BERLIN – The director of Stand Fast Recovery is meeting with residents in both Berlin and Snow Hill to address the drug and alcohol epidemic facing Worcester County citizens through weekly Bible studies.
Daniel Freeman and Devon Warman have partnered with Spence Baptist Church and Stevenson United Methodist Church to host these studies for those struggling with addition and their family members.
“It is getting out of control,” Freeman said. “I have a friend in the Ocean City Fire Department and he says they go on calls all the time for overdoses.”
In the past eight months, Freeman said these meetings have increased in size, and attendance at Spence Baptist Church’s meetings has gone from two to 30.
The meetings have now expanded to Berlin’s Stevenson United Methodist Church, where 10 individuals have gathered each week since it started five weeks ago.
“It is a lot different than N.A. or A.A. meetings,” Freeman said. “It is a Bible study.”
Freeman, a Snow Hill native, said he struggled with addiction in the past and wants to make a difference in his community.
After attending Calvary Chapel Seven Oaks Training Program in Bangor, ME., for a year, he returned to the area to start what is now Stand Fast Recovery.
Freeman said the organization’s growth is a testament to the dilemma the county is facing.
“It is definitely plaguing the men and women in Worcester County, and it is getting worse,” he said. “I think it is a problem at the forefront of everything, and most people are struggling in one way or another.”
The first half of the meeting consists of a Bible study. The second half breaks attendees into women’s, men’s and family small groups.
Freeman said family and friends make up a large majority of their weekly meetings, but anyone is free to join.
“In my own life, when I went to Seven Oaks I was a skeptic of the Bible,” he said, “but my life has changed through Christ.”
In the future, Freeman said he hopes to start a year-long residential discipleship program, similar to seminary school.
The first six months of the program will include basic Bible studies and programs that will teach addicts how to live a Christian life.
The program will then give individuals in recovery more freedoms and opportunities to get jobs and cellphones, but participants will remain accountable for their sobriety.
Until then, Freeman said he is working to make Stand Fast a non-profit organization and form partnerships with Seven Oaks, Blessed Hope, Pleasant Oaks and Teen Challenge for residents in the area.
Currently, Stand Fast Recovery has partnered with Debbie Byrd, executive director at Cristian Leadership and Community Foundation, and has reached out to Worcester County Warriors Against Opiate Addiction to promote Stand Fast Recovery.
Stevenson provides a meeting place and Spence provides financial support for the group.
Stand Fast meets every Monday at 6 p.m. at Stevenson United Methodist Church’s Hebrews Café and every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Spence Baptist Church in Snow Hill.
For more information on the Stand Fast meetings, contact Freeman at 410-713-8750, email [email protected], or visit the Stand Fast Recovery Facebook page.