Staff and Students

Portrait of Bonnie Ballard

Bonnie Ballard, Administrative Associate, joined the Pastoral Care Department in January, 2009. Prior to joining the Pastoral Care Team, she worked in the Registration Department for almost two years. Before coming to Covenant HealthCare, Bonnie worked as a customer service representative/supervisor for many years. She received her Associates Degree in business from Delta College and became a certified professional secretary in 1985. Bonnie is a member/past president of the International Association of Administrative Professionals. Bonnie can be reached at 989.583.6042 or

Portrait of Kathy Bonn

Kathy Bonn, Director of the Pastoral Care Department, is a deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She brought a variety of experiences to the role of director in July 2007, including being a high school math teacher, college professor, and Hospice volunteer. During her chaplaincy training, Kathy did her CPE internship at Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center (in La Crosse, WI) and her CPE residency at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center (in Toledo, OH). For her Master of Arts in Diaconal Ministry she specialized in hospital chaplaincy, and her Ph.D. is in Curriculum & Instruction. Kathy can be reached at 989.583.6037.

Portrait of Glenn Brooks

Glenn Brooks is a Chicago native and received his BA from Elmhurst University. Glenn also received his MA from University of Detroit Mercy and MDIV from Ecumenical Theological Seminary. He has served in ministry for 14 years and is an ordained Elder in the Church of God in Christ, currently serving as the Asst/Assoc Pastor at his church--as well as a Police Chaplain--in the Detroit area. In 2014, he enlisted in the US Navy and in 2016 was commissioned as a Naval Officer in the Chaplain Candidate Program. Before joining the Navy, Glenn worked as a Higher Education Administrator for 14 years. Glenn and his wife have been married for 19 years. They have a 12 year old son and 1 year old yorkie-poo. His email address is

Portrait of Paula DeVos

Paula DeVos, a 2020-2021 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Resident Chaplain, is a classically trained vocalist and pianist who received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Seton Hill University. She served as Music Minister/Worship Leader at various churches for over 20 years before feeling the call to become a healthcare chaplain. Most recently she worked as Executive Assistant for Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra in St. Joseph, Life Enrichment Assistant for Providence Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Zeeland, and Director of Education for Muskegon Civic Theatre. Paula earned her Masters of Divinity from Liberty University this past spring and completed her chaplain internship at Friendship Village in Kalamazoo. She has been endorsed for ministry by Liberty Baptist Fellowship. Paula can be reached at

Portrait of Ruth Estell

Ruth Estell, a staff chaplain, has continued serving at Covenant HealthCare after completing a CPE residency here from 2018-2019.  She completed a previous unit of CPE at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids, MI.  Ruth is an ordained minister with the Reformed Church in America.  Prior to that, she served on the mission field in Taiwan and China.  She has an MDiv from Western Theological Seminary (Holland, MI) and both an MA in Intercultural Studies and TESL and a BA in Christian Education from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL).  She is delighted and honored to be a member of the Pastoral Care team at Covenant HealthCare.  She can be reached at

Portrait of Forest Fisher

Forest Fisher completed a B.S in Christian Counseling from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. He then got accepted into the Air Force where he completed Commissioned Officers Training and the Chaplain Candidate Intensive Internship as well as 35 days of Active Duty Training. From there he did his first unit of CPE in Lynchburg, Virginia serving Centra Hospital. Forest completed his 2019-2020 Residency here at Covenant HealthCare and feels blessed and honored to continue serving as a Staff Chaplain. He completed a Master’s in Divinity from Liberty University and is ordained by the National Association of Christian Ministers. He is endorsed through Liberty Baptist Fellowship. Forest can be reached at

Portrait of Elsie Marvin

Elsie Marvin serves as a Resident Chaplain at Covenant. She has brought a variety of experiences from her diverse pastoral background. As a daughter of a pastor, Elsie has served in outreach programs across southern rural India. She spent 18 years in the quality engineering industry before being called into full-time vocational ministry. Elsie is an ordained minister with the FRC/IAC chaplain network and also serves as a volunteer chaplain at Heartland. Elsie has also completed two units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in 2020 at Covenant HeathCare and is continuing two more CPE units in 2021. She is passionate about people and caring for others in need. Elsie enjoys spending time with her daughter Sheena, her dog Missy, and two cats, Max and Jack. Elsie can be reached at

Portrait of John Mattern

John Mattern, a 2020-2021 Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) resident chaplain, grew up in rural northern Indiana. He graduated from Anderson University School of Theology (Anderson, Indiana) in 2011 with a Masters of Divinity degree. John has spent more than nineteen years in parish pastoral ministry. He served as an associate pastor of youth and education in Springfield Illinois, the lead pastor in Greensburg Indiana, and currently serves as the lead pastor of a church in St. Johns Michigan. John received his ordination in 2005 through the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). He and his wife have two young and very active children. John can be reached at

Portrait of Janet Myers

Janet Myers, Staff Chaplain, is an Elder in the United Methodist Church and is endorsed as a chaplain by The United Methodist Endorsing Agency. She brings several different areas of experience with her. Janet has earned ten units of accredited clinical pastoral education with a specialized focus in adult behavioral health. She served the local church for seventeen years as a pastor, six years as a Life & Safety Officer at Wichita State University, two- and one-half years at the Department of Corrections and seven years in The United States Air Force. While serving in the military she had the opportunity to live overseas in Japan and South Korea. Janet earned her Master of Divinity at St. Paul School of Theology and BA from Southwestern College, Kansas. She grew up in Indiana and lived in Kansas for several years after serving in the military. She enjoys spending time with family, fishing, gardening, and her toy poodle, Teddy. Janet can be reached at

Portrait of Beth Newton Watson

Beth Newton Watson is a Certified Educator in the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education and a Board Certified Chaplain. She is ordained United Methodist clergy and is also serving as a Chaplain at DePauw University and as Associate District Superintendent in the West District of the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. She lives in Greencastle, IN in an old house, with her husband Ross. She is the mother of two grown children, stepmother of three, devoted daughter to her recently widowed mother, and wrangler of four dogs, some of them ancient. The Rev. Beth Newton Watson can be reached at

Portrait of Don O'Brien

Don O’Brien is serving as an occasional chaplain at Covenant. He completed his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) internship in July of 2020. Don received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saginaw Valley State University, and a Juris Doctor degree from Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He has worked in the legal and insurance fields for more than thirty years. For the last ten years, Don has also been a staff writer for a large, international Christian ministry where he writes articles and answers Bible questions weekly. He has written extensively on many subjects and has taught classes on the book of Genesis. Don enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family. He is married to Deb and has two grown sons. He is excited to be a part of the pastoral care team at Covenant and can be reached at

Portrait of Mark Oswald

Mark Oswald is serving as an occasional employee at Covenant. He completed his Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) internship in August of 2016. He is a Lay Minister with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 2008 and has been trained in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing. Mark was also a licensed nursing home administrator and has 19 years of experience in firefighting and rescue. He is the leader of the St. John Jail Ministry Team and is married with 3 grown children. Mark can be reached at

Portrait of Lafayette Simpson

Lafayette Simpson, an occasional employee, joined Covenant’s Department of Pastoral Care & Education in October 2015. In 2014, he completed a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) internship and received his CPE Certification from Covenant’s CPE Program. In 2014, Lafayette was installed as the second pastor of the 63-year-old congregation of the historic Bethlehem Baptist Church of Saginaw. Along his journey serving in ministry for 16 years, he has been ordained and appointed as the Chairman of the Deacon Board, licensed and ordained as a minister.  Lafayette gained ministry knowledge by attending Midwest Bible College in Pontiac, Michigan. He can be reached at

Portrait of Carol Wesolek

Carol Wesolek is serving Covenant as an occasional employee. She has completed 4 units of CPE at Covenant, which included a year residency. She has been a licensed ordained chaplain through the International Fellowship of Chaplains since 1999, with emphasis on trauma, grief and loss. Carol is a member of a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing and Management team, having taken training through ICISF (International Critical Incident Stress Foundation) of which she is a member, and the IFOC (International Fellowship of Chaplains). She also attended Mid-Michigan Bible Institute. She can be reached at

Portrait of Betty Zeestraten

Betty Zeestraten serves as part of the Pastoral Care Team after many years of ministering in Saginaw area churches and in children residential foster care facilities and substance abuse recovery programs for adults and teens. Her background includes a BA in Education from the University of Toledo, an MA in Pastoral Studies from Marygrove University and another MA in Counseling from Spring Arbor University. She has additional educational experiences in Clinical Pastoral Experience (CPE) units through Covenant’s CPE program. Chaplain Betty enjoys ministering to patients, staff and visitors at Covenant with the WE-CARE values. Chaplain Betty can be reached at