PDT Staff Writer
WHEELERSBURG — The Celebrate Recovery Program of Union Free Will Baptist Church, celebrated on Tuesday its first anniversary. The program is a faith-based program for drug addiction established 2o years ago by Pastor John Baker of Saddleback Church in California.
The evening opened with dinner, followed by a worship service, during which some of the members shared personal testimonies about their journey during recovery. There were candid remarks about the troubles that accompany lives masked by drug addiction, and the triumph of overcoming, one day at a time through their faith in God, and support from the Celebrate Recovery Program. The evening ended with a balloon launch and ice cream social.
“About five years ago I felt like God was calling me to do something about addicts, so I started surfing the Internet for information, and I came across Celebrate Recovery. Two years ago we started planning, and tonight is our first year,” said Chad Monroe, the Union Free Celebrating Recovery founder.
“Some nights we have about 40 to 50 people in a normal meeting. We meet every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., and we have dinner. At 6:30 p.m. a large meeting which is sort of similar to most secular meetings. We do worship, as we did tonight, and then normally at 7:30 p.m. we have small groups where men will meet with men, and women will meet with women and they share their hearts, whatever is on their minds. They share their strengths, hopes and victories,” Monroe said.
The program uses the 12 steps that are used for programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, in conjunction with eight principles based upon the beatitudes, which are biblical teachings.
Garnering the support of his pastor, Chris Oiler, and the congregation of Union Free Will Baptist Church has been conducive to the program’s success, according to Monroe.
“My pastor has been very supportive in what’s going on. I went to him a couple of years ago and introduced the program to him. We agreed to do it. I said if we can help one person, it will be worth it all,” Monroe said.
“The whole church has been very supportive. In fact, some members of Free Will came out tonight just to show their support for our one year celebration,” Monroe said.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 234 or firstname.lastname@example.org.