Counseling Center

The Counseling Center is an essential part of the ministry at Shandon Baptist Church.   Every day, members and their families are dealing with the stress and anxiety of living in a world filled with the pressures of life.   The Word of God speaks volumes to us about the faithfulness of God’s help and guidance so that we face those difficult challenges with confidence and faith.  

The apostle Paul wrote, “We who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves” (Rev.15:1).  And, “Even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.  Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal.6:1-2)

Throughout the New Testament, commands are given to believers to "admonish one another" (Romans 15:14); “encourage one another” (Heb. 3:13); “comfort one another with these words” ((1 Thess 4:18); “build one another up” (1 Thess 5:11); “confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed” (Jane’s 5:16).    This is what biblical counseling and life coaching does - it builds up the body of Christ.

To schedule an appointment, please email Susan Butler at  or call the Shandon Baptist Church office at 803-782-1300 and ask to speak to Susan Butler. 


As the Director of Shandon’s Counseling Office, Rev. Dennis Banks is passionate about the help and healing that can be found through God.

He is a certified Life Coach and has been part of the Shandon family for five years. Dennis also serves as Shandon’s 55+ Ministry Director and Pastoral Care Administrator, where he is responsible for the education, ministry and social programs for Shandon’s 55+ population, as well as overseeing grief support, hospital visits, weddings, funerals and the homebound ministry for the entire Shandon community.

Dennis has served in the ministry for 35 years, working in a variety of roles in the Columbia area. He was on the ministerial staff at First Baptist Church of Columbia for 14 years. During his time there, Dennis was the Senior Adult Minister, a staff counselor, Evangelism Director and the Men’s Ministry Director. Prior to that, he was a church planter with Pacific Area Missions in Hawaii.

Dennis is a graduate of Columbia International University and holds a master’s degree in theology and a bachelor’s degree in Bible with a ministry minor. When he’s not tinkering on a vintage automobile or riding his motorcycle, you can find Dennis spending time with his wife of 50 years, Cathy, and his two daughters, nine grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.




Dr. Rachel Bush has been in the mental health and ministry field for 25 years. She received her B.S. in Nursing from the University of South Carolina (UofSC) and started practice as a psychiatric nurse in the 1990s. After fulfilling a mission term in the Balkans with the International Mission Board, she completed a Master of Divinity at Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in San Francisco, followed by a Master of Arts in Clinical Counseling at Columbia International University. She has been in private practice as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) for the past 15 years while working as an adjunct clinical professor at UofSC and group therapist at Prisma Health Baptist Hospital. 

Dr. Bush has most recently completed the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) from the UofSC and has finished the requirements to practice as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP.) 

Dr. Bush has specialized training in trauma, including EMDR (Eye-Movement Desensitization Reprocessing), and uses an integrative therapeutic approach using CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), DBT (dialectical-behavioral therapy) and ACT (acceptance commitment therapy.) 

She frequently works with individuals who struggle with life adjustment, depression, anxiety disorders, trauma and loss, and relationship conflicts. Dr. Bush integrates principles of professional psychology with biblical Christian principles and faith. 

Rachel Bush

Licensed Professional Counselor


Paul G. Knight: Ed D, CRC, CRVC,  LPCS 

Education:   Doctorate (Ed D) - The University of South Carolina - Columbia 

Major:  Counselor Education & School Psychology – Educator/Counselor 

Master of Science – The University of Tennessee – Knoxville 

Major: Counseling Psychology – Emphasis in Rehabilitation 

Bachelor of Arts – Carson-Newman University – Jefferson City, Tn 

Major:  Social Sciences; Psychology/Sociology & History – Emphasis Teaching 

Professional Experience:  30 years working as a professional counselor/ supervisor/ Counselor manager         State of South Carolina 

  22 years working as a counselor Department of Veteran Affairs 

Retired:  Veteran Affairs Division Chief – Rehabilitation Counseling Program December 2018 

Current:  Military and Family Life Counselor – MFLC  - Fort Jackson 

Membership:    American Counseling Association 

                            Christian Counseling Association 

                            American Rehabilitation Counseling Association 

             State Professional Counselor Association 

             Shandon Baptist Church – Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, on Pastoral Counseling Staff 

Licensed:          Licensed - Professional Counselor Supervisor – State of South Carolina 

Certification:  Rehabilitation Counselor;  Certified Veteran Rehabilitation Counselor 

Adjunct Professor:   The University of South Carolina 

                                     South Carolina State University                                      Webster University 

Paul Knight

Licensed Professional Counselor

Our licensed counselors have offered their knowledge and expertise on common topics in the articles linked below. 




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