Staff Biblical Counselors


Steve Barns, M.Ed., LPC, LMFT, LPC, LMFT Supervisor

With profound gratitude, I have been married to Kathryn since 1982. We have four grown children. After growing up in the Denton community, I attended Baylor University as a ministry student and graduated in 1979. I attended graduate school at the University of North Texas where I received a Master’s in counseling with emphasis in marriage and family counseling. Immediately following my graduate training I worked in two different hospitals as an inpatient counselor. Upon receipt of my LPC and LMFT licenses in 1992, I opened a private practice here in Denton.

In 2000, I was invited onto the pastoral staff at Denton Bible church to oversee the counseling ministry. It remains my delight to train and supervise counseling interns, helping them move toward licensure if that is their desire, but especially to prepare them in the ministry of biblical counseling.

 


Mary E. Winter, M.Ed., LPC

The opportunity to offer counsel…to hear the stories of the hurting…to come alongside individuals and families as they courageously face the trials and challenges of life is a profound honor and privilege for me. I am humbled by the precious people who have invited me into their hearts and lives. I believe God’s Word is foundational and essential in the counseling process. No one knows us…loves us…teaches us better than our Creator. He is Life, and His Word is alive and active. Our gracious heavenly Father will not waste an iota of any pain He allows in our lives. On the contrary, He will walk with us, comfort us, strengthen us, teach us, and mature us when we seek Him in the hardships of this life.

I graduated from the University of North Texas with a Master’s degree in counseling and am a Licensed Professional Counselor. I have worked at Denton County Friends of the Family, counseling adult survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse, and at Denton Bible Church counseling women, couples, and families.

I have been married to Bruce since 1979. We’ve navigated life’s ups and downs together for many years now. We have been blessed with two grown sons, two daughters-in-law, and twin granddaughters. I enjoy camping, hiking, biking, reading, spending time with family and friends, and playing bunches with my granddaughters who keep me young!

 


Randy Nickerson, M.Ed., LPC

I have learned that most things we go through can teach us something about ourselves and our relationship with God. And in counseling, while working with hurting people in search of meaning to things that don’t always make sense I draw extensively on my own experience: as a husband, father, and Maker of Big Mistakes. You and I will be encouraged together while seeking a lasting peace and real, sustainable solutions to real problems. We will learn how good life can be when we seek God’s will in everything we do, examine ourselves openly and honestly, and are willing to change.

My journey here took me through a long career as a professional firefighter/paramedic. Along the way I learned a few things about dealing with crisis, pain (some observed, some self-inflicted), and the chaos of life in general. While the problems are typically not physical in counseling, as they are in emergency medicine and fire rescue, being able to come alongside someone in very real pain and offer hope and relief by applying the trustworthy wisdom of God is still integral to my job.

I hold Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees in counseling from the University of North Texas and Texas certification as a Licensed Professional Counselor. I have completed the Equipped to Counsel biblical training course. During my fire service career I was certified in critical incident stress management and had extensive experience in the debriefing process. I am currently endeavoring to learn more about PTSD and combat trauma through trusted training resources and scholarly reading on the subjects.

My wife, Ava, and I have attended Denton Bible Church since 1993. We have two sons, one daughter-in-law, and two beautiful granddaughters. We are now experiencing the truly amazing and wonderful things that can occur as a result of having a committed, genuine relationship with Christ.

This is where I live:

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20

 


 Alex Kelley, MACE, MABC

(Dallas Theological Seminary)
The word counseling seems to have a lot of different meanings today. Often there is a stigma associated with counseling, yet one is not unique or different from others if he or she understands the need for godly, Biblical wisdom (1 Cor. 10:13; James 1:5, 3:13, 17-18). God, who is our Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6), began His counseling with the first couple before the fall (Gen. 2:15-17) and continued thereafter (Gen. 3:8-24). God gave His counsel to us through direct revelation; the coming of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; and through His complete Word, the Bible, which provides everything we need to live godly lives through the true knowledge of Christ (Heb.1:1-4; 2 Peter 1:3-4, 20-21; 2 Tim 3:16-17).

I see myself as helping people understand who Christ is and how He is to be our life (Gal.2:20; Col.3:1-4;) as well as our means of living this life (2 Cor.5:14-17, 21; Phil.1:20-21;). As a fellow struggler I identify with those who are experiencing confusion and are in need of Biblical wisdom (Heb. 5:2).

It matters not what you are going through. God is with you if you are His child. Through Christ we can experience joy, peace, and contentment in the midst of any seemingly hopeless situation. Ultimately, we must all look to Christ, who is not only our Savior but also our advocate to whom we can come confidently at any time and under any circumstances (Heb.4:14-16; 1 John 2:1-2).

I personally have experienced God’s grace in so many ways and in so many capacities that I pray the Lord would use me to help folks see Christ and the Gospel as being the focus of their lives. I am very grateful to Christ for having saved me and brought me through many ups and downs as a man, husband, father, businessman, pastor, educator, grand dad (Opie) and now as a counselor.

I am very grateful to the following people who have affected my spiritual growth and insight: Lee Carpenter, Stuart Scott, Greg Cook, John Henderson, and many others through personal contact and/or their writings.  The Lord used these men in my life to shed further light on what it means to be a Christ-centered Christian and counselor.

 


Bonny Pierce, M.Ed., CSC, CBC

When I was 16, I had the opportunity to visit an orphanage in Thailand. There I saw many young children who had nothing. Looking around, I realized that there were only a few workers, not nearly enough to meet the needs of all the children, not enough hands to pick up all of the crying babies. It was heart breaking but it sparked something deep down inside my heart. It sparked the passion to help hurting children.

Fast forward many years, and that passion to help kids is still there, stronger than ever. My desire to help children led me to the field of teaching. I’ve taught for Denton ISD and Pilot Point ISD as a special education teacher for preschoolers.  As a professional educator, I’ve seen many kids who were hurting deep inside, who’ve had to face trials that I could never imagine. My heart ached for these kids and I knew I needed to do more. I went back to school and received a master’s degree from the University of North Texas in counseling, with an emphasis in school counseling and specialized training in play therapy.

I am a Texas Certified School Counselor and a certified Biblical Counselor through the Equipped to Counsel program. I specialize in counseling children and working with their parents. I interweave biblical counseling with play therapy techniques to create a unique environment where kids can feel safe and secure while they work through their problems. It is my hope that as children participate in biblical play therapy they are introduced to the ultimate healer, Jesus Christ, and experience His healing powers.

When I am not counseling, I am homeschooling my three precious children or helping my sweet husband with projects. In my free time I enjoy reading, baking, spending time with my family, camping, and taking care of my chickens.

 


Meg Hamilton, BSN, Advanced Certified Life Coach

God created us with a deep need for relationships, with Him being the ultimate relationship we seek. So much of life affects our relationships. Oftentimes we know what we need to do, but just need a little help with our execution. Sometimes the circumstances are overwhelming and we need someone to help us develop a plan and walk through it with us.

The goal of coaching is to help you succeed in areas of life in which you may be struggling—relationships, grief, parenting to name a few. Success is not defined by amassing power or money, but in the nature of one’s character, use of God-given gifts and talents, and in having satisfying, God-honoring relationships.

As a coach I will help you develop realistic goals and a plan of action as well as provide accountability as you implement your plan so that you may enjoy the blessings of healthy relationships in your life. My focus is in loss and grief, relationships, and adoption.

In 1991I married my husband, Joe, in Nacogdoches, Texas where I went to college and worked as a nurse. We adopted our first two children eight years later and after struggling with infertility for twelve years we enlarged our family with two biological children. I am well acquainted with the journey of infertility, adoption and attachment, trauma, grief and all that these bring to marriage.

In 2015 I decided to go back to school and in 2016 I received an Advanced Certification in Christian Life Coaching from Light University School of Professional Life Coaching.

I have been actively involved at Denton Bible Church since 1996 in the areas of AWANA, Children’s Ministry, Young Marrieds, women’s Bible study leadership, and Orphan Care.