HopeWell has a trained team of pastors and counselors skilled in helping clients work through interpersonal and mental health issues using sound biblical counseling practices.
Trainers for the Church
HopeWell Ministries is a vehicle to Gospel-centered change for hurt and wounded people, working partnership with the local church by:
- Providing theologically sound and skilled counseling when complex issues rise beyond the ability of trained lay helpers.
- Providing local pastors with a safe place to which they can refer parishioners for counselors.
- Partnering with local churches equipping lay leaders to support people in need.
- Offering consulting services for church leadership as they seek to serve individuals and couples in their congregations.
Meet our Christian Care TeamWe look forward to working with you.
Rev. Cron Gibson
Founder, Executive Director
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, Master of Divinity, Clinical Member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
As a pastor, I have been serving individuals and couples who have been wounded by emotional, sexual, physical, and spiritual brokenness. My passion is helping people find life-transforming hope, build deep and satisfying relationships with others, and learn peace in their own souls in the midst of the deepest struggles in their lives and relationships. My vision for HopeWell came out of my own story and my experience as a pastor. I work with a great team to integrate sound psychological principles into a vibrant and deeply rooted Christian understanding of God, people, and life.
Leslie Macchia, LPC
Master of Arts in Community Counseling
I received a Master of Arts in Community Counseling from Regent University in Virginia Beach following my undergraduate experience at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Both educational experiences were formative in the way I view and practice spiritual integration in the helping professions. My experience has led me through work with adolescents in residential facilities as well as 18 years of work in pregnancy center counseling and management. I have enjoyed working with a variety of ages, races, and stages of life as they face and work through crisis and I am passionate about helping people break free from bondage. I am additionally trained in EMDR, an empirically researched and evidenced based approach to treating trauma. My own story has driven an additional interest in walking alongside individuals impacted by marital difficulties and divorce. I appreciate that Hopewell offers a unique opportunity to integrate faith in practice. A true extrovert, I enjoy spending my free time with my husband, my two wonderful children, and many great friends.
Christian Care Counselor
Master of Arts in Counselor Education
Knowing that my heart’s desire is to help love and care for hurting people, I completed my bachelors and masters degrees from the University of VIrginia in Psychology, Religious Studies, and Counselor Education to help me pursue my calling and my passion. I have struggled with a lifelong genetic condition that brings me invisible pain, and I am also a recent cancer survivor. As I personally walked and continue to walk the path of physical illness, both visible and invisible, God has taught me so much about how He loves us. Combining the experience I have gained as a counselor in high schools, nursing homes, at Hopewell, and across life, I hope to come alongside people who are hurting or confused whether they are old or young, single or married; offering hope, support, and peace through a deeper understanding of His love.
Board Certified Pastoral Counselor
Master of Arts in Counseling
I am a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor credentialed with the International Board of Christian Counselors and ordained through The River Revival Network. I started working in lay ministry in the areas of addiction and sexual and relational brokenness in 2002. I received my Masters in Counseling from Regent University in 2004 and worked as a professional counselor from 2005-2023. I have worked as a supervisor for counseling graduates within their Virginia residencies since 2014.
Everyone’s journey and path is unique to them. There is not a record in the gospels of Jesus healing the same way as he did in another encounter. There are lots of tools and options, and healing is expedited when you let the Lord light the path. My goal is to lead individuals to a safe place to learn how to work through hurt, rejection, bad experience, stress and insecurities and allow the Healer to guide them into a life of balanced health. Trauma takes a toll on the body. Using body-mind techniques, address the body and the way the body stores emotions.
Master of Arts in Biblical Studies and Counseling
I joined HopeWell because I believe in our mission to provide quality psychological care that is fully integrated into a Christian worldview. As a pastor and counselor, I’ve seen that there is nothing the nearness of Christ can’t overcome. My wife and I have been married over thirty years and raised two children while I served as a Navy Officer and as a minister – two vocations that place unique demands upon marriages and families. I have 20 years’ experience working with men in discipling relationships. I hold a Master’s degrees in Biblical Studies and Counseling. My goal in counseling is to make myself available to people and God and have Him lead us to His genius solutions to our difficulties.
Master of Divinity
My primary areas of focus are marriage and relationship counseling, serving ministry leaders, and guidance for spiritual and emotional health. I’ve been married 22 years and our family has learned God’s grace through challenging seasons of special needs and chronic illness; an adoption journey; and decades of ministry leadership. I know there is good news and hope for each stage of life, and that God has created us to flourish within the context of compassionate, healing relationships. I earned an M.Div from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis in 2003, where I’m currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree in Advanced Models for Pastoral Counseling. I’ve received advanced training in couple’s counseling through the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) and additionally through the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF).
Resident In Counseling
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from East Carolina University in 2001. Over the next 14 years, as I worked in full time ministry serving at-risk youth and families, I found that I longed to learn the necessary skills to help hurting individuals reach the place of healing and wholeness that will enable them to walk out their God given potential in life. As a result, in 2015, I moved to Virginia Beach to enter the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Regent University. I believe that every person, no matter who they are, how they feel, or what they have done is born in the image of God and is immeasurably loved by a good Father. My hope is that I can help individuals who are stuck in places of grief, uncertainty, or hopelessness to discover the place of healing and hope, so that they may live out the abundant life that God has planned for them to live.
Christian Care Counselor
Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from Messiah College in 2002. Afterwards I moved to Texas to grow in my understanding of discipleship and counseling. I worked on staff at a local church with their youth ministry for ten years. During this time, in 2008, I also received my Masters in Biblical counseling at Dallas Theological Seminary. Through the years I have counseled high school and college students, individuals and married couples. I have a passion for helping people find healing and change through exploring their stories and seeing Jesus in the midst. I consider it a privilege to walk alongside people in depression, anxiety, life changes, family dynamics, and many other circumstances. I was born and raised in Norfolk, where I now live with my husband and two kids.
Juan David Mejia, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor
I am a licensed professional counselor in the state of Virginia. I received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and History from William Paterson University, a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Nyack’s Alliance Graduate School of Counseling and a Master’s of Divinity from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before working as a professional counselor I served as a pastor for 6 years.
I specialize in working with couples, individuals in Christian ministry, and adults dealing with anxiety, depression, life transitions, relationship challenges, and sexual brokenness. As a Christian counselor, I seek to counsel from a biblical perspective and utilize a gospel-centered approach. In addition, I draw from a variety of therapeutic approaches according to the client’s specific needs. Mainly, I use interventions and insights from Attachment Theory, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Internal Family Systems, Emotionally Focused Therapy and the Gottman Method. I feel blessed to work at Hopewell and grateful for the opportunity of walking alongside people through their challenges and suffering.
Registered Art Therapist Provisional, ATR-P
I joined the HopeWell team because I am passionate about God, His Word, and serving people through counseling and ministry. I have a Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Art Therapy from Pennsylvania Western University.
I have experience working with children, adolescents, adults, and families both in the local church and in numerous behavioral health settings including inpatient facilities and as an in-home counselor. I enjoy working with people in all seasons of life and utilizing diverse therapeutic models, art interventions, and creative techniques as a way of encouraging self-awareness, emotional intelligence, healing, growth, and change. On my days off you can usually find me practicing self-care by painting, tidying my home, or hanging out with my husband while we read together or catch up on our days over an iced latte.
Resident in Counseling
Master of Arts in Counseling
As a Virginia Beach native, I love having the opportunity to work in my hometown helping individuals and families find hope and healing. I have been married to my husband Chris for over 16 years, and together we have four children. I graduated from the University of Virginia (go Cavaliers!) before pursuing my Masters Degree in Counseling. I enjoy working with individuals and families, helping navigate issues of trauma, grief, loss, relationship struggles and more. Additionally, I am an EMDR trained practitioner with specialized training in Somatic and Attachment focused EMDR. In my spare time, you can find me enjoying the outdoors with my family, drinking coffee with friends, or teaching fitness classes at the YMCA.
Resident in Counseling
Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
I graduated from William and Mary with my Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. I have experience working with adolescents and adults through complex issues like anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress across contexts including hospital, university and private practice settings.
People go through a range of painful experiences which negatively impact thoughts, feelings and behaviors. In turn, I understand that forming an alliance to collaboratively and gracefully explore someone’s story reveals the healing power of the Gospel of Christ. This can be a difficult and beautiful process that leads to a healthier, more vibrant life. Other approaches in my practice include psychological testing and neurofeedback (more info for these can be found on our Services page). In my free time, I enjoy quality time with my wife, brothers and friends in addition to engaging in life-giving activities like sports, games, and reading old sci-fi.
Christian Care Counselor
Master of Arts in Addictions Counseling, Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration
I am passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and specialize in addictions counseling, trauma healing, group therapy, and working with those who have experienced the criminal justice system. l have obtained a Master’s in Addictions Counseling from Liberty University and a Master’s in Criminal Justice Administration through Point Park University. Additionally, I am trained in Eye Movement Integration (EMI) which is used as a treatment for trauma. I have worked in a variety of counseling settings, including helping open an inpatient treatment center and running a substance-abuse program at a local jail.
Processing your story, the joy of deliverance, and discipleship are the focal points of my counseling because lasting change and freedom are only found in the Lord. I have 8 years of personal experience in being delivered from a myriad of addictions and struggles and I will walk with you as the Lord delivers you, too. Whether you need someone to listen, emphasize, or guide, I am here to love, encourage, and challenge you into knowing the Lord, your identity in Christ, and the specific call He has for you.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling
As the son of a pastor, I was born in Fort Worth, Texas and raised in Texas and Arkansas. My parents’ honeymoon was driving from their home state of Georgia to Texas for Dad to go to seminary there, I have been cross-cultural all my life! I believe I inherited my dad’s pastoral calling and gifting and have now been in the counseling field for over 30 years with a wide range of experience, including 11 years overseas working with a missionary sending agency. With my cross-culture experience, I have come to believe that every relationship is a cross-cultural relationship! I really enjoy working with couples as well as individually with men, women, and older teens. I believe God created us for intimacy, first with Himself, then with spouse and family, and then with His Church. Our own life struggles and hurts lead us to experience discouragement, fear, and shame and thus away from true intimacy–fully known and fully loved–that God created us for. In a God-honoring counseling relationship, where I see myself as the under counselor, I will work with you to guide you toward healing of hurts, losses, and traumas and toward healthy relationship skills that will allow you to begin to experience the intimacy for which you were created.
I lived in Virginia for 15 years, where we enjoyed both city, mountain, and beach life equally, and we are now in Wilmington, North Carolina for the last 18 months. Hurray for beach life! I am married to Alma, who is also a counselor in this practice, and we have two young girls who keep us busy. We are learning more and more to experience and love close fellowship with our local church here as well.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Master’s of Social Work
I’m South Carolina born and raised, and I studied at Columbia International University for undergrad with a focus in Bible Teaching, Theology, and Intercultural Studies. Post-grad, I landed in Virginia and, after some serious soul searching and navigating through my own dark night of the soul, I began my Master’s of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University. I’ve worked in a variety of settings, including with senior citizens in affordable housing, with patients in a state psychiatric hospital, and middle-class clients in private practice as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. The common thread among them all is trauma. It can be debilitating, but the good news is that healing is possible.
I’m passionate about helping people navigate the muck of life; including anxiety/depression, traumatic experiences, grief, end-of-life transitions for individuals and families, and those who’ve experienced spiritual abuse or are navigating the meaning of faith in Jesus. The prophet Jeremiah said, “They (the religious rulers of the day) have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” I believe you’re worth more. We can work together to find complete healing and joy to move forward in your life. Life is messy…complicated…multifaceted. Peeling back the layers, we can get you through whatever you’re facing.
I focus on the whole-person (physical, emotional, social, spiritual), meeting you where you are. We were made to live with joy, and if you’re in a place that you are finding hard to get through–know it is possible to come out of the other side. My approach is kind and compassionate, but sometimes confrontation and challenge is part of the healing process.
My family and I currently live in Wilmington, NC. If you were to bump into me on a day off, you’d find me at the beach, eating out, or at a park with my husband and two daughters. If you want to work together, we will meet via telehealth.
Registered Art Therapist- Provisional: ATR-P
Master of Arts in Art Therapy with an Emphasis in Counseling
I am a pre-licensed professional holding a provisional art therapy certification after receiving my master’s degree in art therapy at Saint Mary of the Woods College.
I joined the Hopewell team because I believe we are created for deep connection with God, self, and others. Through trials in my own life my own sense of hope and connection with God has carried me. It is my passion to help others find healing in Him through spirituality, art therapy, and counseling. I have experience working with children, adolescents, adults, groups, couples, and families dealing with a range of situations such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, relationship distress, life transitions, parenting, adoption, post-partum, stress, divorce – all through the therapeutic lens of art therapy. I take a client-centered approach to art therapy and incorporate dream therapy, Polyvagal therapy, parts work, mindfulness, and coping skills.
Art therapy is a wonderful way to help an individual or family unit explore and process innermost feelings, memories, thoughts, and fears through self-expression when verbal communication may be difficult. I take a Christian approach and have experience using Polyvagal therapy and dream work depending on the client.
In my free time; I enjoy spending time with my husband and five children, pyrography art, painting, reading, hiking, camping, Krav Maga, gardening, caring for our growing homestead, and helping at our local church community.
I look forward to meeting you and growing in this journey together.
Licensed Professional Counselor
Master of Arts in Counseling
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Virginia and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Kansas. I am recognized as a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors. I graduated with a Master of Arts in Counseling from MidAmerica Nazarene University.
I have a passion for helping individuals see themselves as the Lord sees them – as a son or daughter of the Most High! I enjoy helping individuals experience the joy of deepening their relationship with Christ while becoming rooted and grounded in an identity based on their attachment to our ever faithful Savior. I desire to create a space for each person walking into my office (either in person or virtually) that is safe, full of empathy and warmth, and that is an escape from the rush of day to day life – a space to slow down and to practice being mindful and present with the Lord and with ourselves. It is my joy to help individuals reach their personal goals utilizing a variety of approaches including ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), cognitive behavioral therapy, solution-focused therapy, narrative therapy, and mindfulness/meditation techniques. With over a decade of experience, I have walked with my clients through struggles with anxiety, depression, grief and loss, family and relationship issues, identity and self-worth, and adjustments to major life changes, and have also experienced many of these struggles on a personal level. I have additional training in CBIT (Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (therapy for tics and Tourette Syndrome).
In my free time, you’ll find me playing board games or video games with my husband, playing volleyball, going to the park with my dog, baking and cooking, or engaging in one of many craft hobbies (knitting, crocheting, wheel throwing, or painting).
Your Support Can Change a Life
Your gifts to HopeWell are tax deductible. More importantly, your gifts can literally save someone's life. We help people all the time who don't have the funds to get the help they need. In order for us to continue helping them, we need scholarship funds to provide for them. Would you give today to help provide for men, women, and children who need help? You can be the answer to their prayers.