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Celebrate Recovery Program

Updated on April 17, 2013

A Recovery Program for Quitters

Celebrate Recovery is a ministry designed to give hope to the hopeless.

We named our Celebrate Recovery program "Quitters by Grace." Our church, Grace Assembly of God, sponsors these meetings, and several church members participate in the program.

If you are clean and sober and have a desire to help others with the journey, you may seek out a Celebrate Recovery group in your area.

AA has been around for many years for the alcoholic, and "friends of Bill" are everywhere you go, You can find meetings any day of the week in most communities.

The founder of Celebrate Recovery discovered meetings are essential when you are struggling with addiction, hurts, hang-ups and habits, and striving to take life one day at a time. AA was designed to be Bible based, and in some ways it still is. Celebrate Recovery meetings can be added to AA and Al Anon meetings without conflict.

But, Celebrate Recovery is Christ based. Each of the 12 steps of AA have a scripture and teaching that encourage and empower the participants. In addition there are 8 principals that are life inspiring which are taken from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, known as the Beatitudes.

A Christian man, who originally had these same struggles took his "Higher Power" seriously, sought out the God of the Bible and after a genuine recovery that brought him closer to God, he stepped out to help others. Celebrate Recovery was established. Thousands of locations are focusing on helping others out of the struggles of life. Celebrate Recovery Locations

We are honored to be involved in establishing a recovery program for our home church these next several months. I'll post progress here.

Photo, Family Farm 1975

Some Background on Our Recovery Process

Admitting We Needed Help

Our family was caught up in the drug culture of the 70's. A series of events ushered us into a church. The church was receptive to our needs as a family and individuals. Men took my husband under their wing, the ladies were gracious to include me in activities and coach me. Our sons were so ready for the structure and care they received by attending the children's programs.

Accepting Encouragement

When we got our recovery we stayed under the umbrella of a church for several months, submitted to their teachings and learned as much as we could by trying to remain "teachable," and being honest about our struggles with people who were willing to take the time with us, pray with us, point out scriptures for a guide, and most importantly accepted us right where we were as individuals and a family.

Realizing Our Emotional Condition

The photo above is our little family, with our dog Abby in the woods on our 50 acre farm. The blizzard of 1978 left us buried in heartache and disappointment, awareness of our plight, but thank God, we all made it and came out strong with purpose, ready to reach others. We were housebound for over a week, our entire world's brakes locked up, I was home with the boys, my husband was still in town, it was several hours before we heard that he was making his way through 14 miles of blizzard conditions. We were low on some foods, but starving emotionally.

Daily life was like a coin was tossed up, only to land with the purpose of setting our destiny. On one side was survival mode, which included staying fit, eating right, storing for the oncoming crash of the establishment, growing and preserving own foods and cutting our own wood. But the other side of the coin fell often. That one left us hung-over and stepping around passed out strangers in our small farm house every weekend from the open-house style parties.

Changing Who We Were and Making Amends

This behavior was spilling over into our work week. We both held regular jobs - but only by a thread. Both jobs were a bit outside the box. He was a newspaper photographer with the artistic freedom he needed to express himself, and I was a day care director with 14 staff and 140 kids. I was in no shape to face my week on Mondays, and eventually every day was a struggle.

Our church experience, the prayers, the people and the teachings changed our desires miraculously. We began the journey of getting our lives back together. It was hard work, not a struggle but a joy! Explaining the change to friends and co-workers left them perplexed, until they started seeing the changes for themselves. Talking about our faith was tough as we were mocked and chided, teased and condemned by the people we thought were friends. I'm sure we came on too strong with our enthusiasm, and they were bent on not hearing what we had to say.

New Goals and Purpose

We had purpose. And new lifetime goals. Within 18 months we were hugging all our new friends from church and leaving for Bible college. We were determined to help others find this peace we had experienced in giving our lives to God and shouting "We surrender." After being youth pastor and children's pastors at a church in Florida, we started a church in Key Largo, Florida. Then we moved to Indiana to re-start a church that was losing members. We saw healing and changed lives in our church ministries, but were obedient to move out and being what became a national ministry called HonorBound Motorcycle Ministry about 14 years ago. It now has nearly 600 people wearing the ministry back patch reaching bikers across America.

After 34 Years of Ministry We're Going Back ~ Celebrate Recovery

This recovery program,Celebrate Recovery, is often organized by volunteers who are in leadership in churches. It is successful when the individuals doing the preparation keep in mind that each one visiting is there seeking hope and purpose. It is designed to be held weekly and as the group grows new groups are added to assist with individual needs. The resources of the community are tapped into as the professional services required by some individuals aren't available in the local church. Physicians, counselors, and even the court system can play a role in recovery. Referrals come from many sources.

About the Photo

Our sons were 7 and 9 when we wandered into a church on a Wednesday night. This is a picture of them helping haul wood after the blizzard of '78.

Celebrate Recovery in Our Town

Progress Reports

First Meeting

We started our first night with 23 people.

We meet weekly.

Our meetings are 2 hours.

The first hour is food and greeting, and a large group meeting.

The second hour includes a break and meeting in small gender specific groups of 12 or less.

We quickly grew to three small groups. One for men in addiction recovery, one for women in addiction (habits) recovery and one for women with hurts and/or hang ups.

Training Leadership

After 3 months we have seen over 30 people come to the program, several of the original are being trained in leadership positions and we had our first quarterly dinner and concert.

We have a volunteer that meets with the children in one of our meeting rooms.

Planning for Future

Future plans, a program for youth and children that coincides with the adults program. Regularly scheduled training programs for volunteers and "step studies" for all leaders.


We have seen people step up and take leadership roles, have several attend who are court referred, and have ministered to men and women, families, who are suffering from hurts and disappointments at all levels. It has been an incredible 3 months. Changed lives and a bonding in the group that prepares us for any newcomers that wander into the meetings. Awesome response for our first 3 months.

Celebrate Recovery Inside

Celebrate Recovery in prisons.

Cardboard Testimonies.

Cardboard boxes cut up as banners with a the past - and the victory - brief sermons. I love this!

Celebrate Recovery Materials and Supplies

A very thorough training program is provided for leadership. Celebrate Recovery is very well thought out and planned. The Leadership Training material includes everything needed to hold large meetings, small group meetings and step studies which are the three major divisions of the program. DVDs and CDs are included.

Celebrate Recovery Leader's Guide, Revised Edition: A Recovery Program Based on Eight Principles from the Beatitudes
Celebrate Recovery Leader's Guide, Revised Edition: A Recovery Program Based on Eight Principles from the Beatitudes

The Leadership Guide is a great start, there are also Participant Guides when the small groups are ready for "Step Studies."


Celebrate Recovery Bible (NIV)

This Bible contains the 12 Steps with scripture references, the 8 principles of Celebrate Recovery, based on the Sermon on the Mount, and testimonies of people in the program, their successes and victories.

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    • JumpinJake profile image

      JumpinJake 4 years ago

      great history review, enjoyed it along with the photos.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      Your family's story of recovery is encouraging to others who may be going through the same problems. When you are need there is always someone, someplace who can help, and you just have to keep looking till you find help. I am so glad that you found those who could help you to truly live your lives.

    • profile image

      kotagedejualan 4 years ago

      Great information