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Good News For WV And Surrounding Areas!

By Betty Crenshaw

What a wonderful word—RECOVERY.

There are very few that families have not been affected in some way by the heartbreaking scourge of drug and  alcohol addiction. Yet, when there is sustained recovery, there is oh so much reason to celebrate. A life is saved.

Celebrate Recovery follows the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, but they acknowledge God as the “higher power.” Also, they base recovery on eight principles, taken from The Sermon on the Mount or the Beatitudes. They call these principles, The Road to Recovery.

The program at Grace Fellowship is registered with Rick Warrens’ Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. In 1991 John Baker and Pastor Rick Warren developed and launched the Celebrate Recovery program. It has grown to over 137,000 churches worldwide, and an estimated 7 million people have gone through this program.

Grace Fellowship began its program in November of 2021 and already has about 20 people attending each week. Services start at 6:30 every Wednesday evening.

Pastors Corey and Samantha Clark lead the program at Grace Fellowship. Briefly, he summed up the programs’ purpose:

“It’s a ministry designed to help hurting people seeking recovery from life’s hurts, habits, and hang-ups.”

Both Corey and Samantha work full-time. He is an on-site support specialist for Olympus Medical Systems at Baptist Hospital in Oxford. Samantha works as a Nurse Practitioner at Ole Town Medical Clinic, also in Oxford.

This is Pastor Corey’s testimony, “I had a dramatic encounter with the Lord at a crusade in 2002, and this upcoming Good Friday will mark 20 years. That encounter set me on a path of recovery and a call to preach for Him. He set me free from seven years of severe addiction.”

Eric and Stephanie Stacy, who help facilitate the program on Wednesdays, have their own stories of recovery. Eric is celebrating over five years of sobriety, and Stephanie is going into her fourth year. In her own words, “We both struggled for years. We went to AA and many rehabs, but we didn’t find freedom until we surrendered our lives to Christ.”

I asked Pastor Clark, “What would you say to someone who is trapped in addiction and desperate to be free?”

His reply, “Nothing is too hard for God. If you surrender to Him, He will take the mess you have made of your life and turn it into a message of His grace, love, and power.”

If you would like to call about attending a meeting or directions to the church (a 35-40-minute drive from Water Valley), Pastor Clark’s phone number is (662) 614-9988.

Eric and Stephanie Stacy (left) help facilitate the Celebrate Recovery and Pastors Corey and Samantha Clark (right) lead the program at Grace Fellowship in Calhoun City.

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