By Paul R. Manieri
NEWARK, Del.–When I opened December’s issue of BaptistLife, I came across your article regarding Christian recovery resources in Maryland/ Delaware. It was exciting to see Celebrate Recovery mentioned, and I would like to share with you a very brief testimony.
My name is Paul and I was raised a strict Roman Catholic along with five siblings by my deaf and hearing impaired parents. Avoiding the path to become a priest (because I knew I could not embrace celibacy for an entire life), I did develop my gift of faith through various religious denominations. At the age of 33, in 1997, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, and began my new life, but without much success as a born-again Christian.
In 2005, I connected with a Celebrate Recovery Program at Fellowship Church (formerly Fellowship Baptist in Garnet Valley) through the leadership of Gary Fields and John Cremeans, and I rededicated my life to Christ.
In 2010, I married my soul mate Angela Jo at Ogletown Baptist Church in Newark, Del. It was confirmation that our Father God was a grantor of Second Chances, especially for people that have survived the Broken Road, and have chosen the narrow road to eternal life, though his Son, Jesus Christ.
In June 2011, I attended my first One Day Seminar with Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-Centered Ministry and program for people with hurts and hangups; and I am committed to passionately sharing the Gospel with genuine Christ-Centered
Leadership. It’s only by the grace shared by the Holy Spirit, that I may continue to receive his peace, mercy, and love.
“Through Celebrate Recovery I feel my Heart opening; and I know as I breathe, that there is room for me and many others with the Spirit. Because God has forgiven me, I treat myself with unconditional love and receive healing by choice within our community. I am no longer isolated, nor restricted by old, limiting beliefs from my family or from society. I am good enough. I am empowered by the strength of Christ and the Eight CR Principles(Beatitudes). I am alive again.”
Ogletown’s Campus Coordinator and Celebrate Recovery (CR) Ministry Leader is Al Demers, under the guidance of Pastor Curtis Hill. Al, and the church, has been praying, researching, and developing leaders with the curriculum recommended by Pastor John Baker, founder of Saddleback’s CR Program.
On Feb. 9, 2012, the Ogletown Exchange Center of Ogletown Baptist opened its doors to the public for the Celebrate Recovery Ministry and program, to offer a safe haven for people hurting from the dysfunctions of life, and Celebrate Victory through belief in Jesus Christ and Following the Steps of Recovery outlined in CR’s Eight Principled Beatitudes.
For more information about Ogletown Church’s Celebrate Recovery program visit, http://ogletown.org/ministsries/adults/celebrate-recovery.