Your Story Matters

Have you ever thought of your life as a story? It can have ups and downs and several twists and turns along the way. What do you do when the next pages ahead are uncertain? Who do you turn to when solutions aren’t clear? At Cornerstone, we would love to help you walk through whatever chapter you are in.

Why Cornerstone?

Cornerstone is led by a passionate team of counselors who each have a heart to serve and provide both individuals and families with high-quality care.

When we opened our doors in 2012, we had one desire that drove us.  We wanted to become a place where each and every person who entered our doors, no matter how big or small their problems were, would feel cared for, safe, and important.

We believe that faith plays an integral role in the lives of our clients, regardless of the specifics of what they believe. As Christian counselors, we believe our faith guides us in the counseling process with each person we see. Please know, however, that we work with people from all backgrounds, including religious and non-religious belief systems.

We do not seek to impose our beliefs upon others, but we do recognize that our beliefs impact and shape our work with clients. Ultimately, it is our goal to see our clients living out balanced and healthy lives – emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Whether you are seeking individual, couples, marriage, teen, child, or family counseling, you will find that the counselors at Cornerstone are sympathetic to the role faith plays in your life.

Contact Us


Lee Smith

Lee Smith

Founder and Clinical Director, M.S., L.P.C.

Lee is the Founder and Clinical Director of Cornerstone and has been counseling since 2006. A native of the Mississippi Delta, he attended Delta State University and later Mississippi College where he received his M.S. in Counseling Psychology. He is a nationally board certified, Licensed Professional Counselor. When it comes to his career, Lee has had a very diverse background spending over ten years in sales and management in both the wireless and pharmaceutical industries. Lee later served on staff at Pinelake Church for a number of years.

Since being in private practice, Lee has worked with adolescents, families, marriages and individuals addressing a variety of topics. He specializes in marriage and family dynamics, anxiety and depression and working with those who serve in the ministry. In addition to his work in private practice, Lee is a sought after speaker at churches, retreats and events.

He believes that change in a person occurs in the context of relationships and vulnerability. Being fully known, fully accepted and being reminded of the life-changing truth of the Gospel is what continues to profoundly impact Lee’s life. He loves spending time with his wife, his three children, and his family and friends. He also enjoys spending time in the outdoors, drinking a great cup of coffee and listening to a wide range of music.

Pastor Reviews:

"I have tremendous confidence in Lee, not just as a counselor, but also as a friend and a man after God’s heart. At Pinelake, we define ministry as “what you leave behind you as you follow Christ.”Having served alongside Lee for over a decade, I have witnessed many lives touched by the wake of his walk with Jesus. In addition, Lee’s unique gifting, compassion and ability to speak hard truth in love gives me great confidence anytime I refer people to him."

Chip Henderson, Senior Pastor at Pinelake Church

"Lee Smith gets it. The needs of people are not just psychological but holistic. Here at Venture Church, he has created opportunities for healing through individual counseling, a referral plan for family counseling and has been on the ground floor of helping build out our Recovery Ministry. We are thankful and blessed to work alongside him."

Jeff Clark, Senior Pastor at Venture Church (Hattiesburg)

Anne Overton Earwood


Anne Overton’s personal journey in counseling fostered her desire to help other people experience healing and restoration in their own lives. In counseling, she found a safe place to come and piece together her life story in ways that promoted self-awareness and alleviated hurt from past experiences. Through experiencing the power of feeling known, understood, and accepted in her own counseling journey, Anne Overton hopes to offer this for her clients through a therapeutic relationship.

After receiving training in EMDR II, Anne Overton is equipped to work with clients who have experienced many forms of trauma. She works with clients who are struggling with symptoms of trauma, such as anxiety, depression, addiction, and codependence. By utilizing EMDR in therapy, Anne Overton has helped clients find freedom from their past and develop healthy coping skills in order to enjoy life more.

In her previous work as a ministry intern for both high schoolers and college students, Anne Overton gained understanding of the importance of providing a space for people to wrestle with the difficulties of life and come to a deeper realization of the unique stories God is writing in their lives. She views it as a privilege to walk alongside her clients in working towards their goals in counseling.
Anne Overton is a Provisional-Licensed Professional Counselor working towards becoming fully licensed in the state of Mississippi under the supervision of Hannah Hawthorne. She is a National Certified Counselor and Board Certified-Telemental Health Provider, allowing her to work with clients remotely. Anne Overton gained her Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University.
After growing up in Jackson and attending Ole Miss for undergrad, Anne Overton spent a short time in Memphis, TN with her husband Matt while pursuing her Masters degree. Anne Overton and Matt are excited to be back in the Jackson area and you can most likely find them exploring one of Jackson’s many restaurants or spending time with friends in front of their outdoor fireplace.

Carroll Blackledge

M.A., L.P.C.

Carroll’s path to professional counseling is not best represented by a straight line. Rather he believes God has orchestrated three separate and distinct careers – as a business person, staff pastor and now as a counselor - in order to prepare him to help others navigate life’s ever-
present challenges. A native Jacksonian, Carroll honed his counseling skills while serving on the staff of Pinelake church in Madison and formalized his counseling education at Liberty University, culminating in the completion of his master’s degree in Professional Counseling.

As a counselor, Carroll is especially drawn to those in crisis – marriage and family conflict, career, grief, depression, anxiety, substance abuse – but is also passionate about helping individuals and families navigate the less traumatic moments of life that seem to be a part of our everyday existence. He believes his life experience, in conjunction with his personal faith and professional training, have equipped him to be utilized by God to help others in pain.

Away from the counseling office, Carroll loves to spend time with his family, including his wife of over forty years, Sharon, two married children and multiple grandchildren. Additionally, he is a licensed general aviation pilot and enjoys cruising around in the sky.

Don Waller

M.S., L.P.C.

Don Waller, a Mississippi Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) since 2009, brings a unique perspective to counseling. After graduating from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Business Administration, Don spent the next twenty years in the Oil & Gas Industry in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Running a successful business and raising a family helped prepare Don for his next calling – returning to study counseling and receiving a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Mississippi College.

His counseling career began at Summit Counseling, First Baptist Church in 2007. Joining with individuals and couples to help them experience fulfilling relationships they desire became a passion. Don has been gifted in helping men discover their God given place in life, helping them break free of harmful behaviors and addictions, and helping men find strength and freedom through living in community while experiencing authentic relationships. Leading men’s retreats and adventures has further expanded Don’s impact on men's lives.

Planning and leading marriage retreats is another area of experience for Don. In 2015, Don along with Dr. Ron Mumbower held a marriage conference for missionary couples in South Africa. This conference involved intensive counseling sessions that helped couples better cope with working overseas and helped them discover new ways to find a fulfilling marriage.

Don is married to Yonnie and has two daughters and a son. Experiencing God’s best in his own marriage, family, and relationships has been a driving force in Don’s life, and he uses that success to help others find God’s best too.

Experience and education have helped Don become successful helping others with depression, anxiety, and addictions, Don’s marital counseling includes communication, conflict resolution, emotional as well as physical intimacy, dealing with affairs and trauma.

Don Waller is a dedicated counselor with experience, passion, and a desire to help others through difficult times.


Dr. Fred Hall


Dr. Fred Hall is an author, speaker, coach, trainer, innovator, podcaster, blogger, and entrepreneur. He is a National Board Certified Counselor (NCC), Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), a Board Certified Telemental Health Provider (BC-TMH), and Licensed Professional Counselor & Supervisor for Mississippi and Louisiana.

His education includes a Doctor of Education degree in Counseling Psychology with a Concentration of Counselor Education and Supervision. He obtained a Doctorate from Argosy University and the American School of Professional Psychology. He also has a Masters of Science in Guidance and Counseling, as well as, a Masters of Public Health in Behavioral Health Education and Promotion, both from Jackson State University. He also has a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry, Counseling, and Psychology from Belhaven University.

His clinical work includes more than 30 years in clinical mental health in psychology, counseling, supervision, training, and program development. He also has 20 years of private practice and non-profit organizational leadership to his credit. His clinical specializations include working with Serious Mental Illness, Couples and Families, Marriage and Pre-Marriage, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Grief, Adjustment issues, and Anger Management.

Dr. Hall also develops and trains leaders worldwide both online and onsite. His work is inclusive of entrepreneurs, pastors and ministry leaders, corporate executives, and global business/ Not-for-profit administrators. He provides professional capacity building operations which build individuals, organizations, and businesses through professional Speaking, Coaching (Life, Spiritual, Business, and Executive), Corporate Training, and Small Group Development. He is a Leadership Consultant to businesses and organizations. Yearly, he trains and consults in Tanzania and Uganda regarding marriage education curricula, developing peer counseling models, and community/church family wellness ministry opportunities. He is a coach and counselor to Pastors and Ministry Leaders.

Heath Ferguson


Hello! My name is Heath Ferguson. I am the husband to Emily, father to MG and Locke, a licensed professional counselor, a Board Certified TeleMental Health Provider (BC-TMH), a board certified chaplain & pastoral counselor, a licensed and ordained Southern Baptist pastor, and an adjunct professor of psychology at Belhaven University. I am also a recovering addict with over sixteen years clean and sober. I have spent over a decade serving as a chaplain at Mississippi Baptist Medical Center where I gained extensive experience working with patients, families of patients, and caregivers from every area of healthcare. My specializations are in addiction, grief, compassion fatigue, burnout, and family systems. I came into counseling drawn by a desire to be more capable in helping to provide care for those that are suffering from the impact of the events that all people are affected by, whether it be catastrophic loss or just the wear and tear of life’s struggles on the individual, the family, or the community. I believe that my own life experiences, coupled with my years of work within the lives of those that I have counseled and cared for, make me ready to help others in their pain, loneliness, and suffering.

When I am not counseling clients, I love spending time with my family, serving as an elder in my church, getting back home to the old farm place, and enjoying travel; whether it be family road trips across the country or trips to baseball games. Emily and I love getting to spend time discovering the world with our boys. It really is so much fun seeing the world light up their senses.

I truly love helping people discover just how precious and important they are to the world around them. I do not like to see people suffer. I know what that feels like. I believe that the client has, within himself or herself, the ability to find his or her way to wellness when they are given the right person to accompany them on that way. Moreover, I have discovered that when the client is given the opportunity to safely explore his or her self and how they relate to the world around them that they arrive at healthier understandings how they exist in their worlds. I have found that people need to find that congruence with their environments in order to heal, grow, and develop self-awareness. I have seen that modeling good relationships with healthy boundaries in the therapeutic environment can give clients an opportunity to explore parts of themselves that they might have kept themselves isolated from while also giving them a readiness and courage in their other relationships.

If you are struggling within your relationships, your ability to find joy in your surroundings, or just need to talk to someone about your pain, reach out and make an appointment. I believe that things can get better. Call today, it’s time to get to work.

Jennifer Tripoli


I graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Psychology then returned to my hometown of Memphis, TN and obtained a M.S. in Community Agency Counseling from the University of Memphis. Initially, my therapy career started working in victim services with adults and children. After moving to Mississippi, I worked in Hinds County and Rankin County Schools with students K-12th with emotional disabilities providing therapy and behavior modification. I have been a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) for 20 years in Mississippi and now a Board Certified Telemental Health Provider (BC-TMH). I have had the experience in helping clients in the private and public sector specializing in the area of anxiety, ADHD, abuse, grief, anger management, self-esteem, depression, marriage and family relationships, child and adolescent issues, and domestic violence. My clinical approaches consist of Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, and Family Systems therapy. I believe therapy is a tool that can empower people to tell their story, understand themselves, and make a difference in their lives. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross said “Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.”

Kim Williamson

Billing Assistant

Kim has been an integral part of Cornerstone since it opened in 2012. She has served Cornerstone’s clients and staff in multiple ways including the processing of insurance claims, billing and payroll. Kim brings with her over 20 years of medical office management experience. She is married to Anthony and they have two daughters Laney and Haley.

Lauren Laird

Billing & Insurance Coordinator

Lauren has worked at Cornerstone for the past five years covering office administration and billing. As we have grown, her role has become more focused on billing and insurance.

Lauren grew up in Atlanta and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she met her husband, Lee. After they married, they lived in Charlotte, NC for a few years. During that time, she helped in the front office at a Christian counseling center called The Barnabas Center. It was through this ministry, she began to value and understand the importance of seeking counseling through all the different seasons of life.

After moving from North Carolina to the Jackson area nearly 20 years ago, she worked in the counseling office at Jackson Academy. When her first son was born, she came home to focus on raising their family. She and Lee have 3 sons and are active members of Pinelake Church in Madison.

Leah Vernon

M.A., L.P.C.

A native Jacksonian, Leah has been working to serve her community through counseling since 1992. Frederick Buechner once said, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Leah views counseling as an ideal conduit for God to bring healing and hope.

A graduate of Samford University and Reformed Theological Seminary, Leah earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. She furthered her training post Master’s at Mississippi College to obtain licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Leah has also completed Level 3 practicum training in Gottman Method couples therapy. After working as the high school guidance counselor at Jackson Academy and starting her family, Leah decided to focus as a private practice clinician. She specializes in working with clients struggling with marital conflict, betrayal, divorce, cancer diagnosis/treatment, trauma, depression, anxiety, infertility, addiction, grief, abuse, adolescent adjustment and women’s issues.

Leslie Armstrong


Leslie Armstrong developed a passion to assist others by watching her parents serve in the ministry for 40 years. She answered the calling to become a counselor while attending Mississippi State University. Leslie has a passion for mental health and helping others to understand how to achieve their own mental health.

Leslie graduated Mississippi State University in 2007 with a Master of Science in Counselor Education. Leslie is a LPC in MS and is Telemental Health, BC-TMH, certified. She has been a clinician in mental health since 2012 and has served as an IDD counselor, Children’s Counselor, School Based Therapist, Day Treatment Therapist, Substance Abuse Counselor and College Mental Health Counselor. Over the years Leslie has develop a strong practice in counseling by working with children, adolescents and young adults with behavior disorder and mental health disorders.

Mary Margaret Harper

Administrative Assistant

Mary Margaret graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in graphic design and marketing. Originally from Jackson. MS, Mary Margaret returned home to accept a graphic design job for Pinelake Church where she was introduced to her husband, Chris Harper. She also took on several non-profit clients where she fell in love with getting to be a small part of people’s stories and growth. Mary Margaret continued with freelance design so she could be home to raise their beautiful twin daughters and a wild little boy. With her passion for design and heart for people, getting to serve as an administrative assistant to an amazing staff and manage social media for Cornerstone is the perfect combination of her interests.

Stephanie Wilson

Director of Administration

Stephanie worked in the behavioral healthcare field for 23 years predominantly in outreach and crisis intervention for Memorial Behavioral Health, Pine Grove, and Three Oaks Behavioral Health. For approximately 17 of those years, she was licensed as a marriage and family therapist. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from The University of Southern Mississippi. In 2011, Stephanie felt led to devote more time and energy to her family and community involvement. She is married to Judge Cory Wilson and they have a teenage son. They are active members of Highlands Presbyterian Church.

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