By Thad Williams
In the month of March, Temple Baptist Church will open a new wing of its building as a Counseling Center for members of the church and community to utilize.
In 2021, Temple hired a full-time therapist to fill the need the church saw to provide mental health support to people of the community. It initially started as an idea to have someone to meet with people for counseling, but quickly began to grow as time went on and word spread through the community.
Over the past several months, the counseling center at Temple has seen over 90 people seeking guidance counseling and other various forms of therapy. The church congregation decided that its current facilities were not properly housing the influx of people or properly respecting their right to privacy.
Temple has received several generous donations and held a series of discussions within the church, which has led to the hiring of a new part-time therapist and the construction of a new wing within the church which will create a private office space for sessions to be held.
Jordan Armentrout is the head counselor of the center and began working for the service in August 2021. Armentrout has been able to be a part of the service since its start and played a large part in the organization and creation of this new facility.
“The people have been generous enough to give to what it is that we are doing,” Armentrout said. “The church saw the need for more privacy … so therefore we’ve opened up construction on a wing of the church that is more private.”
The new facility will be located near the back of the church with its own private entrance to allow for people to feel more comfortable upon entry. It will also house multiple offices for people to meet with different therapists at a time, as well as have space for group therapy sessions.
The therapy center has been widely discussed among the church members, especially with the college students who make up a large part of its demographic.
Abigail Railey, a Louisiana Tech student on the Temple leadership team, has heard many discussions about the new facility being opened.
“It’s going to be a great space for counseling sessions,” Railey said. “I would like people to know that Temple tries their best to look after the members of the church along with non-members.”
With the opening of the new wing, the center will now be offering many new services. In addition to its one-on-one counseling sessions that have been offered in the past, group sessions will be offered for people dealing with issues such as trauma, grief, anxiety and more.
As of now, there are no set dates for when the opening will be, but the office is projected to be fully furnished by the first week of March. Temple will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony shortly thereafter.
The counseling center also offers prices that hope to better serve people seeking help. The center’s current rates to best help the community are currently set at $20 for college students, $60 for Temple Baptist Church members and $80 for members of the community.
Armentrout and the rest of the staff are anticipating the time when these services will be fully open to the public when they can assist as many people as possible with whatever they need.
“My experience here has been nothing short of fantastic,” Armentrout said. “I hope the hearts and lives of the people who walk through the doors of Temple Counseling Center are changed.”
For more information on how to get involved with the Temple Therapy Center, stop by Temple’s main office or call the center’s private line at 318-255-6940.