Mercy Place Celebrate Recovery is celebrating a milestone this month with its 10th year in existence.

Mercy Place began in Scottsboro a decade ago after Pastor Steve Screws of First United Methodist Church saw a need for a broken and hurting community and rallied a leadership team to do something about it.

Along with Dr. Hardin Coleman, Jane Cash and Christine Sumner, praying, planning and preparing began. The leadership group expanded to include worship, meal, greeter and technical teams who worked for almost a year before opening night on Feb. 18, 2010.

“Opening night was amazing,” remembers Coleman. “We had pledged to show up, turn the lights on and praise God if anyone attended or not. We were blown away with a fellowship hall filled with those seeking restoration and recovery.”

Coleman said the blessings have continued with incredible church and community support. He said attendance continues to be about 100 people coming each week to praise Jesus and surrender their struggles to God.

A typical Thursday night begins with a free fellowship meal, provided by the CR meal team or one of many churches, Bible study groups, biker groups, civic groups and individuals who donate their time and resources.

The large group service begins at 6:10 p.m., based on Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His Might.”

“Our CR is so blessed to have the Mercy Project Band led by Mike Roney,” said Coleman. “Their faithful service has brought amazing worship to needy hearts week after week. It is nearly impossible to stay in your seat when these guys crank up the worship.”

Mercy Place has a three-week rotation to include CR lessons, personal testimonies and Step Talks. The lessons come from the official Celebrate Recovery Curriculum based on Biblical truth and 12-step teachings. The testimonies are the reflection of souls saved and hearts changed by God’s intervening grace and love.

Since its inception, Mercy Place has been privileged with 226 individuals glorifying God with courageous presentation of their journey to and through recovery.

“We have cheered and cried with so many folks willing to pour out their hearts in testimony just to encourage others,” said Coleman.

Coleman said the Step Talks are an opportunity to apply step principals to daily life and get a Biblical and practical viewpoint of how recovery looks in daily living.

“Mercy Place is so grateful for the dozens of local clergy and community leaders who volunteer to share these messages,” said Coleman.

After the large group worship, attendees have the opportunity to attend small groups which are gender specific and allow a safe and comfortable setting to share struggles and accept loving feedback from others.

“I get the privilege to lead a small group on Thursday nights, the troubled teens group, and create a space where they can share openly and care deeply,” said Coleman.

In addition to a children’s program of “pre-covery” led by Kim Keller, CR also offers step groups which meet an alternate night of the week for a more in depth time of sharing, working the steps and growing closer to Christ, said Coleman.

A Thursday night will end with a final time of fellowship called Compassion Café.

“It would be tragic not to especially thank Variety Bake Shop who has provided pastries for Mercy Place’s Café every week for 10 years,” said Coleman.

Mercy Place Celebrate Recovery is family friendly, faith-based and a forward directed path to  freedom, peace and full living with Jesus Christ in control. Anyone with a hurt such as abuse or depression; anyone with a habit such as addiction or lust; and anyone with hang-up such as anxiety or co-dependency will find help and hope on Thursday nights.

“We have seen people pulled from the depths of near death who are now on fire for life and Jesus,” said Coleman. “We have seen countless families restored and healing that extends to neighbors, homes and the community. We have had renewing of marriage vows, baptisms and so many souls saved at the altars of Mercy Place. God has blessed us immensely, and I am just so grateful to Pastor Steve, First United Methodist and this entire community for the love and support that makes this ministry so special,” said Coleman.

On Thursday, Feb. 13, the community is invited to the 10-year anniversary celebration to include worship and ‘Cardboard Testimonies.” If you are in need of Christian recovery from a hurt, habit or hang-up then just show up on a Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. to the First United Methodist Church, at 1105 South Broad Street in Scottsboro.

If your church or group would like to get involved by sharing a message or a meal, or if you have questions about the program then call the church at 256-574-2545 or send an email to jcfcc@yahoo.com.

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