Originally from Oaklandon, Indiana, Jim graduated from Johnson Bible College in 1975 with a degree in preaching and youth ministry after a two year mission internship in Italy with his wife Caranita. Ordained by the elders of the Oaklandon Christian Church, in 1976 Jim resolved to return to Italy and commit his service to pastoring the Christian Church in Francavilla Fontana, a city in the region of Apulia, where most people attend mass just twice a year.
Persistent, loyal, empathic, and creative, Jim has consistently provided vision and innovation by finding ways to overcome obstacles to the spreading of the Gospel in Francavilla. Determined to share the love of Christ with the unchurched and the brokenhearted, Jim established first a Christian Radio Station (1980-1990), then a crisis hotline ministry (1990-1996), and finally ReCrea/Center for Professional Counseling and Spiritual Formation, still active today in the heart of Francavilla.
In 2014 Jim received the Distinguished Serivice Award from Johnson University for his outstanding dedication to the Great Commission.
Jim holds dear to the words of Jesus: "Feed my sheep” (John 21:17).
Caranita is co-founder and president of ReCrea where she serves as a professional family counselor and supervisor for other counselors.
With over 25 years of experience in listening to troubled adults, adolescents, couples and families on issues regarding anger, anxiety, beravement, depression, marital conflict, parenting, pre-marital counseling, sexual abuse, sexual identity, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse, Caranita is most passionate about restoring a sense of safety and hope in the lives of Italians affected by grief and shame. She speaks to healthcare professionals and school teachers on topics related to empathy and trauma and has written articles for Il Consulente, an Italian counseling journal.
Caranita is also author of Child of God Delight in Him, Art Journailng and Creative Clustering of God's Names, a workbook that combines God's names with mind mapping. Gifted in mercy and in knowledge and ignited by her yearning to delight in God, Caranita is most satisfied when she shares in small group Bible studies her lifelong quest of mindmapping and praying through God’s names.
Caranita’s education includes a Masters in Biblical Counseling (Bob Jones University, 2006), a Masters in Marital Counseling (Rome, Italy, 2001), a diploma in Family Counseling (Taranto, Italy, 1991), and a Bachelor of Science in Bible (Johnson Bible College, 1975). She is member of the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), a Board Certified Christian Counselor with the International Board of Christian Counselors (IBCC), and a member of the Italian Association of Christian Counselors (ACC). She is recipient of the Distinguished Serivce Award from Johnson University (2014) for her outstanding dedication to the Great Commission.
The source of her dedication is best described by the words of Jeremiah: "When your words came, I ate them, they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty” (Jer. 15:16).
Born American and raised Italian, Stephany has mastered the art of integration. From the assimilation of two differing cultures, to the synthesis of diverse areas of study such as Bible, Counseling, Dance, Creative Writing, Drawing, and Art Therapy, Stephany is most passionate about restoring the connection between Christian spirituality, mental health, and creative processes in the midst of suffering.
As an expressive therapist, specialized in the therapuetic use of art and movement, Stephany assits adults and children claim God's promise to give, to those who mourn, beauty for ashes.
Gifted in the areas of mercy and faith, Stephany directs the counseling services of ReCrea with a gentle, quiet, persistent and intuitive spirit.
Stephany holds a diploma in Art and Dance Movement Therapy (Art Therapy Italian, Bologna , Italy, 2018) with a thesis on Grief Work and Dance Moviment Therapy; a diploma in family counseling (Apulian School of Counseling, Taranto, Italy, 2011) with a theis on the role of creativity in the mental health profession, and a B.A. in Bible and Counseling (Johnson University, Knoxville, TN, 2005) with honors.
The nexus between prayer and artistic expression allows Stephany to embody her life verse: “You have turned my mourning into dancing for me, that my soul may sing praise to You" (Psalm 30:11,12).