By Erica Thomas, managing editor
CLAY — Representatives from three Clay churches met on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021, to hear about a 12-step, faith-based program.
Celebrate Recovery has been around since 1991. It was started by John Baker, who had previously experienced a 12-step program due to alcoholism. He realized he would benefit more if there was a Christian aspect to Alcoholics Anonymous. That’s what inspired him to develop his own program, Celebrate Recovery. Baker recently passed away after a battle with cancer, but his ministry is living on and has changed lives nationwide.
Celebrate Recovery addresses more than alcohol and drug addiction. People have been able to celebrate their recoveries from other issues such as overspending, anxiety and stress, fear, gambling, overworking, shame, divorce, loss and grief, job loss and many more.
Rev. Shan Odom, the Cheaha District Celebrate Recovery Director, presented the program to community members who gathered at Faith United Methodist Church Sunday.
“We need to see people differently,” Odom said. “Not through our eyes but through theirs.”
The program is confidential among participants and it also utilizes a chip program, similar to other programs. Many Celebrate Recovery ministries also offer programs for children (Celebration Place) and teens (The Landing).
Joe Hobby, a member of Faith United Methodist Church appeared before the Clay City Council on Tuesday, July 27, and asked for support.
“It’s a 12-step program that is Christ-centered appose to alcoholics Anonymous which you have a higher power,” Hobby told the council. “They make literal use of the bible and Christ in their ministry. The difference in this program is that ministers get to the hurts and strongholds, I’ve gone to these meetings where people are dealing with divorce, death of a spouse or dealing with sexual molestation in childhood and there is just a co-dependency, There is just a laundry list of strongholds that Celebrate Recovery does.”
Councilor and The Refuge pastor Bo Johnson was at the informational meeting Sunday to learn more.
There are already Celebrate Recovery programs in Trussville, Springville, and Odenville. Odom said it is important for Clay to become involved because many people in the area could benefit from the program. Participants in Celebrate Recovery do not have to be a member of any church.
“I firmly believe this is a street ministry that occurs inside church walls,” she added.
All Clay churches are encouraged to get involved and help in the effort to bring the program to the city. There are needs for facilities and volunteers.
Odom said she hopes the program in Clay can begin by the beginning of 2022.
Below, you can watch a short introduction video to Celebrate Recovery.