2018 Speakers

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: This year again we are bringing in two licensed counselors who will be offering FREE private counseling sessions to our pastors’ wives who attend the retreat. Sign up will be first come, first served at the time of check in on November 6th.


Gretchen Fant: Gretchen was born in a military home. She spent her growing up years mostly in Virginia and South Carolina, and lived for two years in the Philippines.  She completed a BA in French from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC and a MEd from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. In 1995, she and her husband Marshall “replanted” Harvest Baptist Church in Rock Hill, SC. Gretchen was involved in the teaching and counseling ministries at Harvest for twenty-one years.

In August 2017, the Fants transitioned from the ministry at Harvest Baptist and moved to Easley, SC. Currently Marshall is the Director of Church Development under Gospel Fellowship Association. Gretchen assists in the counseling ministry at University Baptist Church in Clemson, SC. She is on the board of the Piedmont Women’s Center in Greenville, SC and is a certified biblical counselor through ACBC (Association of Biblical Counselors).

The Fants have 5 children and 10 grandchildren.


Kim Shadday grew up in Northern Indiana in a Christian home and accepted Christ as a young girl. After graduating from high school, she moved to Indianapolis and attended IUPUI, receiving a Bachelor degree in Social Work in 1995. She and her husband, Shawn, have been faithful and active members and servants of Crosspointe Baptist Church for over 20 years. Kim stayed at home to raise their two sons, and was led by the Lord to pursue a ministry in counseling once their children were both in school. After almost two years of training, she received her certification for Biblical Counseling from ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors), formerly known as NANC, in April 2011. Kim currently serves as a Biblical Counselor for women and young ladies in the TurningPointe Counseling Ministry at Crosspointe. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Biblical Counseling through Maranatha Baptist University in Watertown, Wisconsin. Kim is excited to be a part of our Pastors Wives Retreat and offers any help that she can to our ladies, compassionately turning them to God and His Word for hope and answers to life’s issues.



Suzanne Neighbors came to know the Lord as her personal Savior when she was 18 years old during evangelistic meetings at her grandmother’s church.  After graduation she went on to attend Midwestern Baptist College, Dr. Tom Malone’s school in Pontiac, MI.  In August 1973 she married her High School sweetheart, Jim Neighbors.  In 1983 she received special summer training in NANC.  Suzanne has been an organ and piano teacher for over thirty years, the church organist, leads the chime choir, sings in the choir, helps with special music and is a small group leader for the RU chapter at her church.  She became the caretaker for her in-laws and her mother, who have since passed away.  Her 92 year old dad, who is a joy to have, lives with her now.  Suzanne and her husband, Jim, have been serving the Lord at Bluelick Bible Church in Lima, Ohio for 40 years.  Along with her role as a pastor’s wife, Suzanne speaks at ladies retreats, mother-daughter banquets and conferences.  Suzanne & Jim have four children and 10 grandchildren.




Leah Highfill accepted Christ at the age of 18 while in Bible college training for ministry. She served alongside her pastor husband (JD) for 10 years in Maritime Canada, where they became Canadian citizens, and where God gave her a desire, through her own experiences, to encourage her fellow pastors’ wives. She is the founder of Hope For Pastors’ Wives (formerly Embracing Grace, which began in 2011) and the host/visionary of the Heart-2-Heart Pastors’ Wives Retreat. Leah is wife to JD, and they have two Canadian born children (Caleb-12 and Charity-10) who are both medical miracles. Leah is a pianist and a piano/theory teacher, an avid reader, a creative, a true introvert, and a lover of beauty in nature and in words. She leads an extensive, private, quiet ministry of online encouragement through the avenue of blogging and of hosting secret support groups for hundreds of pastors’ wives around the world. She is passionate about pouring the hope of Christ into other pastors’ wives, through the avenue of writing and through her annual retreat for pastors’ wives. Join her community at www.hopeforpastorswives.com 


Resurrecting Hope: What To Do With Your Cynical Heart {JD Highfill}

Hope Through Lament: What To Do With Your Broken Heart {JD and Leah Highfill}


When You’re The Pastor’s Wife: Loneliness and Friendship


  1. Life Together: Investing in Redemptive Relationships {Kelly Collier}
  2. How To Develop Intentional Prayer Groups {Tori Frausto}
  3. My Little Mission Field: The Unique Opportunities of the Working Pastor’s Wife {Laura Williams}
  4. Conversation For Assistant Pastors’ Wives {Led by Bethany Chancey, Christy Westlake}