FIRST CONTACT would not exist without our staff & volunteer team of dedicated professionals. Thank you to all our volunteers, who sacrifice their time and efforts to help us make a positive change in our community, and accomplish our mission. The following individuals currently serve on the FIRST CONTACT team:
Craig received his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Religious Education from Gardner Webb University and his Masters of Arts degree in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been certified by SBIRT (clinical skills training) and is an NAADAC Certified Recovery Coach. He has served as Pastor, Minister of Evangelism, Education, and Youth in over 20 years of ministry. He is a board member of the Blue Ridge Prison and Jail Ministry. Craig has experienced firsthand the struggle and devastation of addiction.He has a passion for those suffering from Substance Abuse Disorder as well as family members who have had their lives dramatically affected by its consequences. He founded First Contact to help those struggling with addictions to formulate a path to recovery, and a plan to return to a life of normalcy. He serves to inform and educate families and provide comfort and support.
Ellen received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Business Administration from Western Carolina University. She has been the Executive Secretary for the NC Tomato Growers Association for over 18 years and is a native of Henderson County. Ellen recently retired from the State of North Carolina with 30 years of service in administrative office work. She has an extensive background in managing and organizing casework, budgets, and data for the N.C. Family Court and Dept. of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention systems. Ellen loves her family and enjoys singing in the church choir and playing the piano. She has experienced the loss of a loved one due to addiction. As a volunteer with First Contact since December of 2014, she has a heart for working with families dealing with loved ones in addiction and helping support them through their struggles. She wants to help others understand and deal with the pain caused by addiction.
Barb received her Bachelors of Science degree in Finance from Northern Illinois University. Her career in Accounting has spanned 35+years, the majority of which was for 2 employers: The Gillette Company (part of Procter and Gamble) and ZeniMax Media Inc. (Rockville, MD) , a video game developer and publisher. Barb has experience in most areas of Accounting as well as Financial Statement preparation, maintenance of large databases, and report creation. She retired as Sr. Accountant from ZeniMax Media in 2015.
Barb feels richly blessed by God to be able to retire early and live in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. She is thankful for the opportunity and desire to remain productive in retirement and has been a First Contact volunteer since July 2017. Barb works with our outside Accountants to facilitate the accurate processing of our Accounting and Financial Statement preparation.
Chastity has a heart for helping women in addiction. Her desire is to lead them to Christ. She listens to their needs and issues and takes the appropriate action to guide them toward healing and restoration.
Chastity and her husband, John, attend King’s Grove Baptist Church where Chastity sings in the choir.
Chastity has been involved in the Hendersonville County Jail Ministry for several years and has been the moving force to help the women go from jail to a Christ-centered recovery program. She refers them to First Contact who works diligently meet the individual needs of each woman.
Joshua comes from a professional background of manufacturing and engineering. However, he grew up in a family corrupted by addiction, violence, isolation, and incarceration. Adopting these destructive habits, he began his own struggles with addiction and substance abuse around the age of 13. At the age of 32, Josh was an alcoholic, substance abuser and an atheist. Realizing he had come to the end of himself and had nowhere else to turn, he gave his life to Christ.
A few years after his conversion, Chastity invited him to come be a men’s coach at First Contact. Since then, Josh has developed our Overcome curriculum and leads the men’s class while his wife, Kodi, leads the women’s Overcome class.
Personally, the Lord has blessed him and stretched him to grow with various opportunities that were never on his radar: he and his wife adopting children from the foster care system, helping others in addiction, and a direction to use the talent to write for God’s glory.
Josh realizes that if it wasn’t for Jesus’ work on the cross, even while Josh rejected Him, none of this would be possible (Romans 5:8). He also wants to thank all of the coaches and volunteers that dedicate their time to help this ministry and everyone who is blessed by it.
Job Placement Ministry Director
Margaret was born and raised in London, England and still has family in that area. She came to the States in the late 60’s, and even after all of these many years here, she has still managed to keep her accent!
During her time in London, England she was working with an employment agency. On coming to the states she purchased an employment agency seeking jobs for temporary and permanent positions.
During her working career, she was self-employed for the majority of that time and owned three separate businesses in Charlotte.
Bob and Margaret moved to Hendersonville in 2001. They will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in September. They are the proud parents of 4 children, and 5 granddaughters ranging in age from 4 to 23 years old.
She was motivated to volunteer at First Contact after losing a daughter 4 years ago to alcoholism. In addition to working at the Resale Store, she is also the Job Placement Ministry Director for First Contact. Her primary responsibilities include finding job opportunities for those that graduate from the First Contact program. These two volunteer jobs give her a great deal of satisfaction by helping others.
Women’s Placement Coordinator
Jen joined the First Contact staff after her graduation from the Life Challenge WNC program in Sylva, NC, where she also worked as an intern for six months. She has experience serving others in the restaurant industry and helping heal clients of a different, furrier type during her time at an animal hospital. Her most valuable experience for sharing hope and help to others in her role at First Contact, comes from her own journey through addiction into recovery.
During her childhood and into adulthood, Jen experienced a number of abusive relationships, resulting in her turn to alcohol and drugs to numb her pain. She learned about First Contact from her then boss, a recovering addict who had also had been assisted by First Contact’s services. Though she recalls being angry with God at the time, Jen came upon the Scripture verse, Joshua 1:8-9. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” She believes that verse is what prompted her to reach out to First Contact at the precise time she was ready for help, resulting in her being placed into the rehab program that helped her build her relationship with God.
As a new placement coordinator, Jen enjoys talking to people about their experiences, sharing her own story, and expressing the freedom she has found through knowing Jesus. She encourages others to find their way out of the darkness by accepting the assistance First Contact offers. She is motivated by seeing lost lives transformed when the women she meets reach out to Jesus for salvation.
In her free time, Jen enjoys spending time at the park, and working out at the gym.
Men’s Placement Coordinator
Teague joined the First Contact team upon his graduation from the Christian Care Center program in Leesburg, FL. He has many years of experience in the construction and manufacturing industries, but finds his most relevant experience for helping others in his role at First Contact is his own struggle with addiction. After a number of years of relapse and hard times, Teague believes with God’s help he is on a journey to “the rest of my life, clean and sober.” Teague learned about First Contact’s work through his family, and has observed first-hand the difference it has made in the lives of some of his friends.
As a new placement coordinator, Teague uses his experiences to encourage men seeking help with addiction. He enjoys sharing his message of hope with others, and assisting them in finding and entering available programs best suited for their situation. He is excited about his future, and how he might serve to guide and encourage others in his community.
Teague came to know the Lord at an early age, and is enjoying a renewed relationship with Him in his recovery.
He loves all things sports, and enjoys playing golf and basketball in his spare time.
Bonnie has navigated the rolls of accounting clerk and office manager for the last forty years within the medical field and the business community. She and her husband Steve retired here in Hendersonville to be closer to their children and grandchildren. They attend Mud Creek Baptist Church where they volunteer regularly. Bonnie has known, loved and walked with the Lord for forty-three years.
Bonnie brings a level of expertise and professionalism that fits perfectly within the First Contact Addiction Ministry family. She loves this ministry and constantly goes above and beyond what is expected in order to ensure that the logistics of the ministry are well attended to.
Denise brings over 26 years of experience in the Health Care Industry in Accounts Receivable Billing and Collection Management. With this type of experience, she is well qualified to serve First Contact Addiction Ministry. Two of those years were with HCA Westlake Hospital and 5 years was with the University of Behavioral Center in Orlando, Fl, both being Inpatient and Outpatient facilities with treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction. She retired after 14 years from an independently owned Compounding Pharmacy which specialized in pain management.
Denise feels that the years of experience, knowledge, and understanding in these areas of health care was simply God’s way of preparing her to be led in July of 2017 to serve the Lord at First Contact Addiction Ministries.
ReSale Store Manager
Geff brings over 10 years of experience from his work at the Salvation Army and Community Aid organizations. His specialties include opening new stores and managing them. He also has valuable experience as an entrepreneur in running his own cleaning business.
Geff has had his own struggles with addiction, and graduated from the Christian Care Center program in Leesburg, FL in 2016. After graduation, he was on staff at the center as a cook, and then as an intake coordinator. It was during this time that he developed a passion for helping others who struggle with addiction.
While serving in Leesburg, Geff also heard about First Contact’s mission. He recently relocated from Florida to serve as the new Resale store manager where he enjoys serving with his employees and volunteers, seeking to help bring out the best in them.
He comes from a loving, Christian family. He came to salvation at the age of 8, but notes he did not really begin to connect and fall in love with the Lord until 2009. He feels extremely appreciative for all the amazing things God has done, and continues to do in his life.
Geff has five children, three boys and two girls, whom he loves very much. In his spare time, he enjoys being with his family, fishing, and watching movies.
Diane holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Cedarville University. She has spent 20+ years working in the communications and marketing fields in the retail, IT, and education industries. Diane is also an entrepreneur with over 18 years of experience running an online business. She first came to First Contact in 2015 as a member of the family support group and knows firsthand the struggles and heartache of loving a child caught in the dark web of addiction. In 2018, Diane lost her son, Justin, who was 26 years old.
Diane has served as volunteer web designer and communications consultant at First Contact since 2015. In her new role as Communications Director, she works to develop and execute new internal communications policies and programs, as well as on marketing, social media, and promotion of First Contact to the outside community. She also serves as web/graphic designer and content creator for the ministry’s various needs. At First Contact, Diane loves the opportunity to observe firsthand the all-encompassing power of God in changing wrecked lives. After losing her son, she uses her work at the ministry as a channel for communicating hope to struggling families and individuals in the community. She also leads a Celebrate Recovery 12 Step class for women at Trinity Baptist Church in West Asheville.
Diane came to salvation as a young child. She grew up in a Christian home, with a Christian family. Her faith has grown over the years through many trials and tribulations, and especially through the tragic loss of her son. She looks to the Lord as her only hope and comfort, recognizing God’s sustaining grace and mercy as the motivation that gets her through each day.
Diane’s favorite hobby is spending time with her grandbaby and her family. She also loves to travel (camera in hand), is enamored with the “old world”, and never turns down a good gelato.