The Samaritan Counseling Center of Southwest Georgia, a not-for-profit organization, officially opened its doors in May, 2007.  We adopted our name through an affiliation with the Samaritan Institute of Denver.  This affiliation has been invaluable, providing the center with leadership development and regular accreditation visits.

Under the leadership of its founding board members, the Samaritan Counseling Center hopes to grow and develop its faith-based services to accommodate anyone in need of help in Southwest Georgia.  As an extension of the counseling ministry of the Church, The Samaritan Counseling Center seeks to serve the needs of the Southwest Georgia Community.

This ministry is made possible by the generous donations of supporters. You are invited to financially partner with us in this growing ministry through your tax deductible donation.


chris beam,
executive director

Chris Beam is the Executive Director of the Samaritan Counseling Center of Southwest Georgia and a Licensed Professional Counselor with 18 years of experience in counseling as well as experience in administrative roles.  Chris earned a BA in Communication from Georgia Southern, an MA in Counseling and an MA in Christian Education from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY.

Chris counsels a variety of issues including marital conflict, depression, grief, parenting issues, behavioral concerns, self-esteem, relational struggles, family conflict, and spiritual direction

Chris is the author of "interference - a 365-day devotional" and "more... a 40-day devotional journey through depression and anxiety".   Both are available at the counseling center and at

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linda turral, lpc - therapist

Linda is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years of experience in the mental health field. She graduated from Florida A&M University with a Bachelor‘s Degree in Psychology, and a Master’s Degree in Community Psychology. In addition to working as a mental health counselor, her previous experience includes that of being an adjunct Psychology Instructor at Bainbridge State College, a Mental Health Consultant with the Redlands Christian Migrant Program, and a Mental Health Coordinator with the Gadsden County School System.

Linda has extensive experience in working with diverse populations, and has extensive knowledge in working with such issues as anxiety disorders, depression, relationship issues, parenting issues, fears and phobias, and substance abuse.  She has also had extensive training in stress related disorders, stress management, and relaxation therapy. 

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A native of southwest Georgia, Ronnie graduated from Seminole County High School and received a B.S. degree in Psychology from Georgia Southwestern State University. He then completed his Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia and is currently licensed as an LMSW in the state of Georgia. 

Ronnie has worked in the community mental health system and also coordinated school-based services for severely emotionally disturbed students in southwest Georgia. He currently serves as director of the Decatur County Family Connection and provides counseling for students at Bainbridge State College. Ronnie and his wife Susan have two children and two grandchildren and currently reside in Donalsonville.

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Karnell joined the counseling staff of the Center in August 2011. She earned a bachelor’s of arts in sociology from Valdosta State University and a master’s of science in counseling from Thomas University. She has spent many years working and advocating on behalf of children and their families and restoring the family unit. Karnell is a licensed professional counselor.

Karnell also has experience working with a wide range of issues, including mood disorders, physical, verbal, and sexual abuse, parenting issues, family dynamics, and children with behavior issues, anger management, and aggression. Karnell brings 15 years experience and a passion to restore families and heal brokenness.

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Rebekah is licensed clinical social worker with almost ten years of experience in the field of social work. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Troy State University in 2008, and a master’s degree in social work at Valdosta State University in 2013.

Rebekah has several years of experience in counseling individuals with substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. She has also counseled adult survivors of childhood trauma, adults with mood and anxiety disorders, provided crisis counseling to adults and children who are in a behavioral health crisis, as well as community work with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Rebekah’s passion lies in working with those who are moving toward a life of recovery and healing.

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Cheri Jaeger,
MA / Certified Christian Counselor

Cheri graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in communications, graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in Biblical studies, and from the Biblical Counseling Institute and Riley Center at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a certificate in Biblical counseling. Cheri then went on to be a human resource manager in central Florida where she used her counseling skills to help people struggling with depression, grief, anger, relationship issues, anxiety and spiritual issues.

Cheri and her husband, Roy, moved to Bainbridge three years ago from the Tampa, Florid,a area and are enjoying this new chapter of their life. Her husband Roy is on the pastoral staff at Grace Church.  

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Mary Turner,
Office Manager

Mary has an associate of applied science degree in accounting and administrative office technology from Bainbridge State College. Her past experience includes serving as an administrative assistant and managing an accounts payable department. Mary joined the staff at the Samaritan Counseling Center in June of 2010.

Mary is the widow of Johnny Turner, whom she was married to for 38 years. She has two sons and daughters-in-law, three grandsons and one granddaughter. She is a Sunday school teacher, AWANA Leader and member of the choir at her church. 

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Pauletta Malone,
Office Assistant

Pauletta initially joined the Center as the first office manager in 2007. She was with the Center for about three years and then took time off. She recently rejoined our office staff in 2017. Pauletta has over 30 years of administrative office experience. She was also on the Board of Directors for the Samaritan Counseling Center for two years. She has an AA degree from Bainbridge State College and a BS degree from Georgia Southwestern University. 

Pauletta has been married to John for 27 years and they have one son. She loves encouraging and ministering to people. Pauletta leads a women’s study group, The Excellent Wife, which meets at the Center. 

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Sonia Beam,
Office Assistant

Sonia joined the office staff at the Center in January 2017. She was formerly a registered nurse and received her degree in nursing from Georgia Southern University. She has been married to Chris for 27 years and they are the proud parents of two wonderful
red-headed children.