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Recovery celebrates 4 years in Ole Brook

The Book of James says, “the prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

Corbin Allen believes it, and he asks for it. The 20-year-old grew up in church on Sundays and Wednesdays, but went down the wrong path, with the wrong crowd, in his teenage years. He did some time for those mistakes, and now he depends on Jesus Christ, and a group of like-minded folks at the Brookhaven chapter of Celebrate Recovery who pray him straight.

“I go at least once a week, and I get around a good group of people who are all striving to do better in some way,” Allen said. “That’s good in itself, to be around that environment. It’s good to be able to have a small group to talk to, to get stuff off your chest, and to pray together like Jesus Christ said.”

Allen will be the guest speaker at the chapter’s four-year anniversary celebration, which begins at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Lincoln County Baptist Association headquarters on Halbert Heights Road. The annual milestone dinner will feature his testimony and music from Topher Brown and the CenterPoint Church band.

Rhonda Jacobs, a ministry leader with Celebrate Recovery and 34-year member, is inviting anyone — whether they need the encouragement of a Christian support system or not — to attend the celebration and see what the chapter is all about.

“Come and see how God has blessed people’s lives,” she said. “Some people may say, ‘I have a boring life. I don’t have a testimony.’ But everyone has a testimony. It doesn’t always take someone with a deep hurt, or great crimes, to support others through their testimony.”

Jacobs started the Brookhaven arm of Celebrate Recovery in 2014, and since then she estimates around 200 area residents have come through for some length of time.

“Some stay for a while, take the tools we teach and move on with their lives. Some people are lifers — like me,” she said. “We have ‘tables,’ where you talk about yourself, about anything you want, and the other people give you minutes to speak without interruption, without distraction.”

Celebrate Recovery uses the familiar 12-step philosophy pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous and applies it to a scripture-based program, which was started at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California in 1991 by John Baker. The ministry now has more than 35,000 chapters across the globe.

Jacobs said the free sessions are for “all hurts, habits and hangups,” offering group support for not just drug and alcohol addiction, but for grief, depression, anger, stress and other ailments. The chapter meets every Tuesday and Thursday night, including holidays, and is open to anyone age 18 and up.

Jacobs also teaches a modified version of Celebrate Recovery to female inmates in the Lincoln County Jail on Fridays, and she works with local law enforcement, attorneys and pastors to offer the non-denominational program to the community.

Celebrate Recovery follows the advice given in James 5:16 — “confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

“Christ can forgive us, but as humans we still have scars,” Jacobs said. “Healing is a process, and it can take some time.”