseling Center. She is involved in ongoing training through the Chattanooga Counseling and Discipleship Group. In 2017 she was part of a medical mission trip to Uganda. While there, she was blessed to meet some wonderful people and is able to keep in touch through social media. Jennie believes that the eyes and ears of Ugandans are open to his Word. The Bible tells us, “The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Matt 9:37).  She is passionate about praying for more outreach in Uganda and worldwide until the Lord’s return.

Gary Jared, Senior Pastor and Director of the Counseling Ministry

Brian Smith has been married to Amy since 1994 and they have four children. They have been at SHBC since 2010 and he serves as Associate Pastor. His responsibilities include teaching, Small Groups, Stuart Heights University (discipleship), and new member assimilation in addition to the counseling ministry. Brian has been in ministry since 1992 serving churches in TN and GA. He holds a BA from Carson-Newman College- 1993 (Religion/Psychology double major), MDivBL from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary- 2000.

David Ivarson grew up in Tallahassee, Florida. He is currently pursuing an M. Div. from Temple Baptist Seminary. David is married to Shana, and they have three children, Alana, Avery, Asa and Aiden. David has been on staff at Stuart Heights Baptist Church for over 10 years. His primary duty at Stuart Heights is partnering with families to help disciple their Middle School, High School and College age students. He graduated from Tennessee Temple University in 2001 with a B.S. in Bible with a concentration in Youth Ministry and from Temple Baptist Seminary with a Master of Divinity in 2013.

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