by Lisa Tome
New Beginnings Christian Fellowship and Monarch Recovery House have found a way to expand their assistance to recovering addicts.
They've acquired an historic farm on Blue Ball Road.
Already Monarch House offers those in recovery counseling, community service opportunities, and more. New Beginnings Christian Fellowship is also offering Celebrate Recovery programs. Now all those programs are going to operate from Vilna farm in the 1200 block of Blue Ball Road. Pastor Phil Meekins explained that New Beginnings will move ministry programs to the multi-building facility.
New Beginnings operates a food ministry, housewares distribution, a 10-person men's recovery house, and a five person women's recovery house. The goal is to move the operations to the new site in stages.
"As part of recovery, they (addicts) will work on the farm and work off the farm. We will have livestock. This will give them pride in seeing the end product and give them a sense of accomplishment and purpose," said New Beginnings Pastor Phil Meekins.
He said for a long time, a goal for the church was to find a farm for recovering addicts. A lease purchase agreement was struck for the Vilna farm.
"This was the right time and the right situation. We applied for a curatorship at another farm and we didn't get it. This farm property gives us a chance to expand our ministries," said Pastor Meekins.
Since the church was formed about five years ago, membership has grown to about 100 people.
"We are committed to the whosoevers of the world. Our goal is loving all of God's children. We are reaching out to those who have been forgotten by society. And there is a stigma attached to those who are in recovery but that has gotten better," he said.
He said now that men's and women's recovery houses have been established, he plans on setting up a recovery house for pregnant women and new mothers. "That is a tremendous need here," he said.
"This is a step in the direction that we had goals of reaching. All of this is done in the name of Jesus. We've had a lot of support from people," said Meekins.