SOUTH OGDEN -- A Bible-based recovery effort at Washington Heights Church similar to a 12-step program has been so successful, organizers are encouraging other churches to offer similar groups.
Celebrate Recovery was founded in 1991 by Pastor John Baker, of Saddleback Church of Southern California. Those behind it credit the steps it outlines for the recoveries of hundreds of thousands of people throughout the United States.
The program incorporates ideas in 12-step programs but also uses eight steps based on the Beatitudes in the New Testament of the Bible. Instead of basing the program on addictions, Baker centered it around helping all people with hurts, habits and hang-ups.
"Celebrate Recovery is a fellowship of people committed to being a safe place where people can be honest about real problems real hurts, habits and hang-ups through Gods love and truth. Together, we are experiencing freedom and new life through the power of Jesus Christ," states a pamphlet about the program. "Life is difficult. None of us make it through this world without getting hurt or hurting others or ourselves. We are all in need of recovery. We are all weak in different areas, and we need each other."
Washington Heights member Richard Law and his wife, Kristine, were instrumental in bringing the program there. They have coordinated the program since January when it officially began.
Law said he started a support group several years ago for parents of children suffering from alcohol and drug addictions.
He was asked to do the group because he has several children who struggled with those issues.
But Law said he also discovered his own co-dependency issues that could be helped by meeting with others and working on himself.
He said he noticed that Celebrate Recovery, because it was Bible-based, worked to make real changes in the lives of those who participated.
"If you have something you can't kick, God is the answer," Law said. "We've made it more God-centered. This is a God-centered way to become strong again and conquer."
But Law said the program is not easy. It's about being real and honest and doing the deep word needed to heal in a safe and confidential environment.
"This truthfully will work for just about any problem you have, the reason being is it's hard," he said, noting the importance of committing to each step in the program.
Starting Sept. 20, the program at Washington Heights will include a teen offering.
Held at the same time, the teens will meet in worship with all participants and then will break off into small-group discussion.
"I went through a real hard time as a teenager and so did Kyle," said Christine Osaka, who will lead the female teens. She referred to Kyle Law, who will lead the male teens. "I'm excited to share with those who come from addictions, co-dependency and dysfunctional families."
Christian Life Center in Ogden is working to start a program and another program is beginning in Bountiful.
For more information about the program at Washington Heights or other churches, contact Law at 801-499-6527.
Eight recovery principles based on the Beatitudes
1. Realize I'm not God; I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable.
"Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor." Matthew 5:3
2. Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.
"Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
3. Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christs care and control.
"Happy are the pure in heart." Matthew 5:8
4. Openly examiner and confess my faults to God, to myself and to another person whom I trust.
"Happy are the pure in heart." Matthew 5:8
5. Voluntarily submit to any and all charges God wants to make in my life.
"Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires." Matthew 5:6
6. Evaluate all my relationships, offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I've done to others when possible, except when doing so would harm them or others.
"Happy are the merciful." Matthew 5:7 "Happy are the peacemakers." Matthew 5:9
7. Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and his work for my life and gain the power to follow his will.
8. Yield myself to be used by God to bring this good news to others, both by my example and by my words.
"Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires." Matthew 5:0
Source: Celebrate Recovery, a Bible-based recovery program founded in 1991 by Pastor John Baker, of