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Danny Hampton

Executive Director

Danny has been serving in ministry leadership positions since his college days in 1982.  During his years of ministry he has served in many different ministerial arenas including youth ministry, music/worship ministry, counseling, education, family ministry, and senior pastoral ministry.  Danny has had the privilege to serve in ministry fields ranging from Orlando, Florida, to Endicott, New York and many places in-between. 

Educationally, Danny earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Mars Hill College and a Masters of Divinity Degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. 

In 2010, Danny and his family felt called to leave his pastorate in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and move back to his extended family’s homeland here in McDowell County.  Shortly after arriving in Marion, Danny became Chaplain of the Marion Minimum Security Unit and an Assistant Chaplain at the Marion Correctional Institution.  

It was during his time of serving as a prison chaplain that God birthed the vision for Freedom Life Ministries.  Danny has served as Chaplain and Executive Director of Freedom Life Ministries since its inception in November of 2012.

Danny’s hobbies include music, writing, sports of all kinds, golf, and hiking.

Jim Smith

Development Director

Jim is the newest addition to the executive team at Freedom Life.   He is gifted in the area of encouragement and administration. Jim is passionate about bringing the community together by engaging them to focus on community involvement and values – a community collaborator.  Jim has excelled in growing and building strong ministries.  He has a deep love for local and foreign missions and has a very diverse and creative background in missions logistics.   Jim has served on staff for over 25 years in regional churches in the capacities of youth, music, administration, programming and worship arts.   An educator by profession, he has taught music in middle and high schools as well as on the community college level. Jim has been the executive director of a fine arts municipal auditorium, through revisioning, this organization saw excelled growth and revitalization.    These diversities will bring a freshness and creativity to the area of growing the development of Freedom Life.

He has an Associates of Fine Arts from Brevard College, a Bachelors of Music Education from Mars Hill University and has extended his studies throughout the years. 

Jim is a native of Brevard, North Carolina.   He and his wife Margaret have been married for 23 years and they are the parents of two energetic boys.  In his spare time, Jim enjoys outdoors, community involvement, camping and reading.  

Joy Pyatt

Ministry Assistant

Orginally from California, Joy now calls McDowell County her home. Joy has extensive knowledge in addiction recovery including employment as a rehab counselor. She serves Freedom Life as the Office Volunteer Coordinator and as a case manager. Her desire to assist in discipling others to the Lord and to help hurting people in addiction led her to FL.

When asked what drew her to FL, Joy responded by saying, ” I have personally seen so many loved ones that could have benefitted from the love, care and support that FLM offers.” 

In her spare time, Joy enjoys scrap booking, antique shopping and hiking. 

Melissa Nealley

Director of Client Care

Melissa has called Western North Carolina home for most of her life.  Her professional career has been to serve the citizens of McDowell by working in the county office. Melissa has also worked as a volunteer with the DSS Child Services Department for many years, where she served as both a foster parent and also as a Guardian Ad Litem.  Her vast experience in Child Services has uniquely qualified Melissa to help FL clients whose children are in the DSS system.

Melissa has served as a volunteer with FLM since its inception in 2013.  She has been working as a DSS Child Services Client Liaison and a Case Manager since 2014. 

Melissa’s own personal journey with God through many difficult life experiences has given her a seasoned capacity to connect with and care for the clients she serves. Her hobbies include traveling, swimming, and shopping.

kim brown

Executive Assistant of Operations

Kim has spent several years volunteering in her community. She is passionate about giving back and helping others live better lives through Jesus Christ. When you see Kim, you know that Christ lives in her heart. She is an advocate for women and has a desire to help them pursue their God given purpose. She is unapologetic about how she feels about God and the work he is doing in her heart.
Kim earned her Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Gardner Webb University. She has over 20 years in office administration and will use her skills and knowledge to flourish at Freedom Life.
In her spare time Kim enjoys spending time with her family. She loves sports, cooking, singing and crafting. 
The most important thing in her life, however, is to serve God. 

Tim Nealley

Freedom Pressure Washing (F.P.W.) Operations Manager

Tim is the first client Freedom Life served.  He has an amazing life transformation story.  Tim has vast experience in maintenance and plumbing.  He managed a Roto Rooter franchise.  He has also served as a Client Care Specialist.  He has great experience and effectiveness in identifying with and mentoring clients.

James Horton

Building and Grounds

James is a man of seasoned experience and wisdom.  He has been working in landscaping throughout McDowell County for several years.  James is more than qualified to oversee Grounds Maintenance for our FLM offices. What makes James so special to all who know him at FLM is not what he brings to grounds maintenance, however, but what he brings in heart dedication. 

James has seen many difficult years in his life. Yet, instead of allowing the difficult struggles of his life be an excuse for defeat, James turned to God and discovered a whole new journey of life transformation. 

As an active member and leader at Garden Creek Baptist Church for several years, as well as a dedicated volunteer to the hurting and homeless in our community, James is a shining example of the hope God .

Regina Riggs

Asst. Financial Administrator Freedom Pressure Washing & BRCCS

Regina is a McDowell county native.  She has an Associate’s Degree in Science from Western Piedmont. She was employed by the State Employee’s Credit Union for over 20 years.  Her experience in the banking industry makes her qualified to administrate the finances of Freedom Pressure Washing and Blue Ridge Community Care Services.

Kelly Ballew

Financial Manager

Born in Florida, Kelly has lived in McDowell County for the past 20 years.  She has an MRI Tech degree with 16 years of experience in MRI work.  Along with her technical experience, Kelly has been working with people in financial management for over 10 years.  She brings much expertise to her work as Financial Manager. 

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