Courage to Change: 12 Step Recovery Ministry
"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11
This Scripture is not only our motto, it is truly what we are living out here at Courage To Change Church.
In January, 2011, God led us into our own facility. We are now located at 4617 Jenny Lind Rd., Fort Smith, AR. The "Courage Center" offers faith based Overcomer meetings 7 days a week. We are recognized by the judicial system and therefore are able to sign papers for drug court, parolees, and other court ordered 12 Step Recovery Meeting requirements within the River Valley Area.
"Recovery" involves much more than merely staying clean and sober; it requires a total life change. The Courage Center offers spiritual 12 Step meetings, providing an opportunity for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
In February, 2013, Courage To Change held their first service in a new sanctuary! God has blessed and blessed and blessed some more with families attending to the point of the Courage Center busting at the seams! Just across the parking lot from the Courage Center is a warehouse/garage that we utilized for storage and fellowship space. God made provision for that "garage" to be transformed on the inside to become a beautiful sanctuary. How very much like God to take something just as it is and transform it on the inside to something that will bring glory to Himself!
We help those in need of work, housing, food, etc... while merely doing what Jesus did and what He professed we would do. Through a network of organizations known as Access To Recovery, we have able to meet the needs of those striving to rebuild their lives while cleaning up the wreckage of their past.
As more and more men and women in recovery attend our faith based meetings, seeking more from their recovery, they begin to bring their families. Some family members are seeking answers to why their loved one uses, others are seeking hope and freedom to dream again. We are thrilled to see entire families ask Christ into their heart and follow Him into water baptism.
Courage to Change: Jail Ministry
Updated by Rebecca Hicks, "Sister Pastor"
Since the birth of our jail ministry 13 years ago, much has changed. One of the honors given Pastor D (senior pastor DeWayne Hicks) has been his invitation to become the Head Chaplain for Sebastian County Jail. Courage to Change jail ministry has stepped up a bit; with blessing comes responsibility.
Since the beginning of my journey in recovery, one complaint has been shared over and over, "the women's jail needs women to bring in the message of recovery." Courage To Change Women's Jail Ministry has been a beautiful blessing and growing experience as a minister. Ministering in the women's prisons has stirred our hearts to make an effort to reach these ladies before they get to the point of awaiting prison time. And for those who are waiting for an opening at one of the Arkansas Prison Facilities for Women, we can introduce them to a freedom that can never be taken away, regardless of physical sentencing. God has an incredible way of changing a servant's heart when they are willing and obedient. I spent literally years turning away from jail ministry, not believing it was for me. Today I am the Lady Chaplain for Sebastian County. My heart's cry is that these ladies see themselves as Christ sees them. Ministering throughout the week to ladies behind bars has filled a void that I had in my ministry. I continue to be most definately the Women's Pastor, but it extends far beyond our church congregation... into county jail and then on into the women's penetentiaries throughout Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Juvenile Detention Center, Sebastian County
Addiction knows no age, race, religion, or social status... It is for that reason that the Juvenile Detention Center was our next step in jail ministry. Addiction affects entire families in many ways. While some are so hurt and offended even turned away from the very onset of addictive tendencies, others fall into the grip of addiction and are ensnared before reallizing they have lost all sense of control. As I entered into this ministry, my first prayer was, "Lord, allow me to see these girls as You see them."
My first visit opened my eyes to just how difficult it is for these young ladies to walk through their teen years without a relationship with Christ Jesus. Entering the juvenile center is completely different from the women or men's county jail. Institutionally they mirror one another, but spiritually they require a very different understanding and sensitivity to the Lord's teaching. No Bull About Jesus is a ministry we are affiliated with that goes into the juvenile treatment facilities and correctional facilities in both Arkansas and Oklahoma. They have stepped up into the Juvenile Detention Center here and are connecting with young lives seeking new direction and the strength to follow through. Praise God for His provision!
Courage to Change: Prison Ministry
Courage to Change Prison Ministry is honored to change and grow with the prison systems' regulations. Our ministry team has completed training classes in both Arkansas and Oklahoma which has given us more freedom within the comfort of their guidelines. What an honor and a privilege it is to serve the Lord in a way that is as truly unique as our ministry team! He has taken every experience each of us has endured and used it completely for His honor and His glory! Thank you Lord for this gift!