Third Baptist Church in Owensboro is one busy building. And I'm not even talking about weekly services and regular church activities throughout the week. Third Church opens its doors to the homeless in need of a meal on Thursdays and accommodates a recovery group on Tuesdays. And now, it plays host to licensed couples therapist and pastoral counselor Joe Bob Pierce and Cornerstone Counseling Services.

IN THE BEGINNING

Cornerstone Counseling started under Sunrise Children's Services. But as Sunrise initialized the phasing out of its counseling services, Joe Bob Pierce began to look for a facility in which to set up an office and continue his practice. Third Baptist Church pastor Dr. James Byrd learned of the need and offered Joe Bob a space in the church. And on July 1st, Joe Bob opened his counseling ministry at Third and saw his first clients less than one week ago--on July 5th.

COUNSELING THOSE IN NEED

Cornerstone Counseling integrates spiritual issues with behavioral science. And the services are available to those who may be impoverished or have no insurance. Obviously, there is some fiscal necessity, otherwise it couldn't last too long. So there are those who pay a reduced fee. But helping people is the top goal. While Joe Bob is a couple therapist, he also deals with general mental health complaints relating to depression, anxiety, and addictions. The best part is he has never had to turn people away. Joe Bob also explained that working in a church is a source of comfort for those seeking help, as some people will come to a church when they won't go anywhere else.

This is a tremendous and generous service offered by Cornerstone and Third Baptist Church--even more so when you consider there are only three such counseling sites in all of Kentucky. The other two are located in Berea and Richmond. So Joe Bob's counseling service is really the only of its type in Western Kentucky. And this city and the region as a whole are lucky to have it.