The Recovery Church was actually birthed out of The Steps of Christ Recovery Life Group which was formed in early 2009. We notified The Southern Baptist about helping us with a men’s re-integration home. After building a relationship with Don Williams their representative, he spent some time with us, experienced our Life Group, went into the jails with me, and afterwards he strongly encouraged us to start a new church. It wasn’t long until Sam Scott from the BGCO church planting division contacted us and started the process of establishing The Recovery Church. So after several meetings with Sam we begin a two year training program while at the same time in Oct 2010 The Recovery Church was birthed in an old Restaurant with approximately 20 people.
Although we basically consider ourselves non-denominational, we are actually a church plant of the Southern Baptist. Approximately seven years ago we begin building a relationship with Duane Sheriff of Victory Life Church in Durant OK. He has opened his churches to us for assistance, support, and guidance in any area we need. Much of our growth and maturing as pastors and a church have come from Duane and his staff making us welcome to their training and personal guidance. I consider he and his lead pastor Lee Armstrong as my pastors. They have 12 churches and Lee is over a huge staff of pastors and ministry teams. They have a combined 80 years experience so I’m surrounded with great accountability.
Debbie is just completing her Masters and soon to begin her doctorate in divinity specializing in Bible Interpretation. God called us into ministry late in our lives. I begin Steps of Christ Recovery Group in 2009 at the age of 51. Two years later The Recovery Church was birthed. I was released from prison Dec. 2008, meet Debbie 7 months later, we spent 1 1/2 years courting and on Dec. 26th, 2010 we were married. I was 53 and Debbie was 58 and at the same time God birthed the church.
Debbie’s never even had a speeding ticket, been saved and in love with Jesus since she was 8, and had lived in Woodward Oklahoma all her life. She was a member of the same church for over 50 years where her son is now a Deacon.
When God called her to leave her family and grand kids to move 3 1/2 hrs. away to Duncan, marry a 6 time felon, and join me in this ministry her family thought she had lost her mind. even though we spent 2 years courting before marrying they still thought she was losing it. She truly was giving up everything to follow Jesus and defiantly has the Abraham blessing on her life. When she heard the call, she left her family, financial security, grandchildren that she cherishes, a home about paid for, and was soon to retire and enjoy her grandchildren. It was the life she had planned for after working so hard going through so very difficult times to reach this pointt. A year before she met me she rededicated her life to God and told Him she was ready to sell completely out and follow wherever He led, little could she have ever imagined what He had in store.
It’s now been 9 1/2 years since the day we met, we’ve sure been like Abraham following the Lord not knowing where He’s taking us, but He’s never once failed us in anyway, He has used Recovery Church in a mighty way ministering in an area that’s been destroying our society. We’ve experienced so many lives transformed like myself, so many mothers getting their children back and learning to be good Godly mothers, after losing everything for drugs, fathers who had lost everything now loving their kids and becoming spiritual leaders, marriages being restored, families united, prisoners staying out of prison and becoming productive God loving citizens making a difference. The recidivism rate is 85% of all who get out go back, we are changing those numbers.
We have a couple Recovery Homes and have used them to help mothers and women reintegrate back into society. We are so grateful for the many of you who partner with use financially to keep this work moving forward. May God continue to bless this most needed kingdom work.
The Power of God!
Anyone who denies God or His power needs to look no further. Which of these men would you want as your neighbor? It’s hard to believe, but they’re both the same man … one before the power of God did its transforming work, the other after. Those who knew Dennis before are shocked to meet the new Dennis. For those who didn’t know him before, it’s hard to imagine his former life. From his mug shot in 2001 to his joyful life in 2009 these pictures tell it all … God Lives! and is still doing miracles today.
Dennis spent 30 years in bondage to alcohol and drugs. His sinful life brought such destruction to his body that at one point his own mother didn’t recognize him. Even though he was in and out of jail, he always thought he could beat the system. But when he was arrested in 2001, the DA was tired of giving him chances. Facing 2 life sentences and $80,000 in fines, he knew he was in real trouble. He finally was sentenced to 65 years, 20 of those years was aggravated trafficking which is day for day time, no good time!
It was in the county jail that God began the work that would transform his life. One of the volunteer chaplains, Jack Price was a man who had formerly been an outlaw with him. Jack pleaded with Dennis to surrender his life back to Jesus. He had been saved by the faithful witness of a man in rehab, but now he had the time to begin getting into God’s Word. After 7 years in prison, God miraculously set him free. One of his great passions was to return to the county jail that he had spent so much time in to share with the men and women how God had transformed his life. Today, he is a full time Chaplain in the very jail he spent so much time in. After many months in jail, he went to prison 4 days before Christmas in 2001 with 65 years and 80,000.00 in fines, and 4 days before Christmas in 2008, exactly 7 years, he walked back into the jail a changed man preaching the good news and sharing about this awesome miracle from God, not only was his life transformed by the power of God, but now he is free from both prisons. Prison was the beginning of God setting him free from the real prison he had been in for 35 years, prison to sin and the devil! Dennis met his wife 7 months after being released from prison and 1 1/2 years later they were married. He and Debbie now Pastor The Recovery Church, a church they planted 7 years ago. A church that God birthed in Oct. 2010 out of this incredible story. They also continue the jail ministry and 4 prisons, one of them is Cushing prison where Dennis spent 7 years of his life! God is still writing the book of this journey which includes a Godly wife, 4 grandchildren, and an awesome Church family!