John was living a lie. People knew him as a "cool" Christian who lead the youth on Sunday and then had a beer with you later in the week. But no one, not even his wife, knew John was an alcoholic. When John found recovery, his secret life of addiction and his public life as a youth leader collided. Help wasn't easy to find. John explains,
"At my AA meetings I was mocked when I talked about my Higher Power, Jesus Christ. And at church I couldn’t find a place where individuals could openly relate to my struggle with alcoholism. I knew they were there because in a church of then 6,000, I couldn’t be the only one struggling with a hurt, hang up, or addictive habit."
This man was John Baker. In the fall of 1991, he outlined a faith-based program that combined AA’s 12 Steps and their Biblical comparisons. The program was open to anyone suffering from a hurt, habit or hang up. Since then, Celebrate Recovery has grown outside of it’s original home at Saddleback Church in California. Today, more than 35,000 churches have a Celebrate Recovery ministry.
Celebrating Recovery Sarasota-Style
Our Celebrate Recovery (CR) is one of the largest, and probably one of the loudest CR meetings in Florida. Our Sunday night meetings kick off at 7 PM with a live praise and worship band, followed by a wide-variety of amazing speakers. On the first Sunday of every month, we have a free dinner before our meeting. Dinner starts at 6 PM.
Many people are often nervous about their first meeting, so here's a few things you can expect:
Expect to be loved and welcomed. No one has to be perfect, and the meetings are anonymous.
Be prepared to work the steps. Celebrate Recovery is a 12-step program.
Expect a clearly defined Higher Power. Celebrate Recovery recognizes Jesus Christ as our Higher Power. Like many other fellowships, each person chooses the God of his or her own understanding, but we talk about Jesus a lot.
Get ready to celebrate! Our meeting begins with a rocking band. Once a month we have a chip ceremony to celebrate our success in recovery.
Expect to find changed people. People who find freedom from addiction have a lot to celebrate.
Expect to meet people with Purpose. This CR meeting is one of Purpose House's two weekly meetings. We are so blessed to celebrate recovery with our residents and alumni each week.
Finally, expect a diverse crowd. CR is for anyone with a hurt, habit, or hang-up. It's for people who struggle with addiction AND their loved ones. People from area churches also attend CR.
Celebrate Recovery Resources
Addiction isn't overcome by one weekly meeting. Recovery is an every day, one day at a time journey. Not to worry, we have several resources to help you recover at home, work, or anywhere in between.
First, please like us on Facebook. We post inspirational quotes, videos and stories to help you stay strong in your recovery. We also post reminders about all of our great events, like our annual Rainbow River trip.