Our Team

Founders

Larry Russell, Executive Director/Counselor

Lorrie Russell, Counselor

Larry and Lorrie Russell

Larry and Lorrie Russell are the co-founders of Shepherd’s Heart Ministry. After years of Pastoral experience, thousands of hours of counseling, and speaking into the hearts of men and women in the church as well as those serving in the ministry, God gave them a new and broader vision.

Since 2004, the Russells have devoted their lives to the Lord and have been used by God to direct and lead this growing ministry. What started in Colorado with one retreat center, has multiplied into an International Ministry with numerous retreat centers and God-inspired leadership. Selfless volunteers, prayer partners, and faithfully committed financial partners surround Shepherd’s Heart Ministry because they too believe in the Vision.

Larry and Lorrie, who were both believers, met in Israel and married a couple of years later in 1982. At that time, they worked in secular positions managing, teaching, and serving in the local church they attended in Colorado Springs. In 1987 they moved to the Denver area.

Both Larry and Lorrie completed their master’s degrees in Guidance and Counseling, Marriage and Family from the University of Colorado.  Larry entered private practice and has done approximately 20,000 hours of counseling before creating a comprehensive counseling center at a large multi-cultural church and ultimately serving as its Executive Pastor for 11 years.  Lorrie was ordained in 1999 and managed various departments, taught, and did administrative work for the church.

The Russells are currently developing the Shepherd’s Heart Ministry Institute, with an online training program that will encourage others who have the heart to come alongside Pastors and Missionaries for leaders all over the world to bring healing and restoration. Training will include learning the Intensive model, counseling tools, and how to open and staff retreat centers along with a variety of other topics and issues.

Larry is the author of Before Love Dies,” a book devoted to building strong, successful, and Godly marriages. Together, Larry and Lorrie have developed a video series entitled “The New Normal, Blended Family Issues.” This series is designed for remarried couples and can be used individually, in small groups or churches.

The Russells reside in Colorado and have 2 grown children and 4 amazing grandchildren.

Executive Administrative Assistant

Gail Magruder

Gail Magruder

Gail was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. The youngest of seven children and ten years behind her closest sibling, Gail grew up with nieces and nephews as playmates. Church was always a regular part of life for the family and when Gail was ten years old, she gave her life to Christ at Lake Forest Ranch Church Camp. Since that moment, God has been leading and orchestrating her life.

 Upon the recommendation of a pastor, Gail attended college at Mississippi College in Clinton, MS where she earned a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. After graduation Gail moved to Hattiesburg, MS to begin a graduate program in Counseling and Guidance at the University of Mississippi. During this time, a small interruption in education occurred when she got engaged to a handsome swim coach she had met and dated during her last year of college. Several years after getting married, Gail returned to graduate school and completed an M.Ed. in School Psychometry.

 The majority of Gail’s adult life has been spent in ministry and teaching. When her children were small, she taught kindergarten during the day and an occasional Intro to Psychology course at a local college in the evenings. An interesting time of comparison between the two to say the least! She also worked as Director of Education at a church in Arizona for about ten years overseeing and training staff, teaching, and supervising curriculum from nursery to senior adults. More recently she has worked in women’s ministry and continues serving as a vocalist with the WAM FAM (Worship Arts Ministry Family) at her church.

 In 2012 Gail came to Shepherd’s Heart Ministry as Executive Administrator where she has the privilege of speaking with pastors, ministry leaders, and missionaries from all over the world. Gail also manages day-to-day office duties, works on product development, helps direct fundraising events, works with counselors and hosts in the development and presentation of new SHM retreat centers, and is part of the SHM Institute Team. She believes that God brought her to Shepherd’s Heart for “such a time as this” and is so grateful to serve Him and His shepherds in this capacity.    

 Gail and her husband Brian were married in 1984 and have three amazing children, a wonderful son-in-law, and a beautiful granddaughter. They have lived in Castle Rock, Colorado since 2006.

Counselors

Shepherd’s Heart counselors and pastoral care specialists have extensive experience and backgrounds as pastors, missionaries, ministry leaders, or counselors. Many have experience in more than one of these areas. All counselors and pastoral specialists are trained by SHM in the Intensive model. In addition, counselors and pastoral care specialists must meet the training, licensing, or certification requirements for the state or country in which they serve.

Hosts

When ministry leaders come to SHM for an intensive, they are greeted and served by host couples who volunteer their time to love on them, serve them, prepare meals, and pray for them. They treat their guests as royalty making their stay as safe, private, and comfortable as possible to allow the Holy Spirit to bring healing into their lives.

Board of Directors

Jeff Anderson (Sec./Treas.), David Anderson (Chairman), Linda Anderson, Larry Ilg (Vice-Chairman), Larry Russell (President), Lorrie Russell, Carl Debose, Tim Kulin, Alvin Simpkins

Our Board of Directors is comprised of men and women who are spiritually mature in their faith experienced in both full-time and volunteer ministry, solid in integrity, broad financial and business acumen, and sensitive to the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are privileged to serve pastors, missionaries, and ministry leaders as a team.

Leadership Team

Our Board of Directors along with their spouses comprise our Leadership Team. The Board handles the legal and financial issues of the ministry . . . the Leadership Team is the creative force behind the vision and mission of Shepherds Heart Ministry.

Alvin and Carmel Simpkins

Alvin Simpkins is currently the Senior Pastor at Emmanuel Christian Center in Denver, Colorado. Previously Alvin served as an Associate Pastor for six years at Heritage Christian Center and also worked for over five years with Promise Keepers as a Regional Director and International Prayer Director. Alvin has traveled the nations speaking at men’s conferences, seminars, and retreats, and has counseled men, women, and couples with particular emphasis on prayer and marriage. He has written articles for Promise Keepers, Say Amen Magazine, and numerous other periodical publications. Alvin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education, a Master’s degree in Public Administration, and a Doctorate in Leadership. 

Carmel Simpkins serves beside her husband in his duties as a Pastor. She holds a degree in Psychology and a Doctorate in Leadership. Carmel previously worked as an educator and trainer for the Department of Probation and Parole in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mansfield Business College in Canton, Ohio, and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. These positions offered the opportunity to mentor individuals and couples in relationship management. Carmel frequently speaks at women’s and couple’s events on marriage and prayer. She also works with women and men who are trying to re-establish their lives after marital/relationship breakups and understands the pains and repercussions of broken relationships.

The Simpkins are committed to prayer in the local church and within the Shepherd’s Heart Ministry Prayer team. The SHM prayer team consists of over 400 prayer warriors who pray consistently for hurting couples who attend a counseling Intensive as well as for special needs of the ministry and the team.

Alvin and Carmel are Trainers for PREP (Prepare Relationship Enhancement Program), a Christian couple’s communication tool. In addition to their pastoral duties, they travel nationally, providing marriage workshops building on the vision of the church, “Building Healthy, Happy, and Holy Families through Christ.” Pastor Alvin and Pastor Carmel work continually in the areas of extensive biblical and special research to assist couples in marriage, finances, and child-rearing.

The Simpkins authored a book on prayer and marriage, “Marriage Made in Heaven or Hell on Earth.” They were also contributors in Clarence Schuler’s book “Letting Your Wife Become Your Best Friend.” Additionally, Alvin co-authored a prayer leadership book titled “Pray or Become Prey.”

Alvin and Carmel have been married since 1983 and reside in Colorado. They are the parents of three sons and a daughter.

David and Linda Anderson

David and Linda Anderson

David and Linda Anderson have been serving in ministry in a myriad of ways for the past 30 years. David has served as an usher, deacon, elder, and lay pastor in his church, while Linda has served in children’s ministry, women’s ministry, lay counseling program, and bookstore. The Andersons facilitated a Home Care group for five years that fueled their passion for helping couples through counseling.

In 2014 David became an ordained pastor. For years he was actively involved in the church’s leadership team, overseeing elders and deacons. David spearheaded the leadership development of those teams through conducting training classes.

Linda holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University Long Beach and has always had a passion for helping people. She has spent hundreds of hours counseling women one-on-one. Over the years, the Andersons have helped many couples through premarital and marriage counseling.

Since the inception of Shepherd’s Heart Ministry, David and Linda have been actively involved in the ministry.  Both are currently on the Board of Directors, with David serving as Chairman of the Board for the past eight years.

David is involved in the Ministry’s growth through Board development, fundraising, Retreat Center organization, and planning the annual Board retreat. Along with Pastor Larry Russell, David travels to Israel to work with SHM partners, build relationships, and assist in ministry planning in Israel for the following year. Linda is instrumental in the planning and execution of the SHM annual fundraising banquet, and she works closely with the Leadership Team in the development of SHM prevention programs. David and Linda are dedicated to personal and ministry growth. Every year they attend various conferences for leadership, ministry and Board development, and counselor training.

David is the founder, owner, and president of High Country Coatings, Inc., a thriving business that applies commercial and industrial floor coating to concrete floors. Linda manages the office and oversees Human Resources and Accounting.

David and Linda have been married since 1982 and reside in Colorado. During their free time, they enjoy traveling, water sports, and spending time with their five children and three grandchildren.

Jeff and Kammy Andersen

Jeff Anderson and his wife Kammy, have been involved with Shepherds Heart Ministry since its inception and has served on the Board of Directors and Leadership Team since 2009. 

Jeff came from a family who had a very strong work ethic as they moved around Colorado due to his father’s work.  He became a believer at 16 while he was attending a church in Loveland, CO and has been involved in ministry since 1990, serving in many different capacities. Jeff and Kammy felt the Lord calling them more into mission-based work and in 2016 they got involved in a mission-based church in Parker, CO where they both serve on the Mission Committee. They have traveled to Lebanon, Romania, Israel, Jordan, and Mexico and plan to continue traveling wherever the Lord leads them. 

Jeff has worked in various positions such as Sales, Management and Visual Communications. He is currently the Operations Manager at Omni Tech Industries in Colorado. 

Kammy was born in Iowa on a domestic farm with lots of animals to a family that faithfully attended church.  She became a believer and continued to attend church regularly.  She served in children’s ministry for several years and then continued serving in other ministries including prayer, women’s ministry, and hospitality. Kammy has worked in the Optical industry and Accounting field; she has been a Consultant for Creative Memories and managed a Doggy Day Care Center. Currently, she is employed by the Denver Public School system as a Tech Manager. 

Jeff and Kammy oversee the Shepherd’s Heart Ministry Prayer Team of over 400 faithful prayer warriors for the ministry They also co-host SHM tours to Israel, organize ministry involvement at Missions Fairs and Pray, Pray, Pray! 

The Andersons were married in 1986 and have 2 children and one grandson.

Larry and Jackie Ilg

Larry and Jackie Ilg

Larry and Jackie Ilg have been married since 1984. They have four wonderful children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 great-granddaughter.

Larry came to know the Lord at age 13 and has loved and served the Lord faithfully. He grew up in a Christian home and has sought wisdom from the Lord all his life. Larry’s keen sense of business and management catapulted him into a successful real estate career, where he and his wife, Jackie, own several properties, including an Internationally known Hostel in downtown Denver.

Jackie accepted Jesus in 1978. She has been blessed to serve as a Sunday school teacher, has held Bible study groups, and has served in various positions within the churches they have attended. Jackie loves mentoring women and showing them the love of Jesus to bring healing and restoration into their lives. And, she loves spending time with her children and grandchildren.

The Ilgs purchased a home close to the Shepherd’s Heart Ministry Office to serve as a “Host Couple” for the hurting Pastors and Missionaries who come for a 5-day intensive. Their prayer is that the Lord will use them and their home as a “safe” place for the Ministry Leaders who are in crisis.

Tim and Shirlene Kulin

Tim Kulin was born and raised in a small farming community in Illinois, where he grew up attending church all his life. When he was a young man, he turned away from the Lord because of the messages of “guilt, shame, fire, and hell.” After 5 years of living a pagan lifestyle, Tim turned back to the Lord at a Promise Keepers event and a touch from the Holy Spirit.

Tim and Shirlene met and began to attend mainstream churches for about 13 years until they discovered their Hebraic Roots and began attending a Messianic congregation in Denver. They had the incredible privilege of leading two tours to Israel and fell in love with the Land and the People and continue to live a Hebraic/Christian lifestyle.

Shirlene was born and raised in Thornton Colorado, and like her husband was raised in a home of loving parents and 2 siblings.  She attended CU at Boulder where she received her degree in accounting and birthed her own private business as a certified public accountant.

Tim serves on the SHM Board of Directors, and together, they bring their wisdom and expertise to the Leadership team of Shepherd’s Heart Ministry.

After marrying in 1990, Tim and Shirlene’s professions grew at an amazing rate, and they decided to begin a family. In 2009, they were blessed to adopt their first child, a daughter from China, and then, in 2014, a son. The children keep them entertained, engaged, and young.

The Kulins also own Tim Kulin Cabinetry and Aspen Granite in Woodland Park, CO where they reside.

Carl and Sonja DeBose

Carl and Sonja DeBose

Carl and Sonja DeBose have been married since 1994. After seven years of marriage, they decided to take a premarital course that was offered at their church. They learned so much about themselves, especially about dealing with the baggage they carried into their marriage. The class strengthened their marriage and taught them how to deal with a blended family. It also inspired them to become lay counselors so they could help other married couples learn to deal with the stresses in marriage and ways to enhance their relationship.

For over 16 years, Carl and Sonja have been faithful in ministry. They have both served in ministerial leadership roles. They also hosted a Christian radio show with fellow members of their church for over a year. They feel honored to be in a ministry that values marriage and privileged to be in leadership with Shepherd’s Heart Ministry.

Carl has been a project specialist in the Security Access industry for over 20 years. Sonja is a Senior Executive Secretary at Denver Public Schools, where she has worked for over 18 years. They are co-owners of Keepin’ It Real Catering, specializing in smoked meats. Sonja is also a certified health coach and personal trainer and enjoys helping others with their wellness.

Carl and Sonja are a blended family with six children and six beautiful grandchildren. They reside in Aurora, CO.