Faith leaders join forces to start addiction recovery house

A group of faith leaders is quietly going about helping their fellow man by building a place and system for recovery from drug addiction.

Members of a group called Pavilion Church are working together with business leaders and residents to create a recovery house for men in North Vernon.

“People suffering with addictions are not problems. They are human beings and they are hurting. We are trying to help,” said the Rev. Kent Stroud of North Vernon Wesleyan Church, and a Pavilion Church member.

Located at 502 Fourth St. in North Vernon, the recovery house will be called the Potters House and will house up to 12 men by September.

The large, five-bedroom house recently was purchased by Pavilion Church through an anonymous $65,000 donation from a local factory.

Pavilion Church formed three years ago as an alliance of the ministers of five Churches in North Vernon. The ministers united to help members of the Jennings County community with a variety of problems, but problems related to addictions soon became a focus of the group.

The original alliance of ministers was soon joined by faith leaders who were working with inmates at the Jennings County Jail, a member of an addiction recovery group and the minister of an additional church.

Churches currently involved are:

  • Christ Way Community Church
  • North Vernon Nazarene Church
  • North Vernon Wesleyan Church
  • The Well
  • Trinity Full Gospel Church
  • Zenas Baptist Church

“Our ministry in the area of addictions has been based on the national Celebrate Recovery program,” said the Rev. Dan Denny, pastor of Christ Way Community Church.

The Celebrate Recovery program was a 12-step program based on the teaching and principals of Jesus Christ, Denny said.

“That is a very good program and it has proven to be successful for many people, but we have found that there are people who need additional help in getting their lives back together,” Denny said.

Plans for the recovery house grew from Pavilion Church’s ministry to individuals in Jennings County who were suffering from addictions.

“We think a recovery house will give some people more of the time they need to grow in stability in their new sobriety program,” Stroud said.

The recovery house wouldn’t be possible without the help of others, Stroud said. John Raymer let the Pavilion Church have the house below market value. The factory that provided the $65,000 for the purchase said it would consider the applications of any man that completes the program. Also, Pavilion Church is receiving donations from other businesses, Stroud said.

“This whole thing has come together on its own. It seems to be God’s work,” Stroud said, while other ministers voiced agreement while standing in the front room of the house that will become the Potters House.

Travis Barnes will serves as a recovery coach in the Potters House while also continuing a recovery program he leads outside the house. Dan and Jeanne Long also will help with recovery for those at Potters House while continuing to lead their jail ministry efforts.

“There is no requirement for anyone to believe anything to come into the Celebrate Recovery program or the recovery house. We don’t make them believe anything, but we hope they will come to know the teachings of Jesus Christ along the way to their sobriety,” said the Rev. Robert Johnson, pastor of Trinity Full Gospel Church.

“Our hope is that people in the recovery program will invite Jesus Christ into their lives to help make their lives happier,” said the Rev. Mitch Harrell, pastor of the Zenas Baptist Church.