Founder & President - The Rev. Dr. Helen Appelberg
The youngest of three girls, Helen grew up in Tyler, Texas. After many years of education, marriage and owning a business in Houston, Helen was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1990. She then served as Assistant Director of Pastoral Care for St. Luke’s Episcopal and Texas Children’s Hospitals. In 1994 Helen founded Community of Hope, and from 1996 until retirement was the full time director. Today, Helen is Board president of the Community of Hope International.
Helen has served on the Diocese of Texas Executive Board, Clergy Pastoral Care and Standing Committee. She is a graduate of Seminary of the Southwest and in 1995 received a Doctorate of Ministry from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She is a graduate of the Pecos Benedictine Monastery School for Spiritual Directors and an oblate in the World Community for Christian Meditation.
After retiring in 2002, Helen moved to Galveston where she became a Visiting Scholar in the Sealy Center on Aging at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Now a Fellow, she is Director of the Center for Spirituality of Aging. She also serves as Associate Rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Galveston and co-facilitates their Community of Hope training center.
Every day Helen is grateful for God’s amazing gift of grace and blessing, especially for her daughter Katrina, husband Scott, three delightful grand children, devoted friends and community.
New in 2018!
Richard was born in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating from Alamo Heights High School he earned a B.A. in Psychology from Baylor University, a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Seminary, and his doctorate from Austin Seminary. In 1978 he became the Associate Pastor of Ridgeview Presbyterian Church, Dallas, Texas. Since that time Richard has served a number of churches as Senior Pastor. From 1982 to 1992 he was he Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Navasota, TX. He was called as the Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Baytown in October of 1992. In 2006 First Presbyterian Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church merged to become Faith Presbyterian Church of Baytown. Richard served the Presbyterian Church in Baytown until June 2012. He received the status of Honorably Retired Minister of the PCUSA in July of 2012. Since retirement Richard has served as Assisting Clergy at Grace Episcopal Church, Houston, Texas. Richard currently serves as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church and Memorial Lutheran Church, Texas City. During his retirement years he also served as a He also works as a Chaplain/Counselor for Hallmark Hospice.
Richard has served on a number of boards of nonprofit organizations and other civic and community endeavors over the years. He has served on School Boards; was a board member of the New Horizon Family Center and Habitat for Humanity also serving as Board President. He was the Executive Director of the Senior Center Ministry (Meals on Wheels) of the Presbyterian Church. He has served on a number of committees in New Covenant Presbytery from Chair of the Nominating Committee, Delegate to The General Assembly Presbyterian Church USA. He has served on numerous committees and taskforces in the Synod of the Sun.
Elsa, Richard’s spouse, is a retired 6th grade math teacher in the GCCISD. She currently teaches at Lee College in Baytown. Richard is an avid reader, guitarist, a Benedictine Oblate in the World Community of Christian Meditation.
The Rev. Dr. Helen Appelberg President and Founding Director of COHI (Galveston, TX)
Br. Michael Gallagher OSB Member-at-Large (Beaumont, TX)
Pam Heidt Secretary and Interim Regional Representative for West/Northwest Region (Rockport, TX)
Cynthia Oliphant New Center Start-up Coordinator (Highlands, TX)
Carrie Watson Vice President (Huntsville, TX)