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Celebrate Recovery moves to First Baptist; Program offers Christ-based 12 steps for ‘hurts, habits and hang-ups,’ not addictions alone

Kari Lucin / The Sun Doug Hallock, a recovering heroin addict, speaks at a Celebrate Recovery event Sunday at First Baptist Church in Jamestown.

Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-based 12-step program for people seeking help for “hurts, habits and hang-ups,” has moved to First Baptist Church.

The program is aimed at everyone who has problems, not just people struggling with addictions and alcoholism but also those who seek recovery from eating disorders, sexual abuse, codependency, domestic violence, depression, self-harm, anxiety or divorce.

“Within the last six months, all of a sudden people started new groups in North Dakota,” said Sue Bjerke, who founded the Jamestown group along with Michele Carstens.

Celebrate Recovery pairs the traditional 12-step addiction recovery process with Bible verses, lending the steps a biblical, Christian basis.

“The biggest thing we’re trying to get across is, recovery isn’t just for alcoholics,” Carstens said. “We all have hurts, habits and hang-ups.”

Celebrate Recovery meets at 6 p.m. every Friday at First Baptist Church, 409 3rd Ave. SE, beginning with a meal and then heading up to the sanctuary for singing. After a short teaching period, people break up into small groups, men with men and women with women.

As more people join, the groups will break off into smaller groups, divided by topic.

About once a month, there’s an event, so people get a chance to go to a movie or on a fishing trip, something “so there’s options for people who just don’t want to drink,” Carstens said.

The program is anonymous and confidential.

The group celebrated its move with a meal, along with a concert and presentation for the community from Doug Hallock Sunday.

Hallock, a recovering heroin addict, entered the Teen Challenge program as an adult. He attributes his success in recovery to Jesus and has since become a musician, sharing his story and music with others.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at (701) 952-8453

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