By Heather Meade firstname.lastname@example.org
February 19, 2014
GREENVILLE - Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program, but it isn’t just for those who have found themselves addicted to drugs or alcohol, said Angie Miller, one of the coordinators for the program. Gospel Baptist Church will reach out to the community to invite them to share and celebrate in their recovery.
“We recognize that there is such a need for this in our community,” Miller commented, “and we’re so glad that God has worked out this timing to start this ministry when the community is turning the same page and realizing what an issue this is, too.”
Miller said she began attending a Celebrate Recovery program in Winchester, Ind. after facing addiction herself years ago; she believed in the program enough that she wanted to start one in Darke County, she said.
“We had a dream for Celebrate Recovery because we believe that everyone needs to experience Christ to leave behind our dysfunctional, compulsive behaviors. All of us are dysfunctional without Jesus Christ; I’m dysfunctional in my own life if I don’t follow His lead, and so I know my own destruction,” said Pastor Bill Edwards, Gospel Baptist Church. “So it’s Christ who has redeemed us, who has mended our brokenness and forgiven us of our sin. We believe in our community that Jesus really is the answer to lead people out of the habits and hang-ups they have.”
Gospel Baptist prides itself on being a “community of imperfect Jesus lovers,” accepting everyone as Christ would, Edwards commented.
“Celebrate Recovery doesn’t just include addiction; the way people hear recovery is alcoholism and addiction, and Celebrate Recovery is the only recovery program I’m aware of that really encases any and every issue,” Miller stated. “It’s open to anyone from depression to anxiety, past abuse, losing a loved one; obviously we include the drug addiction and alcoholism, but it’s definitely not limited to that. They made the program to include everyone because we all have issues.”
A Celebrate Recovery team is already in place at Gospel, and has been meeting daily since September 2013 in preparation of beginning this program with the community, Miller stated. Miller and her husband aren’t shy about what God has done in their lives, she said, and in being open about that relationship, they’ve been able to help others in their congregation, Edwards commented.
“We don’t pretend that we have everything together, but we passionately follow the one who does, Jesus Christ,” Edwards stated. “I think Gospel has always been a place where we’ve been able to admit our weaknesses, which allows us to depend completely on Jesus. In my strength, I can’t fix me, but with my surrender to Jesus, all things are possible.”
The meetings won’t begin like typical 12-step program meetings, however, Miller said. Attendees will sit down to a meal for fellowship before they worship and hold a large group session with testimonies and lessons on the 12 steps. The meeting is open to everyone, and will be held every Saturday beginning March 1 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Gospel Baptist Church, 383 Eidson Road, Greenville. Call the church at 937-316-5055 or visit www.GBCGreenville.org for more information.