Joe and Toni Rose, Co-founders of Growing Your Marriage

Joe and Toni Rose

Joe has worked in the energy supply and consulting industries for 30 years.  He graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree in Finance, where he met his wife and best friend, Toni.  Toni also graduated from UL with a degree in Finance.  She began her career in claims management for Progressive Insurance, where she worked for nearly 20 years.  She continued her education at Liberty University, obtaining a graduate certificate in Pastoral Counseling with an emphasis in Pre-Marital and Marital Counseling. 
Joe and Toni started serving in ministry in 2002, leading parenting programs through their church.  Three years later, they founded Barren Heights Christian Retreat Center, a charitable outreach to families who have children with special needs. Through their service, the Roses discovered a passion for mentoring couples who were struggling in marriage, and from there a new non-profit was formed, Growing Your Marriage (GYM).  
Joe and Toni have been married for 30 years.  They have two adult daughters, a son-in-law, and a grandson who has stolen their hearts.  Joe and Toni are both active with Growing Your Marriage through writing, editing, coaching, speaking, leading marriage groups and marriage conferences. 

Don and Kelly Keehner

Don and Kelly both grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and became “high school sweethearts” during their senior year.  In their freshman year of college, they both discovered the joy of truly following Jesus by loving and obeying His Word.  That set them on a trajectory of lifelong ministry. They are passionate about sharing what God has done in their lives and encouraging others to follow His ways. With over twenty years of ministry in the Indianapolis area, they have been able to help and influence marriages in a variety of ways through premarital counseling, marriage mentoring, and opening up their home for intentional date nights. These date nights provide a warm environment for couples to come and learn practical ways to grow and strengthen their marriages. 

           Don and Kelly have been married over thirty years.  They are blessed to have four children and a wonderful daughter-in-law.  Their idea of a perfect day is having all of their children return home for a visit, eating a favorite home-cooked meal together, going on a long hike, playing a competitive family game and ending the day with a campfire under the stars! 

Don and Kelly Keehner

Don and Kelly both grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and became “high school sweethearts” during their senior year.  In their freshman year of college, they both discovered the joy of truly following Jesus by loving and obeying His Word.  That set them on a trajectory of lifelong ministry. They are passionate about sharing what God has done in their lives and encouraging others to follow His ways. With over twenty years of ministry in the Indianapolis area, they have been able to help and influence marriages in a variety of ways through premarital counseling, marriage mentoring, and opening up their home for intentional date nights. These date nights provide a warm environment for couples to come and learn practical ways to grow and strengthen their marriages. 

           Don and Kelly have been married over thirty years.  They are blessed to have four children and a wonderful daughter-in-law.  Their idea of a perfect day is having all of their children return home for a visit, eating a favorite home-cooked meal together, going on a long hike, playing a competitive family game and ending the day with a campfire under the stars! 

John and Lorie Weires

John has over 30 years of military active and reserve service as a Navy jet pilot, along with more than 26 years of manufacturing and strategic planning experience. He graduated from the Naval Academy with an Ocean Engineering degree, which ironically landed him in Pensacola, FL where he met his wife Lorie, while he was in flight school. Lorie was a Registered Nurse at the time. After being swept away from her home, that versatile job allowed her to find work at any duty station they landed until she decided to take on the toughest job as a stay at home mother. After the children grew up, she re-entered the workforce as an Office Manager, Business Owner, and finally a Weight Watchers leader prior to retiring as a full-time grandmother.

John and Lorie began their ministry with their church in 2011. Wanting to stress the gift of marriage and work with married couples, they entered the Care Ministry group to mentor couples. This is where their friendship began and developed with Joe and Toni. In addition to working with troubled couples, they began small groups hosting young couples in a more proactive role in their home. Since then, they have co-hosted retreats and workshops at Barren Heights. They have been married for 35 years and have 3 adult children who are all married, and 3 grandchildren that are a true blessing.

Growing Your Marriage is the exciting new stage in their journey to strengthen and encourage marriages!

Connor and Jessi Slade

Connor and Jessi officially met in middle school.  After years together at Christian Academy of Louisville, the two could not be separated. Endless fun, laughing, and conversations led them to begin dating their senior year of high school. Both attended Western Kentucky University.  Connor obtained a degree in Communication and Sales while Jessi secured her degree in Marketing.  College was a great time for their growth and knowledge, but the two were BEYOND ready to be married and to begin “real life”.  The same week they graduated college they also got married, moved into their first apartment, and started their careers.  

 Currently, the Slades live in Louisville, KY.  Connor works for Eco-Tech Waste Logistics as a Sales and Account Manager.  Jessi set aside her career to become a stay-at-home-mom.  Their toddler son,  Zavier, is the cutest little boy EVER.  Connor and Jessi have only been married 4 years and yet they realized quite early the importance of having a Christ-centered home and the positive impact of nurturing your marriage with intentionality.  They have attended multiple marriage retreats, hosted marriage studies in their home, and mentored newlywed friends. Connor and Jessi are excited to be a part of the Growing Your Marriage team and to become better students of marriage so they are well-equipped to encourage and strengthen other young couples.

Connor and Jessi Slade

Connor and Jessi officially met in middle school.  After years together at Christian Academy of Louisville, the two could not be separated. Endless fun, laughing, and conversations led them to begin dating their senior year of high school. Both attended Western Kentucky University.  Connor obtained a degree in Communication and Sales while Jessi secured her degree in Marketing.  College was a great time for their growth and knowledge, but the two were BEYOND ready to be married and to begin “real life”.  The same week they graduated college they also got married, moved into their first apartment, and started their careers.  

 Currently, the Slades live in Louisville, KY.  Connor works for Eco-Tech Waste Logistics as a Sales and Account Manager.  Jessi set aside her career to become a stay-at-home-mom.  Their toddler son,  Zavier, is the cutest little boy EVER.  Connor and Jessi have only been married 4 years and yet they realized quite early the importance of having a Christ-centered home and the positive impact of nurturing your marriage with intentionality.  They have attended multiple marriage retreats, hosted marriage studies in their home, and mentored newlywed friends. Connor and Jessi are excited to be a part of the Growing Your Marriage team and to become better students of marriage so they are well-equipped to encourage and strengthen other young couples.

Board Members

Don Keehner – Member
Abbi Rose – Secretary
Joe Rose – Chairperson
Jessi Slade – Member
Lorie Weires – Treasurer

Toni Rose   –    Executive Director