With a burden and a vision that the Gospel changes lives, Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, VA opened the doors of its Biblical Counseling Center on July 2, 2012. For several years prior, the pastoral staff at Spotswood had seen and expressed the need for full-time counselors.
In 2011, Spotswood’s senior pastor, Dr. Drew Landry, asked Pastor Gene Willis to transition from minister of music to a new role of service. Willis eagerly agreed to become the pastor counselor and to create a center that could minister to the Spotswood family and the community. Since its inception, the Spotswood Biblical Counseling Center (SBCC) has employed two licensed counselors and three lay biblical counselors. They are all members of the American Association of Christian Counselors.
As the center celebrates its tenth anniversary, Willis marvels at the work God has done. “Over the past 10 years, we have seen over 70 people come to trust Christ as their Lord and Savior. If that would have been the only result of our efforts in this unique ministry, it would have been worth all the labor, but God has done so much more. We are thankful to be used by the Lord in this growing ministry.” Willis credits the faithful support from the pastoral staff and the Spotswood family for enabling the work that God has done through the center.
Pastor Willis received permission to share this story:
A middle-aged woman came to the counseling center. She was abusing alcohol and had been unfaithful to her husband. Her background was Catholicism. We shared the Gospel with her, and she prayed to receive Christ into her life. Two weeks later, she brought her husband to counseling. After some difficult conversations, he also prayed and asked Jesus into his heart. This was about five years ago. Since then, their marriage has been restored, both are free from alcohol, and they are very involved in their church and community evangelical outreach. Hallelujah! (Each year, I receive a text marking their spiritual birthdays!) Others have come with no spiritual background at all and have since become Christ followers.
God has done so much through the SBCC!
- The center has ministered to children, teenagers, and adults weekly with an age range of 3 to 88 years.
- Over 2,200 people have received counseling, for a total of 22,500 individual visits as of May 2022.
- The center reaches the community—65% of the clients come from the local area. Biblical principles are used to counsel clients and provide tools for their individual needs, including stress, abuse, anger, grief, marital issues, family issues, and pre-martial counseling.
- Using Doxy (like Zoom), the center is able to minister to clients who are unable to physically visit the center, including people in Bahrain, Puerto Rico, Amsterdam, New York, and Florida. COVID actually expanded their reach!
- God is using SBCC’s counselors to help other churches start their own biblical counseling centers.
Counseling services are rendered at no charge with donations accepted. The center is funded by the church, along with generous donations received. Willis testified, “God is good!” ■
For more information about the Spotswood Biblical Counseling Center, visit: spotswood.org/sbcc