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About

Deeper Life Ministries is an Anabaptist counseling center that strives to give Biblical discipleship to the people we serve. We work with single ladies and married people in common issues of life, such as depression, anger, bitterness, grief, and conflict in relationships. We offer premarital counseling upon request on a walk-in basis.

Mission

  1. To disciple Christians who are struggling with spiritual and relational trials
  2. To strengthen families and churches in order to prevent problems from arising
  3. To equip church leaders so they can effectively disciple people through times of spiritual or relational struggle

How We Accomplish Our Mission

Discipleship

Deeper Life Ministries (further referred to as DLM) endeavors to carry out our mission primarily through discipleship with married couples and single ladies. The counselors at DLM seek to understand each person as an individual in relationship with God, with other people, and with himself/herself. This includes how people perceive, understand, and have responded to their experiences in life. By means of teaching biblical principles and applications through various homework assignments, counselors share the message of salvation with unbelievers and help believers in the process of sanctification and conformity to the image of Jesus Christ. (John 3:16, Rom. 8:29)

Couples typically begin the discipleship program by coming for a one-week stay that includes daily counseling sessions. After their one-week stay, they have the option of follow-up appointments via phone calls or walk-in appointments. Single ladies usually begin the program with a two-week stay including counseling, and also have the option of follow-up appointments. Follow-up appointments are per request of the counselee(s).

Premarital counseling is also available upon request.

Seminars

DLM conducts a number of seminars that provide foundational teaching and group interaction. These seminars are hosted at DLM or in nearby facilities, unless otherwise noted.

  • Helping People In Need - We sponsor the Helping People in Need Seminar along with Fresh Start Training Center of Washington, IN. The HPIN Seminar is held during the third full week of January, from Tuesday through Thursday. The seminar is open to anyone, particularly those in a discipleship role, and addresses specific issues faced in discipleship relationships. It is held in Plain City, OH in the even-numbered years, and in Washington, IN, in the odd-numbered years.
  • Marriage Seminar - On the third or fourth weekend of March, we host a Marriage Enrichment Seminar. Registration is limited to the first 30 couples who apply.
  • Single Ladies - The first weekend of August, Friday through Sunday, DLM hosts the Single Ladies Seminar as a time of enrichment and encouragement for single ladies.
  • Faithful Women - The Faithful Women Seminar occurs annually on the first Saturday of October. This seminar specifically addresses the challenges of married ladies and mothers, but all ladies are welcome to attend.
  • Faithful Men - The Faithful Men Seminar takes place the second Saturday of November. Men come together to be challenged in specific areas of faithfulness as husbands and fathers, or as single men.
  • Apprenticeship

    DLM has an apprenticeship program available as another means of discipling individuals, and teaching them to disciple others. The apprenticeship is a three-month program that endeavors to teach applicants a biblical model of helping people with a variety of spiritual, emotional, and relational problems. This program consists of reading and listening to a variety of materials related to personal ministry. It includes writing assignments, activities and projects to stimulate both personal growth and develop a foundational basis for assisting others in the process of discipleship.

    Literature

    Biblically-based literature is an effective tool in carrying out our mission. Therefore, DLM makes literature of this nature available through our bookstore. Besides books, we have seminar recordings and a variety of materials pertaining to specific issues and challenges of the believer's life and family life. Clients are also encouraged to make use of the books and CDs in our library on site at Deeper Life, which includes many of the books we have for sale in the book store.

    Staff

    Meet the people who seek to carry out the goals of Deeper Life Ministries:

    Dave Snyder-Administrator

    Dave Snyder came to Deeper Life Ministries in October, 2008. Dave, his wife Vonda and their children moved to Ohio from Eastern Pennsylvania. He is serving as the Administrator since 2012. Prior to that, he worked as a marriage counselor for 4 years. Before to coming to Deeper Life, he taught Bible studies in prison and worked at a family business manufacturing and retailing household furniture.

    Ben Waldner-Primary Counselor

    Ben Waldner has been serving at DLM since 1999. He is joyfully married to Lucy and they have 4 children. Ben finds fulfillment in being instrumental in helping married couples honor the Lord Jesus Christ by cultivating a personal relationship with the Savior and growing their relationship as husband and wife. Additional activities Ben enjoys are growing fruit and hunting.

    Valerie Steiner – Single Ladies’ Counselor

    Valerie arrived at Deeper Life in June 2020 and began the counselor apprenticeship program. She is from Kidron, Ohio. Her heart for the Lord and for ministering to the needs of others around her is clearly seen in her role as single ladies’ counselor at Deeper Life. Some of her interests include gardening, baking, exploring parks in the area, and playing the accordion and keyboard.

    Angela Yoder – Domestics/Client Supervisor

    Angela Yoder from Aroda, Virginia, joined the Deeper Life staff in July of 2020. She enjoys her role of making the atmosphere at DLM homey and comfortable for the folks that visit. Angela also loves nature, shopping, great thrift store finds, IKEA, and spending time with family and friends. :)

    Tom and Diana Johnson – Assistant Administrator and Transcriber

    Tom & Diana came to Plain City in 2017 to take the Counselor Apprenticeship Course at DLM. After completing that course, an opening at DLM made it possible to serve as Assistant Administrator. Diana volunteers her time at DLM by transcribing seminar topics for use in DLM’s Pocket Seminar series of booklets. They have 3 married children. Diana enjoys knitting, weaving, and the outdoors. Tom likes photography, leather working, and woodworking.

    Maria Byler – Secretary

    Maria is from Mechanicsburg, Ohio, where she likes to write, read, grow things, and talk with her family. She began filling in as secretary in January 2021. Maria has loved learning new skills and getting to know the staff at Deeper Life.

    Russell & Regina Mast-Seminar cooks

    Deeper Life's neighbors, the Masts, faithfully prepare and serve food for DLM's events. They do an excellent job, preparing food so delicious that we often receive requests from seminar attendees for their recipes. Fortunately, Regina compiled many of her favorite recipes in a cookbook, "Stutzman's Culinary Secrets." This cookbook is a best-seller in the Deeper Life Bookstore! Their culinary service to the ministry is sincerely appreciated by all our seminar guests.

    Sponsors and Board Members

    Deeper Life Ministries was started in 1994 by the Midwest Mennonite Fellowship (or MMF). We continue to receive board oversight and representation from the MMF. We have board representation from the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern Conferences.

    Our Board

    • Willis Horst-Chairman, Moorefield, ONT, Midwest
    • John D. Miller-Assistant Chairman, Bourbon, IN, Midwest
    • Roger Schrock-Secretary, Sugarcreek, OH, Midwest
    • Fred Byler-Middlefield, OH, Midwest member
    • Kenneth Martin-Floradale, ONT, Midwest member
    • Merle Gingrich-Richland, PA, Mid-Atlantic member
    • Ellis Beery, Mt Crawford, VA

    Facilities

    Lodging, complete with bedding and towels, is provided for all clients. They are responsible for preparing all of their own meals.

    Single ladies who come for a time of discipleship stay at the single staff ladies' house and have their meals provided.

    Financial and Transportation Information

    DLM operating funds are received primarily from donations and church offering, enabling us to provide spiritual discipline to all without requiring them to contribute financially. For those clients who are able to contribute financially, we suggest a donation of $45 per room, per day that DLM facilities are utilized. Also, for the time of discipleship we encourage an appropriate donation from the person or couple receiving discipling, or from the extended family or church requesting assistance from DLM. We neither accept nor refuse people on the basis of their financial contributions. DLM can arrange transportation to and from the local bus station or airport. We encourage an appropriate donation to the individual providing the service.

    Testimonials

    "We thank you for listening, really listening to us and not becoming critical about us. The understanding and direction was incredible! Now we can glorify God for His forgiveness, realizing that God sees us personally, who really cares about us! God bless & direct you!"

    "God used my time here to stretch me and teach me. It was very challenging and encouraging."

    "I have been blessed by the compassion and concern expressed by all staff members. Counsel is based on the truth of God's Word. Our life's goal is to bring glory to God and we trust His sovereignty in our lives. God's promises are sure and He cares for me and will never leave me."

    "I have been richly blessed with my time here at DLM . I was confused about many things in life. Having been abused, I couldn't see things clearly. I was feeling guilty about things that were not my fault. With the help and guidance of a counselor, I came back to grip in my life, and I came to see how I feared man more than God. I look forward to learning to know God in a more intimate way."

    "The apprenticeship course at DLM equipped me with a more thorough understanding of God, sin, repentance, and lasting personal change. It was a time of intense spiritual growth for me, and a huge learning experience. During the course, I read assigned books on counseling, completed a DVD series, and observed several counseling sessions. I highly recommend this Biblical counseling course to anyone interested in helping people."