Church celebrates people recovering from addictions - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Church celebrates people recovering from addictions

July 13, 2007

Albany - - Beating an alcohol or drug habit isn't easy. Many people end up turning to a higher power. A lot of churches offer that kind of help. One Albany church offers support and counseling and helps people celebrate the recovery.

"Celebrating Recovery" is a program sponsored by First Baptist Church of Albany, but it's open to people who don't even attend the church, to get a biblical perspective on kicking bad habits. 

Getting on the road to recovery isn't always easy.

"I think I knew by the time I was 19 or 20, I had a problem with alcohol," says Sheila Mims who experimented with and then became addicted to booze.

"It was early 70's and I got into a lot of other stuff as a teenager. Got married real young, moved away, and got involved with the abuse of alcohol and drugs."

She went to Alcoholics Anonymous and kicked the habit, 10 years later she was over it for good. But something was missing.

"Here in our groups we unashamedly name Jesus Christ as our higher power in our recovery," says Keith Gaines, Associate Pastor at the First Baptist Church of Albany.

The church helps people recovering from drugs and other life issues by applying the bible to their circumstances. Gaines says the big key to remember is that getting over the habit is a continual process.

"None of us have fully recovered yet. Were all in recovery."

For Mims, she can help others beat what she once battled and in return she still learns from others in the group.

"Just because alcohol isn't my battle today doesn't mean I don't have other life battles," she says.

That's why organizers say the program works.

"Seeing the change that's been made in peoples lives is how we know its working," Gaines says.

Celebrating Recovery meets every Friday evening, rain or shine at 7:30, even on holidays. About 20 or so people come out each week and organizers say the program is only getting bigger and better.

The Recovery program was founded by Rick Warren, he pastor who wrote the best-seller book, "The Purpose Driven Life." Click here for more information on the program.

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