Our Counselors


All of the counselors and staff who serve with Bridgehaven are evangelical Christians, all are active church-members in a variety of churches, and all hold to a philosophy of counseling that is consistent with Bridgehaven’s statement of faith (taken from the Biblical Counseling Coalition).

While all of our counselors are pastoral counselors with similar graduate degrees and clinical training, each of our counselors have individual interests and specialized training to meet the particular needs of various clients. Additionally, while each of our counselors have a similar level of training and experience, most of our counselors have chosen to serve as non-licensed counselors on the ecclesiastical side of the separation of church and state in order to allow greater freedom for working with local churches. As such, most of our counselors do not currently hold state licensure.

Tony Higgins, MA, MA, PhD

Executive Director

Tony provides comprehensive, clinically-informed, biblical counseling and therapy to individuals, couples, and families. His specific approach is to create a safe environment in which to help you explore how the combination of physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual factors may be related to the specific challenges you, your children, and your family are currently facing.

Prior to coming to Bridgehaven, Tony served more than 20 years as a pastor, a church planter, and as a university professor and administrator. Tony holds a Masters in Christian Marriage, Family, and Individual Counseling, a Masters in Christian Education, and a Ph.D. in Leadership in Christian Higher Education. Tony is also a certified facilitator of Prepare-Enrich, the number one premarital and marriage assessment for over 35 years.

Tony’s clinical training includes school-based counseling with elementary-aged children, working with adolescents and troubled-teens who have been removed from parental-custody, counseling college and graduate students navigating the transition to and through early-adulthood, and working with prospective, newly, and long-term married couples in various stages of health.

Tony’s experience and passion includes walking with those who have experienced physical, emotional, substance, or sexual abuse; relational abandonment; homelessness; fatherlessness; father-wounded-ness; difficulties managing emotions; depression; and divorce, especially children of divorce.

When not counseling, Tony enjoys reading, cooking, working out, and watching SEC football (Go Dawgs!)

Email: thiggins@bridgehavencounseling.org

For counseling inquiries: Please email appointments@bridgehavencounseling.org

Omar King, M.Div

Pastoral Counselor

Omar (age 43) is a native of Queens, NY and relocated to Raleigh, NC as a teenager where his home has been since. In 1999 he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and his Master’s of Divinity with Biblical Counseling degree in 2010 from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Wake Forest NC. Omar is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education in Biblical Counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He has been a staff counselor at Bridgehaven since its inception in 2012. He is also an ordained pastor and has been a member of the Summit Church in Raleigh, NC since 2009.  Omar has extensive counseling experience working with individuals and couples.  Omar also sits on the board for Called to Peace Ministries a non-profit Christian organization dedicated to providing help, healing, and hope to victims of domestic abuse and equipping churches to understand and serve domestic abuse victims.  Omar enjoys counseling on a range of issues including marriage, pre-marriage, dating, depression, anger, anxiety, identity, and security issues, and has a heart specifically for broken relationships and dysfunctional relationships to see them healed, restored, and made healthy.  Omar enjoys reading, playing table tennis, exercising, and mixed martial arts. Omar and his wife LaToya of 14 years live in Wake Forest, NC.

Email: oking@bridgehavencounseling.org

For counseling inquiries: Please email appointments@bridgehavencounseling.org

Dottie Hilliard, MA

Pastoral Counselor

Dottie grew up in Raleigh and is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. She married and had two daughters whom she homeschooled for eight years. She was employed as a substitute teacher for four years until her daughters graduated from high school. After becoming an empty nester, Dottie studied at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) where she received her Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling. She served as a facilitator for a support group of women whose husbands had been unfaithful. After a year in that role, Dottie became part of the Graduate Counseling program at The Summit Church where she served three years. She has experience in areas of marriage and divorce issues, anxiety and depression, and grief.

In her free time, Dottie enjoys playing with her cat, and spending time with her husband Doug and their two daughters and sons-in law. Their family has expanded in recent years with the addition of several grandkids, and that has brought much joy to their lives.

Email: dhilliard@bridgehavencounseling.org

For counseling inquiries: Please email appointments@bridgehavencounseling.org

Keith Clement, M.Ed

Pastoral Counselor

Keith graduated from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and received his graduate counseling training at Georgia State University and the Psychological Studies Institute in Atlanta, GA (now Richmont Graduate University), the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, and the Eastern Psychotherapy Society, New York, NY. Keith’s passion is to see people set free and transformed by the renewing of their minds though the gospel of grace and the power of God’s love. He believes that the gospel is not only the good news of our salvation but also the power of our transformation. He enjoys helping people discover the good God is working in all of life’s problems and circumstances. Keith is especially eager to walk along side men in their journey to maturity and wholeness by pursuing God’s healing in areas impeding growth into their true identity. His desire is to help men discover their unique expression of God’s love and masculine strength to their families and others. Keith is committed to a wholistic view of mental health that addresses the mind, body, and spirit, incorporating the truths of Scripture, methods of counseling, and referral to specialists as needed. When not counseling, Keith enjoys working on his farm and hosting events there.

Email: kclement@bridgehavencounseling.org

For counseling inquiries: Please email appointments@bridgehavencounseling.org

Laura McGee, MACC

Pastoral Counselor

Laura, a native of Austin Texas, graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in Politics and a minor in Religion.  After graduation, she moved to the Washington DC area to pursue a career in politics.  While in DC, she volunteered with Campus Crusade for Christ discipling and mentoring college women.   Her passion  for discipleship led to her to join staff for three years.  Laura’s love for her family though led her back to North Carolina to become a full-time caregiver to her Mom who had developed a long term progressive illness. After her death, Laura moved to Raleigh in 2011 to resume a career in politics. Yet the Lord had other plans and in 2015 Laura was accepted into Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte, NC) Master’s of Counseling program and graduated in May 2017. Laura is a dedicated Dallas Cowboys fan, loves movies, her dog Bailey, and being with friends and family.   Laura is passionate about helping people who are hurting find hope and confidence in the Lord’s presence and love for them while they struggle with difficult circumstances. She specializes in anxiety and depression, life transitions, grief, caregiving, workplace difficulties and single’s issues.

Email: lmcgee@bridgehavencounseling.org

For counseling inquiries: Please email appointments@bridgehavencounseling.org

Maria Hogan, MSW, LCSW

Pastoral Counselor

Maria grew up in Upstate NY and moved South after college to get away from the snow.  She is passionate about providing a safe, gentle, and empathetic space for you to explore your greatest struggles or to ponder the difficulties of life, looking from a clinically-informed, biblical counseling lens.  Prior to coming to Bridgehaven, Maria worked as an intern in a dual diagnosis halfway house as well as a psychiatric hospital, and then she worked as a live-in counselor at a Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation home for women.  She then moved to South Asia for over a year; upon returning to the U.S., she began working as a therapist at a residential eating disorder treatment center.  Maria holds a Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from the University of South Carolina, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Drug and Addiction Studies.  Maria is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of North Carolina.  Maria enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling the world, having deep conversations, playing games, listening to music, and petting dogs.  She primarily works with individuals struggling with eating disorders or addictions, trauma, anxiety, depression, and identity searching.

Email: mhogan@bridgehavencounseling.org

For counseling inquiries: Please email appointments@bridgehavencounseling.org

Gene Burrus, M.Div, PhD

Pastoral Counselor

Gene offers counseling from a biblical perspective, drawing from Christianity’s rich soul care tradition. He enjoys helping clients form a Christian perspective on their challenges. He offers clinically-informed biblical counseling for individuals (male and female), couples, and families.

Gene has served as a church pianist, a youth minister, a lay counselor/group facilitator, and most recently served as a student counselor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS). Gene earned a Master of Divinity (MDiv) in Christian Ministry from SEBTS and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Pastoral Theology (Pastoral Care and Counseling) from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Gene is also a member of a Southern Baptist church in the Triangle.

Gene enjoys counseling and researching issues related to same-sex attraction, gender incongruence, and LGBTQ+ identification from the perspective of historic Christianity. He is available to speak on these topics, and he enjoys walking with individuals, couples, and families working through these issues as well. Other focuses include: depression, anxiety, emotion regulation, assurance of salvation, sexual addiction, pornography, doubts about Christianity, and Christian spiritual practices.

He is a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors and the Society for Christian Psychology. He is a Certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator.

Gene enjoys reading, writing, making spreadsheets, teaching piano/violin, working out, and spending time with his wife and two young children.

Email: gburrus@bridgehavencounseling.org

For counseling inquiries: Please email appointments@bridgehavencounseling.org