Pastoral Care And Counseling


Pastoral Care – Who We Are

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 emailing Andrew Potts.

Pastoral Care and 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 contact us.

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 contact us.

Financial Counseling

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

Grief Care

GriefCare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.

Cancer Support

If you or a loved one is battling cancer, you are not alone. Cancer Support Group is for those whose lives are being affected by cancer. The group meets bi-weekly to encourage, comfort, and care and is led by Fran and Allen Gruver.

Support Groups

We offer a variety of rotating support groups as we provide pastoral care to our people. You can find a whole listing here.

Meet Our Pastoral Care And Counseling Staff

To see our complete staff, click here.


Steve Brubaker is the Counseling Pastor at GCC. He was born in Lancaster but as the son of a Navy retiree moved around a lot as a child before returning to Lancaster upon his Dad’s retirement. Steve graduated from McCaskey High School, Lancaster Bible College and Millersville University with an M.Ed. in Counselor Education. His experience includes urban church work and ministry with those in a condition of homelessness and addiction. He is married to Kerry, a native of Bloomington, MN and a graduate of the U of Minnesota and Dallas Theological Seminary who works at Water Street Rescue Mission. Both Steve and Kerry were part of the founding of GCC. They are the parents of two daughters, Hannah, a nurse in the PICU at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Gabrielle, who works at Penn Health/LGH and is married to Alex, a Northern Lancaster County Regional Policeman. 

Deb Groff – Biblical Counselor

Deb Groff is a Board Certified Biblical Counselor (BCBC) through the American Association of Christian Counselors and is a graduate of Shippensburg University. Deb primarily focuses counseling to women and also coordinates the scheduling and intakes for all the counselors at GCC.

Cheryl Paxson – Pastoral Counselor for Children

Cheryl Paxson is the Christian Counselor whose main work is with children at GCC.   She has always lived in Lancaster County.  Cheryl graduated from Penn Manor High School and Millersville University with a BA in Psychology and an M.Ed in Counseling.  She holds PA Counselor Certification from grades Kindergarten to Twelve.  Cheryl worked for two years as a Social Worker in a retirement home, two years at Crisis Intervention and twenty years as an Elementary School Counselor.   The American Association of Christian Counselors accepted Cheryl’s credentials as a Retired Member.  Cheryl has earned Certification as a Mental Health Coach through AACC and Light University.   She has enjoyed singing in the Ocean Grove, New Jersey, Choir Festival for many years.  Cheryl  is married to Jim, who grew up in Cochranville, PA.  Jim is a retired Business Manager, who continues to enjoy cabinet making.  Jim and Cheryl enjoy traveling in their camper and spending time with their two grown children and extended families.

Melanie Avila – Pastoral Counselor for Children & Teens

Melanie Avila serves part-time in the counseling department. She grew up in Lancaster County as a pastor’s kid, receiving solid Christian parenting and teaching in the home and church. During undergraduate studies abroad in Kenya and Europe, she felt and grew in God’s compassion for the poor. Since graduation from Messiah University, she has served cross-culturally among African orphans and vulnerable children and their families in Latin America. In between missionary service in Colombia and Los Angeles, she attended Fuller Seminary and received a Master’s degree in Intercultural Studies. Upon her return to Lancaster County in 2017, Melanie served as a bilingual (Spanish) school-based therapist in York City. She currently works in the Community Health Department at LGH, supporting children, and other family members, impacted by a loved one’s substance use. Her experience and witness of God meeting people, and herself, in the midst of unforeseen circumstances and hard realities enables her to be a steady, loving presence alongside others. Melanie has three daughters, Samaya, Genesis, and Kayla and resides in Millersville.  Melanie longs to help others discover they are beloved children of God, deepen their knowledge and understanding of God’s truth, and experience healing and wholeness in Jesus Christ in the ups and downs of life.