First Community Recovery Church gathered for the first time on Sunday morning, March 6, 2007, with 23 worshipers. For several years prior to this Pastor Johnny Hunter, Sr. had sensed a calling from God to reach out and minister to people suffering from addiction. Through his own experience as an addict he knew personally the pain, hopelessness, and shame that come with the disease. His 15 years in recovery had shown him the power and grace of Jesus Christ to change lives, transform thinking, give hope to the hopeless and free addicts and alcoholics from their bondage.
Pastor Hunter’s vision for the church has always been a multi ethnic group of men and women in recovery, who are being trained as Christian leaders in their homes and communities. And that is exactly what we are! As the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, “we are people who would not normally have mixed.” We come from a wide variety of ethnic, educational and socio economic backgrounds, but we are united through our love of our Lord, our suffering in addiction, and our desire to carry the message of hope in recovery through the power of Christ to all the world.
God has blessed our mission and ministry beyond our wildest dreams! One year after our first worship service we average more than 150 people each Sunday. But even more exciting than the growth in numbers has been the personal and spiritual growth of our people. Hardly a Sunday goes by that we don’t see someone who only a few months before had been broken and lost in addiction reach out to someone new and give them hope. Those who believed they had little or nothing to offer have stepped up to take on leadership roles and make commitments that they previously felt inadequate to fulfill. As much as we would like to take credit for this growth ourselves, the fact is they have come as gifts from a loving and gracious God.
Most of us owe our early recovery to 12 step programs, and we still have sponsors, perform service work and maintain a weekly “home group” connection. But we have also learned that solid recovery and continued spiritual growth require us to partake of ALL the options and support available. In other words, it is not EITHER a 12 step program OR a church connection that leads to healthy recovery, it is BOTH a 12 step program AND regular church participation that have brought us the joy, freedom and happiness we now enjoy. When we read the Bible, we see the Big Book all over it, and vice versa. The message of love and service that Jesus delivered and urges us to practice is what the principles of recovery are all about.
We cannot adequately describe the fellowship, acceptance and love that exists among us at First Community Recovery Church! It is something you need to experience for yourself! And nothing would give us greater joy than to welcome you to worship on a Sunday morning, or have you join us for a Tuesday evening Bible Study. Having your children in Sunday School with our children would be a delight! As a Christian person in recovery we could use your help in sharing God’s love through our “Homeless Feeding the Homeless” ministry, and God might just be waiting for you to step up and connect with an “at risk” young man through our “Midnight Basketball” or “Fathers Stepping in for Dads” programs.
We are thrilled at the possibility of having you join together with us in this ministry of spiritual growth and service through the power and love of God!!