Mentor bios

  • Jan barrows


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with severe depression, experience with husband and children both having ADHD, caretaker of Special Needs sister

    Hi, I’m Jan Barrows and I have been married for 43 years. I have 2 children, both married and one grandson. I lived in California for 55 years, Oregon 7 years and now Tyler going on 5 years. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom, teachers aid and high school guidance tech. When I married, at 22, I had such an idealistic view of how life would be; but I was soon taught differently. I’ve experienced my sister suffering permanent brain damage from a car accident and then myself dealing with severe depression. By the grace of God, I received the help I needed with my depression to begin to live again. I have experienced my mother suffering a stroke during surgery and seeing my father handle the taxing job of caring for both her and my disabled sister, whom I now care for. I tell my kids that there are no guarantees in life but because of Jesus, there is a guarantee of the hope of Heaven. I do my best to have a caring heart and listening ear and to be an encourager to anyone going through challenging times.

  • REbeca Bazzell


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Marriage with a non-believer, caring of a terminally ill spouse, death of a spouse, 2nd marriage and parenting girls

    I’m Rebeca Bazzell, a forty-something year young woman who at certain times in my life have felt as though I was eighty. But somehow my Holy Daddy has brought me through it all. I have come to appreciate the difficult times in my past and have learned to embrace them. If there is someone that can be comforted and encouraged by my story, I say “Amen!! To God be the Glory”.

  • Janie Beckendorff


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Child with chronic illness, Mother/daughter emotional dynamics, educational decisions

    Hi, my name is Janie Beckendorff. My husband and I have been married 30 years, live in Tyler and have worshipped at Shiloh for all those years. We have 2 young adult daughters, both educated at ACU. I previously worked as a teacher and school counselor in the Christian school setting, and currently work as a teacher at a learning center that focuses on teaching students diagnosed with dyslexia. My hobbies are reading and decorating our home. I love making the atmosphere cozy! I would love to share and walk with you through your seasons of life. “That is, that you and I be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith”. Romans 1:12

  • Sandy Blalock


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Parenting an active, impulsive boy through adulthood and both of us surviving, recovering co-dependent wife and mother, episodes of extreme depression

    My name is Sandy Blalock and I have lived in Tyler for 33 years. My husband and I have been married for 36 years and have two grown, married children, an awesome grandson, and beautiful twin granddaughters. I spend a lot of time on the road visiting! When I am in Tyler, I busy myself by subbing in elementary and middle school classes. 
I was raised in a faithful, Christian home by parents who made attendance a priority and who practiced hospitality in abundance. My nature is to be a rule follower so it was a given that when I reached an "age of accountability " I would be baptized. Although I was 12 when I was baptized, it was years later when I came to realize that I was a sinner who needed a Savior and in that process, I understood how much I needed the grace and mercy of Jesus, I traveled paths I never expected to travel. Praise God for His patience with me! God has used my "hobbies" to grow my faith and strengthen my walk. I love to read and He showed me my weakness and His strength through a Christian fiction novel. I love to walk early each morning as He reveals the presence of His Holy Spirit during this quiet time I walk and talk with Him each day.

  • carolyn caldwell


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with single parenting, financial advising for teens/young adults, loss and grief of a child, caring for aging parents/in laws while working

    My name is Carolyn Caldwell. My husband and I have been married for 6 years - I was a single parent for 20 years and raised 3 children. I experienced all the ups and downs and sleepless nights that children/teens bring but all three are married now; they love their Lord and are raising my 7 grandchildren to do the same.   I have suffered some tough losses- my first born died in a farm accident when he was 5 years old, also my first grandchild at 19 years old - was rear-ended and killed by a drunk driver. Grief is something I have dealt with throughout my life.  I have had experience with caring for aging parents and in-laws while raising 3 kids and working full-time so I understand stress and all the side effects. As a single mom, I became frustrated with the lack of information available for teens & young adults on how to manage finances using biblical principles of stewardship so I created a short format - suitable for teens with 5-min attention spans. I enjoy sharing this info freely with teens, parents, and youth groups. 



    SEASONS OF LIFE: Teaching and academic counseling, child with serious health issues, living abroad and have children who currently live abroad

    Hello, I am Trish Eastland! I am married to an elder here at Shiloh. We have two young adult children: a daughter who is married and they live in Richardson, TX and a son who is married and they live in Reading, England. Neither have children at this time. I grew up in a traveling family as my father was a missionary. I work as a legal assistant for my husband at his law office and I also do the books for the firm. I enjoy knitting and love to learn new things with my knitting. 



    SEASONS OF LIFE: Marriage, parenting 3 kids, grand parenting

    Hi, I’m Vickie Fears, wife, mom, daughter, friend, artist, and sister in Christ. My husband and I have been married for 39 years and both raised in Christian homes. We raised our three kids that way. Experienced ups and downs in marriage as well as child rearing. I experienced a time of debilitating depression. Lost my younger sister to cancer. My faith has been shaken but God has always been faithful.

  • Laura Fidone


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Marriage with a non-Christian, parenting rebellious teens, motherhood, trusting God through private storms

    Hi, I’m Laura Fidone. I’m a wife, mother, friend and sister in Christ. My husband and I have been married 27 years and have 3 young adult children and a son-in-law. We have lived in Tyler for 23 years where I have mainly been a stay at home mom.

    I was raised in a traditional Christian home, graduated from Harding University and had plans to continue going down that path; God’s plans were different. My Seasons of Life have been difficult and certainly unexpected but through it all, this one thing I know, I wouldn’t trade any part of it; for the journey has grown my faith like no other! I would love to share that with you. 

    I love to host showers, walk the park, yoga, laugh with girlfriends, sing hymns, and watch movies. Most of all I love to help young moms own their faith as they work through stresses in marriage and motherhood!



    SEASONS OF LIFE: Dealing with death of a spouse, raising a Special Needs child, avoiding financial pitfalls

    My name is Jon Carole Gilbreath and I have lived in the Tyler area all my life and been a member at Shiloh Road for 9 yrs. I was married for 51 and 1/2 years and am now a widow. I want to be a source of help to others that are now left alone. I have mentored and taught teenage girls and ladies classes for over 15 years. I am a mother of a Special Needs daughter and although I’ve made mistakes, I think I have some tips to share that could help someone with their struggles. I worked as a banker for 30 years and believe I could be of good help to young people in avoiding some of the pitfalls I saw while a lender. I love cooking and answering cooking questions.

  • beth hopkins


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with marriage, parenting, a prodigal adult child, have done extensive research on Christian evidences, teaching crafts and hospitality


    Hi my name is Beth Hopkins.  I was raised in California in a Christian home, I attended ACU for a year before marrying a Texas boy. We have been married for 43 years, (yes, a child bride!) and we have been in Tyler and at Shiloh for 35+ years.  We have two grown children, a son-in-law and two grandchildren. Our daughter and her family also attend to Shiloh. I have not worked outside the home since our children were born, although I've done Pampered Chef and crafty things to make extra income over the years.  My husband is newly retired so we now enjoy traveling. I teach card making and scrap booking classes and enjoy spending time making arts and crafts.  I also love to entertain and meet new people. My husband and I have had to work through challenges at different points over our 43 years.  Our son has also been away from the church since he graduated high school.  From that, I have done extensive research on why believe in God and Christian evidences.  I am a strong believer in God's grace.  I love interacting with others and try to reflect and honor God. I challenge myself regularly to have that remain a constant in my life.



    SEASONS OF LIFE: Homeschooling, parenting, loss of a newborn

    Hi, my name is Jill Hutchins. My husband and I have been married 27 years and have 2 daughters. We have lived in Tyler for 29 years where I work part time and we have homeschooled our daughters. I was raised in a home where church happened on Easter and Christmas, if at all. It was refreshing to visit Shiloh and find such caring people who love me- a single, transplanted yankee from New York. I also found a clearer understanding of God’s love and the realization that I did not have to be perfect as His grace and salvation is sufficient! I pray for opportunities to share this with others. Life is difficult but walking through it with others makes a world of difference. We suffered the loss of our 2-day old newborn but through God’s miraculous grace, our marriage survived! We are now gifted with 2 delightful daughters we see as His children who often teach us more than we do them. I pray for an opportunity to walk with you during your difficulties and joys. I love to read, play tennis, laugh and cry with friends and share Dove Dark Chocolate. 

  • terri linzenmeyer


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with living in a non-Christian/abusive home, marriage, parenting children and step children, child incarceration, learning to live free while still feeling broken inside

    My name is Terri Linzenmeyer. I've been married over 30 years. I raised my husband’s 2 children as well as 1 of our own. We moved to Tyler in 2010. I've been a hair stylist for over 20 years and a quilter for over 10- both of which I now do from my home. Though I went through some very difficult times growing up and began to follow my parent’s footsteps with my own children, God has brought me through victoriously. I am learning that while some of these situations made me feel "broken" I can live free of condemnation and full of grace.  What "Satan" meant to harm me, God uses for His good. I would love to share what I have learned and am continuing to grow in with anyone, young or not so young, who feels the need for encouragement as I have felt throughout the years.

  • Diane Litton, Advisory board member


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Parenting daughters, dyslexia, teaching women through shared Bible study and prayer

    Hi, my name is Diane Litton. Raised in the Dallas area by Christian parents, I graduated from Abilene Christian University prepared to teach. Life events happened in quick succession as I married, moved to Tyler, taught 3rd grade and had our first daughter--all in a year's time! In the next season of our life we were blessed with two more daughters and I stayed home or worked part-time. Later, after more training, I began to teach and test students with dyslexia. Our daughters are all married, and we have 9 grandchildren. I continue to work part-time as a private academic language therapist serving students with dyslexia and as a diagnostician testing students. Shiloh has been my church family since 1977 where I have been Influenced by many godly women. Teaching women through shared Bible study and prayer has been my passion for almost 30 years.



    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with infertility, adoption and childbirth, parenting ADHD, RAD as well as shy, introvert children, both mom and sister suffered from dementia, a breast cancer survivor and PRAYER WARRIOR

    My name is Sherry Luckett. I am the 6th of seven children, raised in a strong, Christian home. God has grown and taught me through difficult struggles in my life. I have learned to have peace during the storms, trust and depend on Him. I don't know how people get through life without Him. My parents taught us to pray but I learned the depths of it when my boys were young (boy, did I need it, and still do!), and it carries over in all aspects of my life. I consider it a privilege to pray for others. My husband of almost 34 years and I have 2 sons, now young adults and we are gaining a daughter-in-law soon. I love to travel and spend time with family and friends, sew, cross stitch, fish, shop, watch movies, baking. I enjoy spending time (or texting) with my girlfriends, helping and encouraging each other through our daily lives.

  • Erin May


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with loss of a child/terminal diagnosis

    My name is Erin May and I am passionate about Christ and sharing His love with others. I am a wife, young mother and friend to many. My husband and I have been married for 8 years and love to walk alongside others to bring them closer to Christ. I grew up in a Christian home, attended ACU and then UT Dallas for Speech-Language Pathology. I am currently a stay-at-home momma to two precious, spunky kids. I enjoy spending time with family friends, reading, online scrapbooking, yoga, singing and traveling. My Season of Life was definitely not in my plans, but they rarely are, right? I have painfully learned to surrender to the Lord in the darkest times of not understanding and being told “no” to desperate prayers for “yes”. I am an open book and would love to share with you.  

  • rhonda mckinzie


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with blind parents, poverty, abuse, molestation and rape, miscarriage, abortion, abusive first marriage, div/single parenting, 2nd marriage/stepfamily, illness/death of parents, health issues. Acquiring education: BS Deaf Ed. and MS in Counseling

    Hi my name is Rhonda Mckinzie. In an effort to be “real” with you, this is my life - but by God’s grace, I’ve not only survived but thrived. Raised in Corpus Christi, TX, my mom was a Christian but my dad didn’t become a Christian until 71. Currently in my 2nd marriage of 28 years. I’m a mom/step-mom of 2, and have 2 grandchildren. Moved to Tyler in 2005 for my husband’s work (chiropractor). At TJC I’m the Chair of the ASL Interpreter Training Prog. I’ve been a certified sign language interpreter since 18 and consider this a form of worship. Also, I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor, now focusing primarily on people who are deaf. Yes, I do have time for you! I will listen. Nothing shocks me-no judgment. I enjoy mentoring & learning from young women. Thankfully, I’ve been a recipient of godly mentors in my life. We are God’s masterpieces. God is faithful to take our lives (the tangled threads) & make beautiful tapestries. Through our experiences, God continues to reveal many life lessons we can share with each other on this journey. I love chai tea latte and am looking forward to meeting with you!  

  • lisa munoz


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Inter-racial marriage, parenting two daughters through some difficult times, motherhood, working outside the home as we raised our girls, dealing with chronic pain, helping care for my father during his last months, living far from family, and learning to give grace to myself and others during rough seasons

    Hi, I’m Lisa Muñoz.  I’m a wife, mother, elementary teacher, daughter, sister, friend and blessed to be a part of the Shiloh family. My husband and I have been married for 34 years and have two adult daughters and a son-in-law. We have lived in Tyler for 31 years where I have been a teacher in public and private schools. We spent a lot of time on soccer fields, volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts while the girls were growing up. We are now enjoying an empty nest, but love to be with family as much as possible. Our church family has been our family here in Tyler. I was raised in a Christian home, as was my husband, but my faith has become my own through challenging health issues with myself and my family, financial strain, and tough job situations.  

    I love to be with my family, laugh, sing, walk, read and share special times with others. I would be happy to listen and share any experiences I’ve had and grown through. Being a woman of faith is a gift, but too often we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Blessings to you!


    SEASONS OF LIFE: I have parented and taught gifted children, stepmom, mother-in-law lived with our family for 13 years, moved many times with small children

    About me:  Married, 3 children, 7 grandchildren, 1 great grandchild

    Hobbies: reading, gardening, sewing

    Work part-time

  • jennifer parsons


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with surviving extended education (undergrad through PhD), making major life choices, stress management, and situational depression; offering perspective from a professor’s side of the desk.

    I’m Jennifer Parsons.  I teach physics at TJC and UT Tyler, and have been married to my husband for 5+ years (same time I’ve lived in Tyler).  He also teaches at TJC and UT Tyler. We have one little one!  I plan to keep being a working mom for now—I really enjoy being in the classroom. I enjoy downtime with friends, including one-on-one and small group conversation.  I like singing and playing music (I loosely play the oboe), as well as dancing (shh!!—I’ll just do Zumba). I also love seeing my family in West/Southwest Texas and Kansas as often as I can.

  • Althea popchoke


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Divorce, sobriety since 2014, survivor of abuse

    Hello, I’m Althea Popchoke. I’m a divorcee, volunteer, friend and sister in Christ. I have lived in Tyler for around 15 years where I have worked mainly retail jobs and odd jobs. I was raised in a traditional Christian home, graduated from Whitehouse High School and had plans to continue to college. However, my plans were different than God’s plans. My seasons of life have been extremely difficult and certainly unexpected in some good and some bad ways. I wouldn’t trade any part of it because the journey I was on and am now taking, has grown my faith like no other! I would love to share that with you. I love to read, write poetry, hang out with my close friends, listen to music, and play piano. Most of all, I love to help others in any way I can and give back to others.

  • nelda regian

  • Lola Scott


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with spouse suffering through depression guilt and stress of working when my children were infants, raising very strong-willed children with constant dependence on God's help, learning to turn "middle of the night" worries over to God

    My name is Lola Scott. I have been married for 40 years and those years have brought many struggles that were out-weighed by blessings. Our son and daughter married wonderful Christian spouses and we currently have 4 beautiful grandchildren.  I was raised in a religious home but didn't have a faith of my own until age 19 and through many precious Christian sisters and brothers, my faith though small, has grown tremendously.  Growing my prayer life has been my focus the past few years and the Lord has been faithful to lead me. I have worked as a Physical Therapist for 37 years with the last 25 in the public school system. I enjoy reading, cooking, quilting, leading PiYo classes and riding my bike when I get the chance! Sharing my experiences and faith to help a sister in Christ is a privilege. I welcome the chance to get to know you. 

  • gwynn shultz

    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with husband having Type 1 Diabetes, grief and loss of parents in their early 70s; longevity in marriage

    Hello, my name is Gwynn Shultz. I was raised in Northeast Texas where my Dad was a farmer so you could say I am a “farmer’s daughter.” My parents were strong Christians, servants to the people they helped and a huge influence in my life. They insisted I go to ACC, I’m thankful they did because I met my husband there. We’ve been married and best friends for 52 years. We have two sons, two daughters-in-laws and four precious grandchildren. We have lived in Tyler for 30 years. I’ve been a Bible school teacher and a middle school teacher in a private school. I love children and enjoy helping in the church nursery. Cooking for others blesses me…whether it’s Wednesday Night meals, preparing food for families in grief, or for new parents.

  • billie sue sowle


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with being a youth minister’s wife, raising a handicapped son, child loss, learning to lean on fervent prayer and trust in God for the best in every situation

    My name is Billie Sowle. My husband and I have been married for 50 years, have two sons, and a daughter-in-law. I was raised by Christian parents and attended Abilene Christian College, where I met my husband. When my accountant husband was asked and accepted the position as youth minister our lives changed dramatically; a bit like a roller coaster! We had an awesome ministry for 32 years, did some amazing things and influenced young people to love God and His church along the way. Troubles came along the way but with God’s help and lots of prayers, we came through every one of them, and grew spiritually because of them. My hobbies are: Helping seniors to doctor appointments, etc., flower gardening, and reading. If I can walk alongside you and help you through your life struggles, I’d love for God to use me in this powerful way, for His Glory.

  • Linda timaeus


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Experience with infertility; violent child in the home; and long-term caregiving and loss of spouse  

    Hi, my name is Linda Timaeus. I am widowed, a mother, mother-in-law, grandmother of 6, daughter and sister. Each of these roles has played a significant part in making me who I am today. I was married to a wonderful Christian man for 44 years. While no seasons of my life were easy, each contributed to growing my faith. God has been so faithful, as we dealt with years of infertility and then having one child who become angry and violent in our home. Before my dearly loved husband left this world, I spent six years caring for him as together we battled Alzheimer's. I am retired from teaching deaf children for 25 years. I enjoy china painting and croqueting. I also enjoy writing children's books (although none published) and use my sketchbook as an outlet for frustration.

  • Barbara Warner, advisory board member


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Mother-in-law issues, praying for a prodigal child, caring for aging mother and disabled brother

    My name is Barbara Warner. I am a wife (married 55 years); a mother (3 children); a grandmother (8!) and retired RN. I have experience dealing with mother-in-law issues, praying for years for a child who left the Lord and praising Him when she returned! Caring for my aging mother and my brother who has MS has been a part of my later life experiences. I am enjoying the freedom of retirement now, and enjoy reading as a hobby. God has led me through every season of my life - teaching me in ways I would not have chosen--to trust Him. He is faithful!

    Please contact Jennifer Smith for mentors not listed above. 

  • melody weaver


    SEASONS OF LIFE: Parenting, homeschooling, parenting a child with special needs, times of depression and anxiety


I'm Melody Weaver. I've been married to my best friend for 21 years and have three daughters. By God's grace, I have homeschooled my older two from preschool through high school while caring for my youngest who has severe disabilities. Learning how little control I have as God develops me and grows my trust in Him has been my ongoing life lesson. Because I have witnessed the Lord's transformation and healing in marriages close to me, it gives me joy to encourage and pray for friends going through rough times. I enjoy walks alone or with whoever will join me and pretending I can garden. 

  • Judy wilmoth


    SEASONS OF LIFE:  A believer in a non-Christian community

    Hi, I’m Judy Wilmoth. I grew up feeling like a square peg in a round hole - out of step yet wanting to belong. As a little girl, I wanted to wear t-shirts not pink dresses and play sports with boys not boring dolls with girls. I began to follow Christ in a non-Christian community and my stance was not valued and many times ridiculed, making high school very hard! Now I’ve found a loving church family at Shiloh but at times still feel like that square peg. I’m not a Southern girl, I’m from Jersey: I ride motorcycles and still play sports with the boys. I can be chosen first but still not belong. As I’ve grown older, God has given me peace and freedom to understand that I am a child created and approved by Him. Isaiah 41:8-10 tells me He chose me and walks beside me; that I belong to him and with Him. Looking back, I see now that I really did belong -- I belonged to HIM!