Who We Are

The Vine is an ecumenical pastoral counseling center that promotes emotional healing with the love and grace of Christ.  We facilitate healing and wholeness in human life and relationships using faith resources.  Individuals find relief from emotional distress, depression, anxiety, insecurities and spiritual stagnation.  Couples find the resources needed to save and repair their broken marriages.  Families are reconciled and learn to resolve conflict and to live emotionally healthy.  Our expertise is Pastoral Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy.  Pastoral Counseling is provided by a professional who is both psychologically and theologically trained, who feels a sense of calling to service in the Church.  Five of our six staff members are ordained clergy.  The Vine, as a specialized ministry of  The Church, is supported by 20 different area congregations, bringing healing to members of the Body of Christ, thus empowering those who heal to greater service in their local congregations.

History of The Vine

In 1998 a committee from the Huntsville Association for Pastoral Care was formed to explore the need an ecumenical pastoral counseling center.  During this process, Frank Broyles, Executive Director of Huntsville Association for Pastoral Care (HAPC), introduced Amanda and Jack Ragland to Jim Norris.  The Raglands and Jim shared a common vision for a pastoral counseling center, one that would be supported by local congregations partnering to provide counseling.   Individuals, couples, and families in North Alabama would be served, regardless of their ability to pay.

In March of 1999, The Vine Pastoral Counseling Center was established, and the vision became a reality.  The name of The Vine is taken from John 15:5: “I am the Vine; you are the branches…apart from me you can do nothing.”   This reflects the Center’s being rooted in Christ while seeking to be vessels for His compassion and healing.

The Vine was officially incorporated on February 2, 1999, with the initial Board of Directors consisting of the following:

  • Rev. George Wagner, Madison Christian (DOC)
  • Rev. Bobby Ray Halbrooks, Madison UMC
  • Rev. David E. Tew, First Baptist Church, Madison
  • Rev. Carl Malm, The Huntsville Association of Pastoral Care
  • Mrs. Jeanne Hightower, lay representative from Faith Presbyterian
  • Rev. Robin Palmer, representing the Huntsville Association of Pastoral Care
  • Rev. David Tubbs, Good Shepherd UMC, Madison
  • Rev. Hugh Tobias, Trinity Baptist Church, Madison
  • Rev. Jim Roberts, Hope Presbyterian Church, Huntsville
  • Rev. Frank Broyles, The Huntsville Association of Pastoral Care
  • Rev. Fred Webster, Grace UMC, Madison
  • Rev. Michael Wilson, Trinity Baptist Church, Madison

The first day of business was March 9, 1999. Since that day, The Vine has provided over 32,000 hours of service  to people in northern Alabama and southern Tennessee.

Ten Year Vision

After celebrating ten years of ministry in fall of 2009, The Board of Directors engaged in a year-long visioning process in 2010 with the leadership of Amanda Ragland as Executive Director.  Through 2009, Jim Norris and Amanda served as Co-Directors.

The ten-year vision of  The Vine is to grow to have a downtown central office with eight satellite locations, with 6 full-time therapists, 7 part-time therapists and 4 interns, providing over 15,000 hours of counseling to the community each year.  We will continue to expand our Training Program, providing opportunity for professional development to younger therapists in the area of Pastoral Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy.   Our hope is to expand to have 30 supporting congregations.   We will continue to develop our Clergy Care Ministry under the leadership of Jim Norris as the Director of this ministry.  In addition, we will continue to add support groups as the need arises in our ministry and the community that will be offered free to members of supporting churches and to the greater public.

As of June 2011, The Vine has

–          grown from 6 to 20 supporting congregations

–          grown from 2 to 5 office locations

–          grown from 2 full-time staff to 4 full-time staff

–          served people from over 150 congregations

–          participated in the training of six therapists (three currently)

–          January of 2011, appointed Jim Norris as Director, Clergy Care Ministry

–          provided $69,785 of Scholarship Assistance

–          provided over 32,000 hours of counseling to individuals, couples and families

Possible Life Enrichment

The staff of The Vine make available life enrichment programs to the entire community. They are also available to come into your church to provide leadership in a workshop. A listing of possible topics follows. If you would like to make a request, please contact us.

Possible Life Enrichment Programs

  • Understanding Depression
  • Healing Wounds from the Past
  • Keys to a Successful Marriage
  • Keeping an Intimate Marriage
  • Spiritual Growth for Couples
  • Fighting that is Fair and Effective
  • Nurturing the Soul
  • Dancing with Your Shadow Self
  • Surviving Blended Families
  • Grieving with Faith
  • Marriage as Spiritual Growth
  • Parenting with Natural and Logical Consequences
  • Is Your Marriage in Trouble? Red Flags and Strategies
  • Understanding Your Child’s Behaviors
  • Understanding and Coping with Anxiety
  • Family as the Place where Faith Develops
  • Parenting Adolescents
  • Spirituality in Creative Stress Management
  • Forgiveness as the Process of Healing
  • Coping with Disability
  • “Be angry but do not sin”; Anger in Daily Living
  • Understanding and Channeling Sibling Rivalry