Celebrate Recovery – changing lives in Butler County

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 25, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Celebrate Recovery program in Butler County is changing lives and opens its arms to all community members. 

Ricky Crysell, owner of Express Roofing LLC, began the Celebrate Recovery Butler County group. Crysell is a recovering addict whose life was changed after attending another Celebrate Recovery group meeting, and said now he wants to help others through their healing process.

“A lot of people, especially at church, appear as if they have it all together with no problems,” Crysell said. “We have lawyers, doctors and ministers in the program as well, everybody in life has the same struggle and we all have character defects. It’s amazing to see all these people come together and watch God deliver them from their pain.”

Email newsletter signup

According to the program website, Celebrate Recovery is a global, Christian twelve-step program designed to facilitate recovery from a wide variety of troubling behavior patterns, through a biblically balanced approach for sustainable recovery and healing. 

The weekly Tuesday meeting begins at 6 p.m. with fellowship and a shared free dinner provided by volunteer Juanita Horn. After dinner the group fellowships while enjoying a few worship songs. 

The meeting then transitions into the discussion of a program principal or to a guest speaker, who shares their testimony story. After, the “Serenity Prayer” is read and the men and women separate into two groups for more intimate sharing and personal support. 

Crysell emphasized that the program is for anyone who has any kind of struggle, however small it may seem.

“Everybody needs to go through the 12 steps,” Crysell said. “You will find out stuff that you weren’t aware you struggled with that was causing pain to your life and relationships.”

Keith Simmons, a member of the leadership team, said Celebrate Recovery has a key component that makes it different from other support groups. 

“Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, both respective programs, tell their members to find a higher power,” Simmons said. “At Celebrate Recovery we just go ahead and say it’s Jesus Christ. We’re not ashamed of that and we’re not holding back on that. Which is why we think the program makes a huge difference, because of this spiritual component.”

Crysell testifies to participants that his healing came from his relationship with Christ. 

“Christ took my addiction from me,” Crysell said. “I’ve come to know Him as someone who loves me and He’s not just a far off being, but someone who wants to have a relationship with you. Jesus came to Earth to show us God, but then He went back to heaven to show God humanity, with all its bruises and pain. He’s the only one in heaven who has scars, and He understands us.”

Lane Simmons, the pastor of The First Assembly of God in Greenville, said any and everyone is welcome to attend the weekly meetings. 

“Everyone has their hurts, habits and hangups and so we want to invite anyone to come, regardless of race or background,” Simmons said. “We want people to feel loved and accepted when they come, and we want them to know that Jesus Christ is the only answer for mankind.”

Crysell also launched a women’s ministry called His Hands and Feet Ministry. He bought a house and said he felt led by God to turn it into a transitional home for women who are healing from addiction or have been in prison and are in need of a safe place to live while they reenter society.  

The leadership team with Celebrate Recovery in Greenville said they are in need of volunteers of all kinds, whether it’s helping with dinner preparation, greeting and welcoming attendees or as a speaker to share their testimony story. To volunteer contact Crysell at 334-617-6900.

Celebrate Recovery hosts its weekly meeting in the family life center at the First Assembly of God Church in Greenville at 760 N. Conecuh Street. Follow the Facebook page at Celebrate Recovery Butler County.