Nearly forty years ago, Marion Pietz walked into Porter Apostolic Pentecostal Church in Porter, Texas. A native of New York, Pietz had very little knowledge of the Pentecostal movement. On that Sunday she knew her life could not continue its current path. A counselor struggling with her own substance abuse issues, Pietz met Jesus Christ through the power of His Spirit during that service. Her life immediately changed. Pietz knew she had found what she had been missing.
A short time later, Pietz opened a private counseling practice just north of Houston, Texas. She began speaking at area churches, providing training for corporations, and eventually launched her own ministry, Humor Therapy. Over time, Pietz began receiving requests from pastors to assist with situations in their churches. She felt God leading her into something deeper.
Out of this urging, Pietz formed the Center for Apostolic Counseling (CAC) for the purpose of providing a safe place for Apostolics to seek help for their mental and emotional health. Later Esmeralda Delgadillo joined the practice as an intern. Delgadillo was a minister and pastor’s wife who began taking on Apostolic clients to help local churches. For several years, these ladies ministered, counseled, taught, and assisted pastors with difficult situations.The CAC plans to continue expanding its network across the nation so they can provide services to all Apostolics in need. Click To Tweet
In 2018, Chad Parker joined the team as a counseling intern. Parker spent many years working with children and families at Tupelo Children’s Mansion as a social worker and also served as the executive pastor at Royalwood Church. He began working to set up the CAC as a 501 (c)(3) organization.
The CAC has a three-fold mission:
- To provide counseling and therapeutic services from an Apostolic worldview by state-licensed mental health professionals.
- To be the primary resource for pastors by providing mental health education, workshops, and seminars, and to be a referral source for those who need a place to send their constituents.
- To act as a networking center for all Apostolic state-licensed therapists and mental health professionals, while also providing client referrals to those in the network.
The CAC reached another important milestone in 2019 when the United Pentecostal Church International officially endorsed the organization.
At present, the CAC network includes thirteen mental health professionals in eight states. A program for ministerial restoration is being piloted with the South Texas District, and approximately a hundred inquiries for services from fifteen different states have been processed. The CAC plans to continue expanding its network across the nation so they can provide services to all Apostolics in need.
If you or someone you know could benefit from the CAC’s services, you may contact the network for a referral by visiting apostoliccounseling.com/contact-us. The CAC will attempt to connect the individual with an Apostolic therapist in their area. Telemental health (distance counseling) services are available for those who are not able to attend sessions in person.
To learn more about the Center for Apostolic Counseling, visit their website at apostoliccounseling.org.
Chad Parker is a licensed master social worker and licensed professional counselor, as well as a board certified telemental health provider. He specializes in working with families from all backgrounds. Chad also is an ordained minister with the United Pentecostal Church International. He is available to conduct seminars and training sessions on topics such as marriage, parenting, and leadership.
(A version of this article was used for the Family Ministries newsletter.)
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