Church’s ‘Free at last’ program helps addicts
After many years of ministering to the spiritual needs of his congregation, Doug Greer, pastor of Divine Temple in East Brewton, is now ministering to the physical needs.
Several weeks ago, Greer received a phone call from a man that he knew, although he was not a member of Divine Temple.
“He told me that he was an alcoholic and needed some help,” Greer said. “His family was on the verge of breaking down and his child was having major problems, all because of his addiction. He said he would be willing to go to a rehab facility, but just did not have the money. That is often a problem with those who are addicted. They may be out of work or they are spending what they earn on their addiction. Whatever, they don’t have the money to pay for rehabilitation.
“After I received that call, I was led by the Lord to think about something that I had been wanting to do for a long time. I have been trying to help with addiction problems for 26 years, but this call made me realize that some people needed more help.”
That phone call has prompted Greer to begin “Free at Last for Free,” a program that offers free drug and alcohol abuse counseling and deliverance services. Participants meet on Friday nights at 7 p.m. at the church. The program only lasts for an hour. Meetings focus on getting freedom from addiction and bondages of any sort, based on Bible teachings.
“It doesn’t matter what the addiction may be,” Greer said. “Substance abuse, depression, thoughts of suicide or anything else can be helped with the teachings of Christ. I am not trying to say that other rehab facilities are not helping. But we have some serious drug problems here in our area, and it takes a lot of help to get these people back on their feet.”
Greer said the program is not about promoting Divine Temple but is to help guide those who are in need. Attendance at the meetings is running in the high 20s.
“We are certainly not in this for the money,” Greer said. “The program is free and you can’t beat the price. We furnish Bibles and study materials. My idea differs with some programs that teach that once an addict, always an addict. I had a problem with alcohol many years ago, but I certainly don’t think of myself as an addict today. I believe that if you see yourself as an addict, you will always be one. Replace the addiction with something else. When there is a problem of addiction in a family, it doesn’t just affect the addict, but the whole family suffers. We want to see these families stay together and anything we can do to help, we want to do, because that is what the Lord wants us to do. It is only an hour each week, but it can make a tremendous difference. We don’t want to overload those attending, and the program is based on the Bible teachings.”