Who We Are

Since its inception in 1903 as a mission of the United Methodist Women, The Vashti Center has worked with children and youth with a variety of challenges.

Faith Based Mission

We are in a covenant relationship with The United Methodist Women – National Office. This relationship ensures that we provide an all-inclusive spiritual element that comforts wounded souls whom God has entrusted to our care. It allows our faith in humanity and in God’s infinite goodness to shine through.
fulfill our mission daily by helping children, youth andfamilies overcome destructive behavior patterns andfamily dysfunction. Whether the struggle is drug addiction,depression, anger, fallout from divorce, loss of a loved one,or breaking the cycle of physical and emotional abuse,Vashti is a place to which families can turn to find solace,restoration,  and hope for a better life.

Trustworthy & Secure

We are devoted to helping children – building trust and promoting an environment that allows for growth and healing. As an agency we adhere to strict policies and guidelines regarding the privacy of those we serve. In order for there to be treatment, there must be trust.

Restorative & Healing

We operate from a place of peace and compassion. Many of those in our care have come from trauma and upheaval. We are a port in the storm. Down to the butterfly in our logo, our mission is to help children experience rebirth and the joy of renewal.

Our Team

Elijah Miranda

Elijah Miranda

Executive Director

Elijah Miranda joined the Vashti Center in January 2017. He was previously the HIV/AIDS program director for the Southwest Public Health District. Prior to that, Elijah served as senior health educator at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center in NYC. While there, he received his ,aster’s in public health from Hunter College. He holds a bachelor’s degree in health promotion/behavior from the University of Georgia. Elijah is also a master certified health education specialist.

Arlisha Williams

Arlisha Williams

Program Director, RBWO

Arlisha received a bachelor’s degree in biology and then completed an internship at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She holds a master’s degree in human services and is currently pursuing her Master of Divinity degree. Arlisha serves on the Social Work Assistant Advisory Board for Southern Regional Technical College and serves as a field Instructor for the Social Work Assistant Program. She has been with Vashti for 23 years.

Cathy Marchant

Cathy Marchant

Clinical Director, RBWO

Cathy Marchant, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, has worked as a therapist at Vashti for 25 years. A graduate of Florida State University, Cathy holds a master’s degree in social work. She has strong spiritual values and these values have communicated themselves in her ministry to the children of the Vashti Center.

Dana Stewart

Dana Stewart

Chief of Clinical and Operational Services

Dana has been with Vashti since September 2010. She holds a bachelor’s degree in applied science  from Valdosta State University and a master’s in health leadership from Western Governors University. A registered respiratory therapist, she was formerly employed by Southern Regional Technical College as an adjunct instructor. Dana’s many roles at Vashti have included: continuous quality Improvement, risk prevention and management, compliance/privacy officer, and Training Officer.

Rev. Amanda Messer

Rev. Amanda Messer


Reverend Amanda Messer is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church. Amanda graduated from the University of South Alabama with a bachelor’s in psychology. In 2009, she completed her master’s degree in marriage and family therapy from the University of Mobile. In 2012, she graduated from Candler School of Theology with her Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Scripture and Interpretation. She began working at Ashland Place United Methodist Church of Mobile, AL in 2012 where she served for over 6 years as the minister of congregational life and director of youth ministries. Amanda moved to Thomasville with her family in October 2018 to serve as Vashti Center’s chaplain .


Alex English

Alex English

Training & Development Manager

Alex graduated from Florida State University in 2015 with a Bachelors in Hospitality & Event Management. Alex worked in the Hospitality industry from 2015-2020, and in August of 2020, she was ready to make a career change. With her interest in mental health awareness, child advocacy, and non-profits, Vashti was the perfect fit for her. Since joining the team, she has served as the Community Training Manager, and has been trained as a facilitator for three different professional development opportunities that Vashti offers to youth serving organizations and foster parents in the community. Over the last year, she has also begun managing all staff training and development, social media, and assisting with our fundraising events.


Jacquelyn Hopkins

Jacquelyn Hopkins

Program Director, Ventures & Connections

Jacquelyn, fondly known as Jackie, joined the Vashti family in July 2014 as a therapist in the community program.  She holds an  M.B.A with a concentration in healthcare management, as well as a masters degree in rehabilitation counseling.  Presently, she is Program Director of the Ventures on Broad Clubhouse. Prior to Vashti, Jackie served as program manager for the Sycamore Center/Heritage Foundation and as associate director of the Thomasville Community Resource Center.  Jackie has worked in the social services delivery system for over 25 years and believes everyone has the potential to do and be better.

Brian Miller

Brian Miller

Maintenance Supervisor

Brian originally joined The Vashti Center in March 2000 as support services in maintenance, where he stayed until April 2002.  Prior to re-joining Vashti he worked in construction, management, finance and retail sales.  His true calling was in construction and remodeling.  In pursuing this career path, he became a Georgia state licensed residential contractor and started his own business.  After returning to The Vashti Center in November 2016, Brian currently oversees 46 acres and 9 buildings on the Vashti campus.

Board of Trustees

Jim Bue, Chair

Amy House, Vice-Chair

Debbie Gaskins, Treasurer

Ellen Jeter, Secretary

Sonya Aldridge

Debra Bryant

Katie Chastain

Nicole Dempsey

Chris Goff

Deborah Hicks

Reverend Carrie Myers

Jami Porter

Sherri Rayburn

Dr. Bettie Stafford

Kyle Swann

Krista Watkins

Al Wight

Lorraine Williams, MD


Contact Us

1815 E Clay Street
Thomasville, GA 31792
[email protected]

719 E Shotwell Street
Bainbridge, GA 39819
[email protected]