Our Team

MIKE LINSTEAD

PRESIDENT + CO-FOUNDER

From 22 to 25 years old, my story is a typical alcoholic/addict story. I was in and out of rehab, in and out of jail, in and out of institutions, had no friends, no family – I ended up homeless, living under a bridge in San Luis Obispo, California. My physical condition reflected my spiritual condition – I was dying.

Yet, God used a place called The Dream Center in Los Angeles, CA to transform my life. He set me free from addiction and I discovered that I didn’t have to “white knuckle” sobriety for the rest of my life – I can walk in the freedom of Christ because of the gospel. I am now a personal trainer and entrepreneur, and am expecting my first child with my wonderful wife. God is good!

The Nehemiah Project was born out of the dream for more broken people to experience a truly transforming relationship with Christ. My primary responsibilities at TNP are building partnerships within the community and providing physical training to those in our recovery programs.

CHAD WILES

DIRECTOR OF COUNSELING & EDUCATION + COFOUNDER

I grew up in rural Kentucky, occasionally attending church with my mother. Our family was poor, and many of my family members struggled with mental health issues, alcohol abuse, and drug addiction. As a child, I remember always feeling worthless. When I got older I found my worth through being a good athlete, but an injury at the end of high school left me without hope. 

At the encouragement of a friend, I decided to attend Eastern Kentucky University instead of trade school & staying on the family farm. There I met Jesus through a ministry called Campus Outreach. He completely changed my life as I learned where true worth is found! I surrendered to a call to ministry & headed to seminary to study biblical counseling after college. 

I moved my family to Mandeville, LA to help plant The Field Church, where I have served as one of the lead pastors for the last 4 years. God has given me a vision to share the hope of the Gospel and the freedom from sin that Christ gives through biblical counseling, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to do so through The Nehemiah Project.

LAURA COLEY

INTAKE DIRECTOR

I grew up in as a preacher’s kid in the Southern Baptist world, with a strong foundation on truth & a loving family. We moved often as my dad was called to different churches, but Louisiana is where I was born and always where I’ve considered “home” to be. After college, I went overseas to volunteer in Bangkok’s redlight district & God used that time to reveal so much that I had not yet surrendered to Him. 

When I returned to the US, I moved back to Louisiana to attend seminary in pursuit of a masters degree in counseling. Over the next 5 years, God brought me through many trials – some the result of my own sin, and others merely a part of life in a broken world. An unplanned pregnancy, job loss, a baby who needed open-heart surgery, severe back pain & my own surgery, infidelity, and ultimately divorce – all chapters of my story through which there is one theme: Redemption.

The storms of life reveal where our hope truly lies. I am so grateful that God used both formal training and life itself to teach me to how to come alongside the suffering and offer the hope found in Him alone! It blows me away that I get to be a part of what God is doing through The Nehemiah Project.

MIKE LINSTEAD

PRESIDENT + CO-FOUNDER

From 22 to 25 years old, my story is a typical alcoholic/addict story. I was in and out of rehab, in and out of jail, in and out of institutions, had no friends, no family – I ended up homeless, living under a bridge in San Luis Obispo, California. My physical condition reflected my spiritual condition – I was dying.

Yet, God used a place called The Dream Center in Los Angeles, CA to transform my life. He set me free from addiction and I discovered that I didn’t have to “white knuckle” sobriety for the rest of my life – I can walk in the freedom of Christ because of the gospel. I am now a personal trainer and entrepreneur, and am expecting my first child with my wonderful wife. God is good!

The Nehemiah Project was born out of the dream for more broken people to experience a truly transforming relationship with Christ. My primary responsibilities at TNP are building partnerships within the community and providing physical training to those in our recovery programs.

CHAD WILES

DIRECTOR OF COUNSELING & EDUCATION + COFOUNDER

I grew up in rural Kentucky, occasionally attending church with my mother. Our family was poor, and many of my family members struggled with mental health issues, alcohol abuse, and drug addiction. As a child, I remember always feeling worthless. When I got older I found my worth through being a good athlete, but an injury at the end of high school left me without hope. 

At the encouragement of a friend, I decided to attend Eastern Kentucky University instead of trade school & staying on the family farm. There I met Jesus through a ministry called Campus Outreach. He completely changed my life as I learned where true worth is found! I surrendered to a call to ministry & headed to seminary to study biblical counseling after college. 

I moved my family to Mandeville, LA to help plant The Field Church, where I have served as one of the lead pastors for the last 4 years. God has given me a vision to share the hope of the Gospel and the freedom from sin that Christ gives through biblical counseling, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to do so through The Nehemiah Project.

LAURA COLEY

INTAKE DIRECTOR

I grew up in as a preacher’s kid in the Southern Baptist world, with a strong foundation on truth & a loving family. We moved often as my dad was called to different churches, but Louisiana is where I was born and always where I’ve considered “home” to be. After college, I went overseas to volunteer in Bangkok’s redlight district & God used that time to reveal so much that I had not yet surrendered to Him. 

When I returned to the US, I moved back to Louisiana to attend seminary in pursuit of a masters degree in counseling. Over the next 5 years, God brought me through many trials – some the result of my own sin, and others merely a part of life in a broken world. An unplanned pregnancy, job loss, a baby who needed open-heart surgery, severe back pain & my own surgery, infidelity, and ultimately divorce – all chapters of my story through which there is one theme: Redemption.

The storms of life reveal where our hope truly lies. I am so grateful that God used both formal training and life itself to teach me to how to come alongside the suffering and offer the hope found in Him alone! It blows me away that I get to be a part of what God is doing through The Nehemiah Project.