Recovery Ministries

Recovery Ministries – The United Methodist Church offers many recovery programs through our local churches. Recovery programs do the important work of keeping Christ in the center of the recovery process for any persons that have hurts, habits or hang-ups that they seek to overcome.


  • Special Program for Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV)

SPSARV is an agency of The General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. SPSARV has an array of resources including studies, movies, devotionals, etc. on its website offered for free to anyone. SPSARV evaluates all resources and only recommends recovery ministries that are evidence-based that are effective in helping addicts and families of addicts deal with the trauma of substance abuse and addiction. Visit their Facebook page.  

  • Celebrating Families

The objective of Celebrating Families is to:

  1. Break the cycle of addiction in families
  2. Decrease participants’ use of alcohol and other drugs by increasing healthy living skills, and
  3. Work with family treatment courts and other agencies to help increase family reunification.

Celebrating Families applies to children and parents with substance abuse issues. It is a multi-family, evidence-based, skills building program serving the whole family. The program builds resiliency into children so that their chances of following their parent or parent’s example of substance abuse or addiction are diminished. The program accomplishes this by increasing the protective factors thereby decreasing the risk factors in participants’ lives.

Celebrating Families requires some training of initially 20-25 people in a church in order to have the program become effective. The program curriculum includes 16 weeks addressing the following issues:

  • Session 1-Getting Started
  • Session 2-Healthy Living
  • Session 3-Nutrition
  • Session 4-Communication
  • Session 5-Feelings and Defenses
  • Session 6-Anger Management
  • Session 7-Facts about Alcohol, Tobacco & other drugs
  • Session 8-Chemical Dependency is a Disease
  • Session 9-Chemical Dependency affects the Whole Family
  • Session 10-Goal Setting
  • Session 11-Making Healthy Choices
  • Session 12-Healthy Boundaries
  • Session 13-Healthy Friendships and Relationships
  • Session 14-How We Learn
  • Session 15-Our Uniqueness
  • Session 16-Celebration!

The curriculum costs $1,680 for 10 copies of a 5-volume set of materials. The local church is expected to pay the $1,680, but the cost of the training is covered by a grant from the National Association of Alcoholics (NaCoA). The application for the grant can be found online at the NaCoA website which is . The application must include a plan for finding the right participants. The church is expected to offer a meal to all participants at the beginning of each session. 

NaCoA will come to the local church to conduct the training. The award of the grant covers the costs of the trainers coming to your church.

If a smaller church is unable to meet these requirements, then it may work in a cluster with several other small churches to offer the program. To apply for a grant contact Sis Wenger at, telephone number 301-468-0985. Be sure to tell Sis Wenger that you have been in conversation with SPSARV.

  • Recovery Ministries from Cokesbury UMC-Knoxville, Tennessee

This ministry helps churches and institutions develop, launch, and maintain successful, high-profile recovery ministries. Cokesbury Recovery Ministries live streams their service on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. You can watch for free the service at The Cokesbury Recovery ministry has free 30-minute prerecorded segments of Rev. Mark Beebe delivering a sermon during the worship service. These segments make excellent material for Sunday school or group discussions. Cokesbury Recovery Ministries has discovered the necessary principles of creating effective recovery ministries including worship services for people affected by alcohol and drug abuse and are willing to share them with anyone.

Cokesbury Recovery Ministries offers different levels of partnering with them ranging from $0 to $5,000 per year. The cost includes only Cokesbury’s cost of maintaining their electronic infrastructure so they can share their ministry online. They make no profit from the ministry. If a church chooses to partner with Cokesbury, then it can contact Rev. Mark Beebe or Gary Wilson at or 865-265-0450 for additional information.

Grants are possibly available through Good Samaritan Foundation.

  • Educating People that Addiction is a Disease

Many people in the congregation do not understand the nature of addiction and assign the bad acts of addicts to being an undesirable person who they do not want in the church. What many people do not understand is that addiction is a disease just like diabetes, cancer, or hypertension. Educating the congregation about the true nature of addiction can go a long way in making addicts feel welcomed in the church. The Institute of Addiction Study produced an excellent one-hour long DVD entitled Pleasure Unwoven. It is highly recommended that all churches interested in opening up their doors to people with substance abuse and addiction issues purchase a copy of the DVD and show it to their congregation. It cost approximately $30 and may be purchased at the website or telephone number 801-456-0765.

  • Resource Contact Information for Department of Community Based Services, Community Mental Health Centers, and Community Action Agencies

            The following contact information has been complied by FARM and made available for the ease of anyone in need of any of these services.

Department of Community Based Services (DCBS)

Each county in Kentucky has contact information to reach DCBS. This branch of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is a great resource for general information related to poverty-level services, Food Stamps, child and adult protection, and foster care/adoption. Select your county on the left side  and it will provide the address and phone number you are to contact for your location.

Community Mental Health Centers (CMHC)

Each county in Kentucky is covered by a CMHC. Services include mental health assessments, emergency services/referrals for services, outpatient mental health counseling, etc. Each will also have information related to substance abuse*. Most all offer outpatient counseling, some offer outpatient and intensive treatment services, and a few have a residential component for substance abuse treatment. Not all county offices are open full-time, so the phone number provided will give you both a local and a regional option. Please call the regional office first.

*Due to some recent changes in the way a diagnosis is made for a client, some of the terms have changed, or will change soon. What has been known as "substance abuse" will now be known "substance use disorder." The new label and tools for assessing allows the clinician to place the client on a scale of severity and therefore make a more accurate referral for treatment.

Most of the offices will also have at least one contact for the group meetings known as "12-step" meetings (Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous). Some of the smaller counties may only have one meeting per week, some none at all.

Community Action Agencies (CAA)

Each county in Kentucky is covered by a CAA. Most all counties have at least a part-time office where clients can be assessed and provided with the appropriate referrals to meet their needs.

CAA's receive Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding to serve persons and families with low incomes. CSBG funds address several areas related to those living in poverty. They include, but are not limited to, employment, nutrition, housing, job training, and transportation. Although addiction is not limited to income, there is a higher percentage of persons with substance abuse issues recognized and documented in the lower income levels.