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About SCC

Samaritan Counseling Center Mission Statement:


The Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeastern Michigan provides professional therapeutic counseling and educational services to all God’s people seeking wholeness through emotional and spiritual growth.

Revised by the Board of Directors March 29, 1999

​Board of Directors

President: Mike Glenn

Secretary:  Jen Hall

Treasurer:   Travis Bart


Julie Bart

Russell Doré

Alonzo K. Morgan, II

MJ Wickens

Pat Lange

Samaritan Counseling Center of Southeast Michigan, Over the Years

The Samaritan Counseling Center was established by a consortium of local churches in the Farmington, Farmington Hills, and West Bloomfield communities. The idea for such a center originated with The Rev. Robert L. S. Brown, then pastor of Orchard United Methodist Church. After study, the congregation decided that such an endeavor was better developed ecumenically, and other churches were invited to join in the effort. Twelve churches responded to the call. A Board of Directors was gathered from all participating congregations, and the Center was incorporated as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization in March 1985.

The Rev. Wesley L. Brun, D.Min. served as the first Executive Director from 1986-2006.  The Center’s first offices were in Knox House at the First Presbyterian Church of Farmington, followed in 1988 by a branch office at Embury United Methodist Church in Birmingham.  As the organization began to grow, Dr. Brun’s initiatives enabled the move to the current main offices at Nardin Park United Methodist Church in Farmington Hills.  Before his retirement in 2006, his leadership had enabled the organization to achieve accreditation from the Samaritan Institute and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.  SCC had a Board of 14 committed members from sponsoring congregations. The staff had grown to 14 and almost 5000 counseling hours were being delivered on an annual basis.  Pastoral Counseling and Pastoral Care Specialist Training programs had been developed; Preparation for Marriage Programs, Clergy Seminars, Assessment and Testing, and other educational services initiated.


The Rev. Paul J. Melrose, D.Min. who had been on staff as Clinical Director assumed the role of Executive Director from July, 2006 – December, 2010.  During these years, his initiatives and networking skills assisted the organization to continue to grow as he worked to make the presence of SCC more visible in the community through his active participation in various community organizations and to increase the number of sponsoring congregations. The staff o increased to seventeen, the number of sponsoring parishes to thirty-nine, and more than 6000 counseling hours were delivered in 2010.  Paul decided to dedicate himself to clinical work and continues at SCC as a staff therapist.


Patricia A. McCluskey, IHM, Ph.D., D.Min. was the Executive Director from 2010 until June 2013.  Dr. McCluskey was an advocate of diversity initiatives and helped the center to transition to an interfaith model.  She hired on several diverse staff members and began the transition to electronic health records.  She was also a dedicated therapist and supervisor.  Dr. McCluskey transitioned to a role as Mission Councilor for the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Sisters.


Rev. Robert A. Martin, D. Min., LPC, CAAC, NCC, was the Executive Director from July 2013 until July 2016.  Dr. Martin facilitated the move into Electronic Health Records (EHR), a major shift for how our therapists document sessions and how we bill for services rendered.  Staff was hired for our billing department to streamline insurance billing and we transitioned to a new office manager.

Mark Phelps, M.A. L.M.F.T., served as the Executive Director, after 10 years as a staff clinician, from June of 2017 to January 2024, serving as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He has also been a minister since 1991, Mark’s foresight and analytical thinking were instrumental in ensuring that SCC was able to survive the shutdown caused by the COVID pandemic and all of the restrictions that followed. All counseling was quickly transitioned to telehealth, along with the move to remote and online services for all essential business and financial systems.


Dr. Karen Schurgin, Psy.D., ATR-BC, L.P.C., L.P., began serving as the Interim Executive Director in January of 2024. Karen first came to Samaritan Counseling Center as an intern in October of 2006. She completed her doctorate in Humanistic Psychology from the Michigan School for Professional Psychology in 2008 and joined SCC as a full-time staff member in August of 2008. In 2011, Karen assumed the role of the Clinical Director, a role she continues to hold for a much-expanded staff of therapists and counselors. Karen is a former president of the Michigan Association of Art Therapy (position held for 5 years) and currently teaches at Wayne State University in the Art Therapy Program.

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