Pastoral Care and Counseling

Biblical Counseling and Visitation

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency that requires immediate attention, please contact Crisis Intervention at 717-394-2631

Pastoral Care

Grace Community Church is committed to pastoral care.


You matter to our Pastors and our staff. We will look for you on Sunday and be sure to learn your name. You will always be more than a number at GCC. If you are hospitalized or are unable to attend services for a period of time, our pastors and deacons will visit and encourage you and your family in the Lord. You just need to let us know by calling the church office (717-464-5333) and asking to talk to our Pastoral Care Coordinator, Deb Shank.

Pastoral Counseling Services

Pastoral Counseling

At Grace Community Church, we provide pastoral counseling services and Christ-centered, Biblical spiritual direction free of charge for members and regular attenders in need of these services. We are not therapists, psychologists, or social workers, but specifically pastoral counselors who counsel from the Word of God. If you would like to set up an appointment for counseling, coaching, or spiritual direction, please fill out the form below.

Marriage Mentors

Couples are available who work as marriage mentors. Marriage mentoring couples will meet with you and your spouse on a monthly basis to help you navigate the difficult transition points in marriage. These couple have been trained to deal with a variety of issues. If you would like to work with a mentoring couple, please fill out the form below.

Financial Counseling

GCC offers financial counseling for issues such as budgeting, debt recovery, dealing with spending habits, estate planning, financial skills (use of debit cards, checks, balancing a checkbook, etc…). Please fill out the form below to set up an appointment to meet with one of our financial counselors.

Divorce Care For Kids

Divorce Care for Kids is a special group to help children heal from the hurt caused by the separation or divorce of their parents. At our weekly DC4K group, kids make friends with other kids who understand how they feel and the things they are going through because of the divorce of their parents. Best of all, children will how learn how God’s love can strengthen them and help turn tears to hope and joy! Our DC4K groups meets weekly in 10 week cycles. We combine games, crafts, activities, music and DVD dramas to create a fun atmosphere where children feel comfortable and accepted. They look forward to each time their DC4k “family” gets together. DC4K is designed for children ages 5-12. For more information, fill out the form below.

Grief Share

Are you or someone you know dealing with grief and struggling to make sense of the death of a loved one? Grief Share is a non-denominational, world-wide network of churches that offers a 13-week program featuring biblical concepts for addressing, expressing and learning to cope with significant losses through death. The format for this group includes weekly DVD seminar teachings, lay-facilitated discussion/care groups and take home workbooks that provide a short, daily Bible study and a weekly "grief work" page for personal application, journaling and reflection. The group is open to both GCC attendees as well as those in our community.

Grief support is provided on an individual as-needed basis this fall & led by Cheryl LeFever or Erma Sauder. Fill out the form below to express interest.

Meet Our Pastoral Counseling Staff

Jim Heckman

Jim Heckman is a graduate of Biblical Theological Seminary and the Graduate School at Lancaster Bible College. He is a Board Certified Christian Counselor (BCCC) and Board Certified Pastoral Counselor (BCPC) through the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is also an ordained pastoral counselor with the Evangelical Congregational Church. Jim has over 26 years of counseling experience, having worked in church counseling ministries, various mental health agencies, as a school counselor, and in private practice. He is also a member of the International Christian Coaches Association and the American Association of Christian Counselors. Jim also supervises the lay counselors as a part of this ministry.

Alyssa Roberts

Alyssa Roberts has held the role of Pastoral Counselor for Children since November 2017 and previously volunteered at Grace Community Church of Willow Street. She is a graduate from Messiah College and received a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with the integration of a biblical perspective. She is also a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and is actively completing the state’s requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Pennsylvania. Alyssa has worked with diverse clients and scenarios in the past in outpatient (children, teens and adults) and partial care (children and teens) settings. Although Alyssa’s position primarily focuses on work with children, she also sees other age groups for individual, group and couples counseling. The goal of all forms of counseling is to promote individual physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual wellness in a safe setting that fosters healing and growth.

Deb Shank

Deb Shank provides administrative support to the Lead Pastor, Congregational Care and Counseling Pastor, and Associate Pastor. She also coordinates pastoral care calls and visits between the pastors and those in the hospital, assisted care facilities, under hospice care, and those who are homebound.


Since she began attending GCC in 2001, she has been a part of the Ministry Council, Congregational Care Commission, Women’s Ministry, Small Group Leadership and the Discipleship Commission. Her heart’s passion is to see people’s lives changed by Jesus, encouraging them to know Him and live according to His perfect and peace-filled plan.


Deb is a graduate of Shippensburg University and lives in Willow Street with her dog, Tilly.