SIDNEY – Brock Frasure was certain he was going to die.
From the age of 11 he battled addiction, and at one point he overdosed six times in just two-and-a-half months. In the past five years he’s had more than 20 friends die of drug overdoses.
But Frasure didn’t die. After struggling for three decades, he’s been drug free for more than a year. And now he thinks there must be some plan for his life, some purpose, some reason he survived when so many like him did not.
“I found out rock-bottom had a basement and then there was a cellar underneath that,” Frasure said. “For 31 years I was in the trenches with everything that you could think of. I’ve done everything under the sun, and now I can stand here and say that I’m thankful, for the church for one, because they’re the ones who brought all this about for me and showed me the light of the Lord.”
The church is Russell Road Church in Sidney, and Frasure hopes its new Celebrate Recovery program can help save others like the church saved him.
Celebrate Recovery isn’t just for people battling drug addiction, though. It’s a community for any hurt, habit or hangup.
“This is a church without walls,” said Patti Moore, who organizes Russell Road Church’s Celebrate Recovery group with her husband, Randy. “Russell Road is opening the floodgates to our community for any hurt, habit or hangup that we have.”
Moore has gone through her own struggles including an eating disorder, codependency and divorce. Other members of the group have lost jobs, are fighting diseases or had children die.
“It covers every aspect,” Frasure said of Celebrate Recovery, “everything from overeating to overworking, drugs to alcohol to abuse to everything, and it’s all done by the grace of God.”
Celebrate Recovery is a national ministry started in 1991 by John Baker and Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. The program has expanded worldwide and now has a presence in 35,000 churches.
Celebrate Recovery’s eight recovery principals are based on the Beatitudes and its 12-step program, modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 steps, is aligned with biblical verses.
Senior Pastor Fred Gillenwater wanted to start a Celebrate Recovery program at Russell Road Church to continue the church’s outreach, which has included jail ministry and reviveOHIO.
“We just believe to reach the disenfranchised, the hurting and the broken,” Gillenwater said. “It’s all about reaching people, helping people.”
Moore spent five months working to get Russell Road Church’s Celebrate Recovery program started, which included traveling to Kentucky for training. She and the other local leaders have been encouraged by Celebrate Recovery’s focus on God as its driving force and its history of helping so many people.
“We didn’t need to reinvent a wheel of any kind as this wheel was working quite well,” Moore said.
When Russell Road Church’s Celebrate Recovery program began on June 7, approximately 40 people from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds and a wide range of hurts, habits or hangups attended.
“Once we can get rid of these hurts, habits and hangups, we really start to come into our true identity,” Moore said.
When he first came to Russell Road Church, Frasure was worried he would be judged because of his tattoos, his past drug addiction and his incarcerations. He also was turned off of religion from his time as a Jehovah’s Witness as a child and his view that many Christians were judgmental.
“I was so worried when I first come here because of all the tattoos, coming out of prison, you know what I’m saying? I had this mean look to me and everything, but if you really get to know me I’m not a bad guy,” he said.
It was his now 11-year-old daughter, who attended Bible study at Russell Road Church, who urged him to attend the church where he ultimately found a home and a purpose.
“This is a program that helps build leaders and connections to our community,” Moore said. “So Brock has walked in that particular addiction. Now he’s clean a year, and the program says after you’re clean a year we start to look at maybe what’s a leadership role, where could you serve in CR.
“He’s going to take that habit that he had, he’s going to take that hurt and pain that caused in his family, and now he’s going to use it for God’s glory, and he’s going to help walk alongside somebody else with the same hurt or habit or hangup.”
Frasure is now drug free, married and has custody of his two children from a previous relationship. He’s also active in the church and runs an art program.
“I wouldn’t trade my life for a million dollars right now,” he said.
While he’s in a good place now, Frasure wishes he could turn back the hands of time. He wishes he could have found his wife sooner, found Russell Road Church sooner and found Celebrate Recovery sooner, allowing him to get clean earlier and avoid the pain he inflicted on his family.
“If I could turn back the hands of time, I would definitely had found you guys earlier,” he said. “I really wish that I would have got ahold of (Celebrate Recovery) as a younger kid because I wouldn’t have spent as much time in and out of jail.”
Russell Road Church’s Celebrate Recovery group meets at 6 p.m. every Friday at the church, 340 W. Russell Road, Sidney. Each meeting lasts two hours, beginning with worship then breaking into smaller groups for individuals to work on their specific hurts, habits and hangups.
“They’re going to get new manna each day,” Moore said. “They’re going to get something new each time they come.”
The meetings, which are free to attend, also include free snacks and free childcare for potty-trained children. The group is open to everyone, and individuals can join at any time.
“Confidentiality, a safe place is what we want known,” Moore said. “This is a safe place to work on your hurts, habits and hangups.”
Individuals can call Patti and Randy Moore at 937-658-8592 for more information about Russell Road Church’s Celebrate Recovery group.
More information about the program – including other Celebrate Recovery groups in Sidney, St. Marys, Wapakoneta and other communities – is available at www.celebraterecovery.com and the Celebrate Recovery app.
Reach this writer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-538-4824.