The official opening of the Fraser Counseling Center annex was held Sunday at Midway Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.
Dr. Larry Evans, the church’s pastor and director of the Midway Community Wellness and Enrichment Center, Fraser Center East, addressed after Sunday services a small group of church and community members, including staff and board of directors members for the center.
“I want to thank you all for your presence here today,” Evans said. “Most of all, I want to thank you all for your prayers.”
Sallie Richardson, board member of the Dorchester Improvement Association, Inc., opened the ceremony and light luncheon that followed, calling the new counseling center a “godsend.”
Dr. Alan Baroody, director of the Fraser Counseling Center, followed with his own thanks to those attending the opening ceremony.
“When I first came to the Fraser Center, one of my visions was to have satellite centers in local churches,” Baroody said. “But there were very few chaplains qualified to do this until Dr. Evans came to our community.”
Baroody said he was pleased with the program Evans has put together, noting that the mission statements of each center complement each other. He read both statements and pointed out their similarities.
“The blending of these two ministries is God’s working,” Baroody said. He then introduced members of the center’s board of directors present for the ceremony, as well as Terri Liles, licensed master social worker and coordinator of Helen’s Haven Children’s Advocacy Center, which is associated with the Fraser Counseling Center.
Mary Caraballo and Deborah Sawyer gave personal stories about how the Fraser Center has positively affected their lives. Sawyer, who completed her internship for her master’s in clinical social work at the Fraser Center, now holds a doctorate degree in that field. Caraballo, who is the center’s officer manager, talked about how counselors at the center helped her deal with the heartaches she endured as the wife of alcoholic.
“Our ministry is grounded in biblical language,” Evans said at the conclusion the ceremony. “God told us in Genesis chapter one that he created us in his own image, and he gave us the resources to be fruitful. God wants us to live up to our fullest potential.”
Evans said both counseling centers help people achieve their “fullest human potential.” For more information about the Midway Community Wellness and Enrichment Center or the Fraser Counseling Center, call 369-7777.