Rev. Preston J. Allen

Preston J. Allen is a native of Kansas City, Mo. He currently serves as the Director of Environmental Services with CHI St. Luke’s Patients Medical Center, Pasadena, Texas.

Preston serves as the Principal for Allen Consulting which provides consultative services to nonprofit sectors in management, administration, fund development, board relations, social services, and mental health. Previously Preston worked with the National Alliance on Mental Health Greater Houston (NAMI GH)/and the BeyGood Foundation project that sought to improve the level of utilization, access, and treatment for Mental Illness for the African American and Latinx communities in Houston. Preston has also consulted with St. John’s United Methodist Church’s Bread of Life Nonprofit in developing opportunities to develop psychotherapy and supportive resources to those suffering from Mental Illness.

Preston Allen has worked extensively within the African American and Latinx communities to build bridges of connectivity whereby individuals that historically underutilized mental health can access much needed resources.

Rev. Melissa Maher

Rev. Melissa Maher, MDiv is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church serving at Mercy Street, a church within Chapelwood United Methodist in Houston, Texas. Having entered pastoral ministry after a career in corporate lending, Melissa’s passion is to bridge the life of the church with the opportunities and assets of the city. She has found a spiritual connection among contemplative spirituality practices, missional outreach, and a Wesleyan expression of grace.

Mercy Street is a worship community of Chapelwood United Methodist Church. Our mission is to be a safe harbor of hope and transformation, so all may experience the radical grace of God. We are both a church and a mission outpost. Mercy Street is a community with a high percentage of individuals and families in recovery from addictions as well as individuals or families affected by mental health. Staff and lay leaders develop the competencies to be bridge builders among the three worlds of the church, recovery and mental health, and the mission of the church in a neighborhood…all while holding the integrity of Mercy Street’s mission.

Skills to Offer:

  • Cultural understanding of recovery and the stigma of addiction and how these impact the spiritual formation of an individual and local church.
  • Connection to local organizations for addiction and recovery as well as mental health. These networks will enhance the ministry of a local church.
  • Models for lay leadership and equipping individuals in recovery to be in church leadership.
  • Personal experience with Al Anon and the pastoral intensity of a congregation with a high presence of addiction.
  • Sermon and Bible study examples of how to speak to the stigma of addiction and mental illness.
  • Building a staff team and budget which reflects the values of the congregation and her mission.