LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — To a lot of people Celebrate Recovery is thought of as a court-ordered place for recovering drug addicts and alcoholics to meet, but according to Stew Taylor, one of the founders of the program at First United Methodist Church, it’s about so much more.
“People don’t really know what goes on at Celebrate Recovery,” Taylor said. “They think it’s just for the drug users and alcoholics, but it’s not. It can help anyone regardless of the struggle they are facing.”
To help the public have a better understanding of what Celebrate Recovery is about and what the program does for its participants, First United Methodist Church will host an open house on April 12 for members of the public.
First United Methodist Church started their Celebrate Recovery program two years ago, because the church leadership felt called to help do something about the growing methamphetamine problems plaguing Laurel County at the time; the program has evolved in to something for everyone.
“We knew we had to do something,” Taylor said. “We just didn’t know what.”
That was when Taylor met with Jack Riley, an integral part of the Celebrate Recovery program at Souls’ Harbor Church.
“He told me he had to be at a funeral in Lexington and he only had about 30 minutes to talk,” Taylor recalled. “The conversation lasted more than an hour and a half, he was so passionate about it.”
Taylor explained that Riley’s passion was what inspired the recovery program at First United Methodist Church.
“Everyone needs Celebrate Recovery at some point in their life,” Taylor said. “It helps people struggling with depression, grief, cancer, MS, anger management, sex addiction, sexual abuse or any other addiction. The best part of it is that when someone walks through the doors they aren’t looked at any differently; there’s no judgment, just love and understanding.”