Owen Center staff counselors hold professional degrees in theology and/or counseling and are certified (or in the process of attaining certification) with the Association of Credentialed Biblical Counselors (ACBC). Associate and assistant counselors complete a certified, master’s level training program and are approved by our board.
Dr. Gary B. Spooner
Gary has been a lead pastor for 38 years in churches in Mississippi and Alabama. Most recently, he pastored Covenant Presbyterian Church in Auburn, Alabama for 29 years. Recognizing the need for Christ-centered counseling in the Auburn area, he and his wife, Jill, began the Owen Center in 2015.
He received a Masters of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS and a Doctor of Ministry in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA.
Gary and Jill delight in five children and (to date) 13 grandchildren.
Jill, co-founder of the Owen Center, holds a BA (English) from the University of Georgia, a Master’s degree from Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson), and an MA in Counseling from Westminster Theological Seminary. She earned three certificates from the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation (CCEF).
Jill works part-time at the Owen Center and focuses on the needs of women. She regards counseling as a privilege and part of a life calling to help others connect biblical theology and real life.
Rev. Braden Benson
Braden holds a Masters of Arts of Christian Counseling as well as a Masters of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. He received a degree in Psychology from Mississippi State University with a special focus in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is also a member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC). For the past six years he and his wife have worked in ministries of counseling, adult Christian education and with Joni & Friends, a Christ-based ministry to the disabled. Through the Owen Center Braden pursues a life-calling to serve Christ by cultivating the ministry of biblical counseling in His church.
Jillian holds BA (Spanish) and BS (Environmental Studies) degrees from Wofford College and a Master of Arts degree in Christian Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She sensed a call to counseling while working for Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) and still loves to walk alongside young women through their joys and struggles. Jillian works part-time at the Owen Center and focuses on the needs of women. She feels honored to join in on the work that God is doing in the lives of those He calls into her office.