The Book Of James


May 4 – 6, 2023


Fellowship of Biblical Counselors


May 4 , 7:15 – 8:00 PM

Atam V. Abbi

Workshop: Healing in the Church

A biblical and medical perspective of healing of the mind

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Bio – Atam V. Abbi MD Director of ER and Hospital Medicine Spring View Hospital

Director of Men’s Ministry at Lighthouse on the Rock Fellowship 

Active in Counseling at Lighthouse

May 5 , 07:15 — 07:45 AM

Mark Shaw

Workshop: Understanding Temptation and the war within your heart 

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Bio: Mark is an ordained minister and Founder of The Addiction Connection. As an author, speaker, teacher of the Word, and certified alcohol and drug addiction counselor, Mark has been involved in helping people who struggle with addictions since 1991. He serves as the Director of Counseling at Grace Fellowship Church in Florence, KY. He and his wife, Mary, have 4 young adult children.
May 6 9:00 — 09:50 AM

Kevin Kirby

Plenary: James 3

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Bio: Pastor Kevin Kirby was certified with NANC in 1996 and has transitioned to A.C.B.C. 

He is also certified with I.A.B.C. and F.B.C. 
Kevin has been counseling for over 30 years. He completed his BA in Pastoral Ministry and his Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. He is the Director of the FBC Training Center in North Myrtle Beach S.C. and a conference speaker. He has been married to Tammy for 41 years and they have 2 children and 6 grandchildren.
May 6 , 9:55 — 10:45 AM

Dr. Nicolas Ellen

Keynote: The Centrality of Repentance

Understanding How godly sorrow and worldly sorrow works and the evidence of repentance in the life of an individual 

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Bio: Dr. Ellen is the Senior Pastor of Community of Faith Bible Church in Houston Texas and Senior Professor of Biblical Counseling at the College of Biblical Studies in Houston, Texas. Dr. Ellen is also a Visiting Professor and Co-Director of  the MABC program at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth, Minnesota. In addition, Dr. Ellen has also developed a biblical counseling training center called Expository Counseling Training Center LLC.

He received his B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Houston, Houston, Texas, his M.A. in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas, his M.A. in Biblical Counseling from The Masters University, Santa Clarita, California, his Doctorate of Ministry with a concentration in Biblical Counseling from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Louisville, Kentucky and his PH.D in Biblical Counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

 Dr. Ellen is a certified Biblical Counselor with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC), a Fellow with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC) and travels nationwide with the organization teaching biblical counseling principles. Dr. Ellen and his wife Dr. Venessa Ellen have two children and four grandchildren.

May 6 , 2:15 — 03:00 PM

Dr. Daniel Berger


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Bio: Dr. Daniel R. Berger II is the lead pastor at Faith Fellowship Church in Clarence, NY (, the founder and director of Alethia International Ministries (AIM), and serves as the director of Faith Biblical Counseling Center. When He is not with his family and church family, Daniel continues to write and to speak around the world in churches, organizations, medical communities, and at various counseling and teacher’s conferences. He is also an experienced pastor, counselor, school administrator, and the author of thirteen books, which focus on biblical counseling, biblical phenomenology, practical theology, education, parenting, and the history and philosophy behind the current mental health construct. Daniel earned his B.S. in counseling, an M.S. in counseling/psychology, an M.A. in pastoral studies, and a doctorate in pastoral theology. 

 Daniel is also an adjunct professor at several Universities and seminaries-including serving as the director of a post-grad degree at SEBI (Brasilia, Brazil) in Biblical Counseling, which is specifically focused on understanding the construct of mental illness from a biblical perspective and establishing a biblical phenomenology for mindsets, emotions, and behaviors claimed to be abnormal within secular thinking. He also teaches adjunctly at Strengthening Ministries Training Institute (SMTI) in South Africa.

May 6 , 2:15— 03:00 PM

Steve Hammond

Plenary: James 5

Am I Fooling Myself? Is My Faith Really Faith?

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Plenary description: How much does a Christian have to hate someone who has wandered from the truth of the gospel and yet not seek to restore the sinner back to the church where all hope is found in Christ alone. As the saints minister and encourage him through prayer and confession as he embraces the grace of God once again.


FBC Board Member

In 1999, the Lord awoke me and saved me from my depraved, unwilling mindset toward His Spirit and His Word.  He redeemed me from my rebellious lifestyle and  bondage to addiction.  Through His unfailing love, He chastised me and drew me near to Himself as His child (Hebrews 12:5, 6).  His precious promises in I Corinthians 6:9-11 became my own testimony, “….and such were some of you; but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  As I sought to walk out my new identity as a passionate follower of Christ, I met my wife, Melanie and we were married later that year.  Together, we were burdened to share with others who were struggling the hope that we had found in Christ and His sufficient Word alone.  We began studying biblical counseling and were eventually certified with four counseling organizations (ACBC, IABC, FBC and TAC).  I was also ordained and have continued to own my own car dealership as a primary means of support.  The Lord has blessed with eight children and nine grandchildren (to date). 

In 2003, we founded C.H.O.I.C.E.S. Biblical Counseling Ministry.  Over the years, C.H.O.I.C.E.S. has grown to include biblical counseling and counselor training, a pregnancy resource center, an after school teen program, jail ministry, crisis housing for women, and other means of discipleship and outreach in our community and churches. In 2021, I was called to reopen Freedom Baptist Church in Freedom, NY as senior pastor.

We are excited about the ministry and future of FBC in equipping laymen in our local churches to confidently minister with the sufficiency of God’s Word as they walk alongside the lost and hopeless.   There is a great need to make this training accessible and available to common believers.  Acts 4:13, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”.  We are honored to serve the ministry of FBC as it is committed to equipping believers who are willing to be conduits of the Holy Spirit’s truth and power.

May 4 , 6:00 – 7:05 PM

Brian Wright

Plenary: James 1

We Can Be Sure of the Purpose of God (1:1–12),
We Can Be Sure of the Goodness of God (1:13–20),
We Can Be Sure of the Word of God (1:21–27)

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The experiences that come to the children of God are not by accident (Romans 8:28). We have a loving Heavenly Father who controls the affairs of this world and who has a purpose behind each and every event.
Christians must expect trials to come; James does not say “if” but “when.”

God tests faith by the Word, not by man’s words.


Bio –  Brian Wright is an  Elder at  Faith Fellowship, has been an IABC Certified Biblical Counselor since 2012, and  Board Member of the Fellowship of Biblical Counselors since its inception in 2019.   Brian has been married to Randa for 32  years and together they have 3 kids, a precious son in law, and another soon-to-be son in law, who love the Lord.

May 5 , 7:15 — 08:00 AM

Ed Buch

Workshop: Breaking Free from the Power of Lust

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In repenting of his adultery, David cried out, “Create in me a clean heart, O God!” This is still the cry of multitudes who find themselves ensnared in sexual sin. A pure heart is one that has been released from the grip of sexual idolatry, delivered from the habitual pursuit of sinful desires—a heart where the power of lust has been broken. This workshop examines five key principles about lust and focuses on equipping counselees with biblical responses that will lead them into sustained victory. 


Bio: Ed Buch has served in various roles with Pure Life Ministries since 2005, currently as Vice President for Counseling Programs. In this capacity he oversees the Residential Program and the At-Home counseling programs for sexual addicts and their wives, as well as pastoring the 75 students and 40+ staff at Pure Life. He is a graduate of Evangelical Seminary (MAR, Counseling) and a certified biblical counselor (FBC, IABC).

May 5 , 6:00 — 07:05 PM

Jeff Colon

Plenary: The Role of Faith in Counseling (Discipleship) 

May 6 , 1:25 — 02:00 PM

Rose Colon

Workshop: The Faithfulness of God

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Bio: Jeff and Rose Colón are certified counselors through the Fellowship of Biblical Counselors (FBC). Jeff is also an Ordained Minister and holds an Mdiv and BA in Biblical Counseling from Master’s Graduate School of Divinity. Rose has her Master’s of Ministry in Biblical Counseling from Master’s Graduate School of Divinity.

Jeff and Rose have been residents of Grant County for over 23 years.  During that time period, they have offered biblical counseling to many couples and young adults on various issues. They frequently minister to couples, young adults, and speak regularly at the annual FBC conference. They have also conducted workshops and seminars for pastors, Christian counselors and Bible college students.

May 6 , 10:55 — 11:45 AM

Dr. Venessa Ellen

Workshop:  Integrity Does It Matter in the Life of a Counselor?

Exploring the value of Integrity in the life of a Biblical Counselor  and the implications thereof

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Bio: Dr. Venessa Ellen is the President of Real Life Women’s Ministry, LLC., Vice President of Expository Counseling Training Center and Director of Women’s Ministry at Community of Faith Bible Church. Additionally, she has been internationally recognized as a speaker, lecturer and trainer in Women’s Ministry for over 25 years. Dr. Ellen has also been known for teaching and training on the subject of Church Administration / Organization.  Dr. Ellen has spoken globally and is valued for her compassion, understanding and biblical insight. Her messages are grounded in her faith in Jesus Christ. She has developed various Women’s Ministry programs while leading Women’s ministries and provided training in biblical counseling for women. Dr. Ellen previously served as Chair and Professor of the Women’s Ministry Department at a well-known Bible College in Houston, Texas. Additionally, she has served as a blogger for many different Christian organizations.
May 6 , 1:25 — 02:00 PM

Dr. Kevin Backus


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Bio: Pastor Kevin and his wife Sharon have been members of Bible Presbyterian since they came to Christ as teenagers. Kevin joined the pastoral staff in 1982. In 1998 the congregation extended a call to him to become the Senior Pastor. His commitment to the sufficiency of Scripture is evident in all he does; and the congregation cherishes his gifted teaching, counseling and leadership which sets the tone for our ministry and is instrumental to the equipping of our church.

  • B.A. – Shelton College
  • M.Div. – Faith Theological Seminary
  • S.T.M. – Whitefield Theological Seminary
  • Ph.D. – Whitefield Theological Seminary
  • Fellow – Association of Certified Biblical Counselors
  • Certified Christian Conciliator
May 6 , 12:30— 01:15 PM

Dr. Mark Hager

Plenary: Counseling from James 4

From the origin, the central focus and the collective attitudes in conflict, James chapter four is one of the most pack-filled theological messages for the counseling relationships in crisis.  We underestimate the inspirational value and the profound methodology of utilizing James chapter for getting to the heart of a matter with confidence. One theologian noted about James chapter four, “getting to the heart of the matter, is the matter of the heart.”

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Bio: Dr. Mark Hager is a certified biblical counselor through FBC, IABC, and ACBC. He serves as Director of Biblical Counseling and Training at Timberlake Baptist. He holds an MDiv in Pastoral Ministry.

As former police officers with serious marital conflict, my wife Cindy and I were saved through a biblical counseling ministry. Because of our new life in Christ and a restored marriage through biblical counseling, we became interested in helping other broken and lost people in the restorative and redemptive process, armed with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. I began preparing for vocational ministry in the local church through Bible College (USAFCC to Doctoral work in biblical counseling). My training included intense pastoral mentorship and counseling by capable and skilled theologians and counselors, and I have served as a local pastor in four states (ordained in 2004), seminary professor in Kansas City (2013 to 2017), and a biblical counselor in every pastoral assignment (1996 to current).

The Fellowship of Biblical Counselors understands the importance and the biblical authority of all biblical counseling ministries within, and in submission to,thelocal church (1 Timothy 3, Titus 2, and Hebrews 13). The organization and structure of such an important ministry of God’s Word is best protected and administered within the accountable and watchful eye of God-ordained men called to care for the souls of God’s people. FBC supports the local church leadership and biblical authority of the local church as the greater authority in utilizing the gifts and resources of every local ministry of biblical counseling. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as an FBC board member and applaud the uncompromising biblical conviction of FBC.