Staff and Students

Benjamin Atu is originally from Enugu State Nigeria. He comes to Saginaw via the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe New Mexico where he travelled on a missionary journey. He served as a Deacon at the Shrine of St. Bernadette in Albuquerque, NM. More recently, Benjamin served at the St. Clement Pope Parish in the Jamaica neighborhood of New York City before he moved to Saginaw. He holds a bachelors of philosophy and a B.A. in religion from University of Nigeria Nsukka. He obtained his Master of Divinity from Holy Apostles seminary in Cromwell Connecticut. He plans to return to New Mexico at the end of his CPE Residency Program here. Benjamin enjoys being outdoors running, kayaking, and hiking, and likes to talk politics. He can be reached at

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

Wayne Barrett is serving as an occasional employee at Covenant. An ordained Teaching Elder (Minister of Word and Sacrament) in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), he has served churches in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Michigan. He completed one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) with Allegiant Healthcare in Omaha, Nebraska in 2001. He also served a paid chaplaincy internship with Forum Health in Youngstown, Ohio in 1998. He is a graduate of Hope College in Holland, Michigan (B.A., political science) and began his seminary career at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and graduated from Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan (M.Div). He is married to Jennifer and has six children: Anastasia, Emmett, Marnie, Elijah, Clara, and Levi. He resides in Sterling, Michigan. Wayne can be reached at

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.

Anne Breitag is a Roman Catholic Dominican Sister who has worked on Covenant's Pastoral Care Team since August 2000 after completing her Clinical Pastoral Education studies. Before joining Covenant, she was in active parish ministry for 33 years as a teacher, principal, religious education director, and pastoral minister. Sister Anne became a certified chaplain in the summer of 2002. Sister Anne can be contacted at 989.583.4398.

Heather Collins manages the Covenant CPE program and supervises our pastoral students. She moved to Saginaw in 2015 with her husband, David, their three dogs, and two cats when she was offered a position at Covenant. She entered the field of pastoral care and education in 2000 after serving in the congregational setting for seven years as an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. She directed the Chaplaincy Services at the Atlanta Medical Center in Georgia for twelve years until she resigned to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail with her husband. They completed the 2200 mile journey in April 2015. Heather loves the ministry of caring for people, and of teaching helpful skills for artful ministry. She is gratified to be a part of the Covenant team and can be reached at

Cathy French is serving as a staff chaplain at Covenant, having completed and served as a resident chaplain here at Covenant 2011-12. She has spent much of her adult and childhood growing up in the northeast region of Massachusetts. She received her Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School and completed a CPE internship at Haven Wood-Heritage Heights in Concord, New Hampshire. Prior to seminary, Cathy worked in human services most recently as an intensive case manager/family liaison with children and their families in crisis. She is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist with an interest in serving in an ecumenical interfaith setting as a chaplain. Cathy can be reached at

Adrain Mobley-Bowie, an occasional employee, joined Covenant’s Department of Pastoral Care & Education in May 2017. She completed 5 units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) as Intern and Resident at Emory University Hospital, Clifton in Atlanta, Georgia. After 35 years she moved back home to Saginaw with her spouse C.J of 19 years. Adrain, is a gifted Chaplain, ordained Clergy, multi-media Communicator, and social Anthropologist. She is a graduate of Emory University's Candler School of Theology, Atlanta, Georgia, where she earned her Master Of Divinity and Certificates in Black Church Studies and Women In Theology and Ministry, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan, receiving a Bachelor Of Art Degree majoring in Speech Communications along with a Social Studies Composite and a Secondary Teaching Certificate, Delta Community College, Tri City, Michigan, completing an Associate degree in Arts In Broadcasting. Adrain honors The Creator with her gifts, various talents, and leadership skills in spiritual care, to family and student care systems, and the creative arts. Adrain can be reached at

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

Elaine Raymond is a Mission Sister of the Holy Spirit and has been an occasional employee at Covenant since 1984 when former director, Ray Dice, was the only full-time chaplain. Ray saw the need for round-the-clock chaplains and prepared four ministers for this ministry on a volunteer basis. At that time Sr. Elaine was a full-time pastoral associate at St. Andrew Catholic Church after which she was appointed Pastoral Administrator at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Merrill from 1989-1999. During this time she continued her chaplaincy with Covenant. She also directs the Special Religious Education Program (SPRED) for developmentally disabled people throughout the Diocese. In 1999, Sr. Elaine returned to St. Andrew and continued there for nine years before retiring. She continues chaplaincy at Covenant, the SPRED program, and is also a hospice chaplain for the Visiting Nurses Association of Covenant. Sr. Elaine can be reached at

Liz Retz is a 2017-18 Resident Chaplain. Liz is ordained clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and has served as a pastor in a local congregation since 2010. She completed her Masters of Divinity degree at Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa and also has a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Iowa. Liz has 30 years of healthcare experience having worked as an EMT, paramedic, and pharmacist prior to entering public ministry. Liz enjoys hiking, rustic camping, and time in nature with her dog. Liz can be reached at

Tene Rowland is a Resident Chaplain (2017-2018), who was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and is a graduate of Cass Technical High School. She earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management from Alabama State University, an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and a Masters of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary. Tene earned one CPE unit while working as an intern at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. She also worked as a hospice chaplain for Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care. Accepting her call to preach in 2002, Tene has been licensed by Greater Southern Missionary Baptist Church, and ordained through Joy Cometh Ministries. Throughout her years in ministry, Tene has served in numerous leadership capacities, such as Worship Leader, Pastoral Care Director, Christian Education Director, Singles Ministry Director, Intercessory Prayer Group Leader, and Sunday School and Bible Study Teacher. Tene is the loving mother of the best gift given by God, her son Judah Woods. She can be reached at

Rob Schmidt serves as an occasional employee at Covenant. Rob is an ordained clergy in the ELCA and serves as pastor to a local congregation since 2006. Rob has completed one unit of CPE as part of his seminary education at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH, where he earned his masters of divinity. Prior to ministry Rob earned a masters in counseling education and psychology from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s of science with secondary education teaching endorsement. Rob served in the public school system in the state of Michigan where he taught, coached and served as a counselor prior to pursuing his ministerial credentials. Rob can be reached at

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

Juli Stuelpnagel serves as an occasional employee at Covenant. Juli completed a CPE residency at Covenant in 2011. She also did a second year CPE residency at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, TX in 2013-2014. Juli earned a Master’s of Divinity from Calvin Theological Seminary, and is part of the Christian Reformed Church of North America. Prior to ministry, Juli earned a master’s in education from Northern Illinois University. She taught overseas for 5 years, in Saipan, Guam, and the Dominican Republic. Juli can be reached at

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

Courtney Wickham serves as a Resident Chaplain for the academic year 2017 – 2018. Courtney hails from British Guiana, South America, but has made his home in the USA for a number of years. He’s been married to the love of his life Kim, for thirty-three years and they have four grown children and twelve grandchildren. Courtney is an ordained elder in the Seventh-day Adventist church worldwide, and has graduated from the Andrews University Theological Seminary in 2013 with the Master of Divinity degree. Courtney completed his first unit of CPE at the Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services in Grand Rapids Michigan, and worked as a Staff Chaplain 1 at the Memorial Hospital of South Bend from 01/30/2017 to 08/09/2017. He also worked in the Health Care Industry for over thirty-five years as a Registered Nurse, Physician’s Assistant, and Certified Nurse’s Aide. Courtney is also completing the Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Counseling at the Baptist School of Divinity in Lynchburg Virginia. He prides himself as a man of the “Word” and his hobby is gospel singing. He can be reached at

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