Program Director Barb Hough with #1 supporter husband Mike Hough

By Donna Marable

Seven years ago retirement brought Barbara Hough and husband Mike Hough to Gulf Shores, Alabama.  They arrived with a wealth of knowledge from a lifetime of personal experiences, living, learning and serving others in crisis and grief.  After a move to Alaska the family returned to their hometown of Covina, California.  Barb enrolled in Citrus College and continued on to receive her State Certification in Alcohol Counseling from UCLA, subsequently enjoying heading-up the Drinking Driver Program for the National Council on Alcoholism for five years in Los Angeles County, California.  This compassion for others continued throughout life in upstate New York and Georgia.

It was 2020 with Barb in a Bible study of Elijah when all of a sudden she felt an overwhelming call from the Lord; remembering how an Angel of the Lord supplied sustaining drink and water in the desert, she had a searing desire and the one thought “Healing Hearts” would not leave her.  This shaking experience caused her to undoubtedly know that God wanted her to help people in distress.

With support of the First Baptist Church of Gulf Shores and Head Pastor Lawrence Phipps Barbara will serve as Director of a new support group for those losing a spouse, child, family member or friend through death.  Their first 13-week Christ-centered, nondenominational program runs September 15 – December 15 at the Gulf Shores Church – 2200 West First St. and will follow the guidelines of Grief Share National that offers these programs in tens of thousands of locations throughout North America and in many other countries.  The eager facilitators have been in training and two more loss-through-death support group programs are planned for the spring and fall of 2023.  There are various other Grief Share support groups also meeting in South Baldwin County.  Much information is available on the national organization’s website:  For questions and information on the Gulf Shores program, please call the church at 251-968-7369.  Barbara Hough lives with an open heart for others and daily exercises her motto:  “Grief Share – Healing Hearts – One By One”.


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