Meet The Staff Of LifeTouch
MS – Executive Director
Jeff has over 30 years of educational experience both as a classroom science teacher and as a middle school administrator. As a classroom teacher, he taught in a juvenile detention center in Fort Wayne, IN; a residential placement center in Mishawaka, IN; and in public schools. The last 18 years of his 30 years in education were spent serving as a middle school assistant principal/athletic director for the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation. Currently, Jeff serves as the Executive Director for LifeTouch, and provides workshops entitled “Time to Teach” on effectively educating youth.
MA Director of Counseling & Teaching,MA Clinical Counseling, MA Biblical Counseling, Certified Trauma Specialist
Darla has been a speaker for churches, schools and business groups for more than twenty five years. She is a counselor and the Director of Counseling and Teaching at LifeTouch Ministries and Counseling Center, (LTMCC). Wife, mother, and grandmother, Darla began her speaking ministry as a Bible teacher for Bible Study Fellowship International. Popular demand brought her to various opportunities for women’s groups and workshops as well as church and business events. After working as an elementary school counselor for several years, Darla established LifeTouch Ministries in 1997.
Director of Administration
Stefanie is the Director of Administration for LifeTouch Ministries & Counseling Center. She graduated from Grace College with a B.S. in Business Management. Stefanie has worked in banking, higher education, and in logistics before working at LifeTouch. She loves that she can use her gifts to help others. Stefanie lives in Warsaw with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.
Director of Development
Michelle is the Director of Development for Lifetouch Ministries and Counseling Center. A Grace College graduate with a BS in Counseling, she has worked in higher education, finance, children’s ministry at her local church, and her most coveted role as stay at home mom. Michelle has always had a passion to love others and point them to Jesus as the only source of hope, peace and joy. She loves running, hiking and biking the trails in Winona Lake with her husband, two children and fun loving sheepadoodle, Ruby.
Jim Thompson graduated from Grace College and has a Masters degree in counseling from Indiana University. Jim’s experience includes working at a mental health inpatient unit, outpatient counseling in a community mental health center and at a church counseling center. The majority of his professional experience is as a school counselor and mental health therapist. He has worked for over 20 years in several area schools. His work in schools includes counseling students individually and in groups, classroom guidance, collaborating with teachers, staff, and parents, crisis intervention, behavior interventions and planning, and other activities with students. Jim specializes in working with children and adolescents ages 5-18 and their families. He is a husband & father of four children and is glad to be a part of Lifetouch Ministries and Counseling Center.
Bill comes with 30 years as a licensed “Marriage and Family Therapist” seeking to interweave Biblical Faith into one’s everyday life. He was a senior pastor for eight years and has spent the majority of his career in marriage counseling and helping men develop a meaningful faith in their everyday lives. Five of those years were spent in ministering to adolescents. He was also a professor at Grace College for 19 years. His heart’s passion is to deepen his faith walk with Jesus, and to help others develop their own personal walk with Him. Learning Jesus’ life lessons is thrilling, and through them he learns about his Savior. His desire is to help others find a deeper and meaningful joy in knowing Jesus better. Bill has been married for 46 years, and has three children and six grandchildren.
MA Counseling Psychology
Debbie Messenger graduated from Columbia College with a bachelor’s in psychology and the University of Missouri with a master’s in counseling psychology. Her work experience includes outpatient counseling as a licensed counselor in a community mental health setting, teaching substance education classes and providing advocacy for individuals in a criminal justice setting and managing treatment programs for the developmentally disabled. Debbie has passion for helping those struggling with anxiety, depression, grief/ loss and generally adjusting to life’s challenges. Abuse, trauma, and women’s issues are near to her heart. She is a wife, mother and stepmother in a blended family. She loves movies and hiking and is especially devoted to her family pet dog named “Jovi."
MMin | MA | BCCC | BCPC
Sue is married to Bob Geist, and, together, they have four children and 15 grandchildren. Sue received an MA in Ministry Counseling and an MA in Clinical Counseling from Grace College in Winona Lake, IN. She is certified in Pastoral Counseling and Board Certified in Pastoral Counseling and Christian Counseling from the International Board of Christian Counselors. She is on the Referral List of the Christian Care Network of the AACC and is an Ordained Minister of the Gospel through World Harvest Ministers Network- LeSea Ministries. Sue has many years of experience as a Pastor of Counseling, a therapist in a psychiatric hospital, a Chemical Dependency Treatment Center, a community mental health center as well as in the public school system. Sue loves to help people heal by praying with them and pointing them to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word which is crucial to their healing.
Jennifer Petersen graduated from Grace College with her Master’s in Counseling in 2003. Since graduation, she has been working in the Christian Counseling field. Jen believes that prayer is a crucial part of therapy and integrates it into each session. Her specialties are anxiety, depression, and children of divorce. Jen is married and has 3 children that she adores. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, music, and all kinds of animals
MA in Pastoral Psychology & Counseling
Paula Gast is the online counselor for LifeTouch Ministries & Counseling Center. She earned her MA in Pastoral Psychology & Counseling from Trinity Divinity School has worked privately with individuals over the years. As a pastor's spouse, she informally counseled many individuals and couples. Continuing education included spiritual formation and prayer counseling or inner healing. She currently works remotely with clients, to identify and resolve issues, then periodically evaluates progress with the client and adjusts the frequency as needed. It is her pleasure to help people identify and resolve underlying toxic emotions and thoughts, and live more productive, joy-filled lives. She and her husband, Chip, reside in Florida.
Merri is the evening receptionist for LifeTouch Ministries & Counseling Center. She is a retired nurse, volunteers at Warsaw Evangelical Presbyterian Church, is a member of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, and is the president and bookstore manager for the Friends of the Warsaw Community Public Library. She is looking forward to serving the community through LifeTouch.
MA Mental Health Counseling
Sandy holds a Masters in Mental Health degree from Grace College. Her work at a church counseling center included counseling clients with marriage issues, depression, trauma, and abuse. She has counseling experience with teens and parents in school and private settings. She is certified in trauma counseling. Sandy enjoys teaching. She has lectured nationally on parental rights and regionally on homeschooling methodology. During her career as a dental hygenist, she taught ethics and Juris prudence in the dental assistant department of the Dental School at Indiana University South Bend. Sandy is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. She and her husband have been married for 41 years and have a grandson who keeps them busy.