The Bendigo Baptist Church had long had a desire to begin a counselling service that was professional but also honouring to Christian beliefs. In late 2004 the then Senior Pastor, Greg Ardill, convened a meeting of interested people to begin working towards this aim. From that initial meeting a “Working Group” was established and their aim was to investigate various Christian Counselling Centres and discern what model could best suit a counselling centre at Bendigo Baptist.

The “Working Group” made a presentation to the Church Council of Bendigo Baptist in April 2005 and proposed that a counselling centre was feasible. The proposal also recommended that the counselling centre be incorporated separately from the regular church structures. The concept proposed by the “Working Group” was accepted by Church Council and in about July/August 2004 the proposal was put to the Church members. The members also approved the establishing of a counselling centre and an interim Committee of Management was elected to work towards opening the centre as soon as practical.

A “Love Offering” of approximately $2000 was collected from the congregation and this money was used to fund costs such as: signage; incorporation costs; furniture; advertising leaflets; business cards etc.

The Model Rules of the incorporated body were approved by the relevant State Authority in late December 2005 and the new entity “Gilead Counselling Centre Inc.” Opened for clients on first January 2006. In October 2013 Gilead moved into its current location at 214 Hargreaves Street Bendigo. It is hoped this move will enable Gilead to become more accessible to our clients and we believe this could grow our client base.

The members of Gilead Counselling Centre Inc. Voted on October 24 2013 to dissolve that incorporation and to continue providing professional Christian counselling services under the name “Gilead Counselling”, but under the incorporation of “Bendigo Baptist Community Care Inc.” This change took place on November 30 2013.

Gilead has marketed itself throughout the extended region around Bendigo including areas such as: Kerang; Echuca/Moama; Rochester; Cohuna; Boort; Maryborough; Charlton; Castlemaine; Kyneton; and Heathcote.

Gilead also draws clients from a wide range of denominations and over 50% of our clients are Christians that call their Christian home somewhere else besides Bendigo Baptist. Also between 15-18% of our clients are non-Christians and as can be seen from our “Statement of Purpose” Gilead’s goal is to not discriminate against any client.

God has been guiding Gilead even before it had this name and we pray that we can continue to honour Him in the way we assist all our clients.

Our motto “Pathway to Healing” we believe is epitomised by God using the ministry of Gilead to enable healing in the lives of our clients.

The story continues, and where will God lead us next?