New Castle News

Local News

September 14, 2013

Celebrate Recovery gets second home

NEW CASTLE — Celebrate Recovery is going on the road.

For eight years, the faith-based, 12-step program to help people overcome addictive, compulsive and dysfunctional behaviors has been changing lives at New Life Baptist Church in New Wilmington.

Now the director of that weekly group, Ron Nagel, will be hosting a second, separate meeting night. This one will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at Epworth United Methodist Church, located on the triangle between East Washington Street and Butler Avenue.

“Since we began eight years ago, we’ve probably had we’ve probably had close to 700 people come through the doors,” Nagel said. “Not all of them have stayed, but we have had quite a few success stories.

“Right now we’re probably averaging around 70 people a week (when the group gathers at 7 p.m. Thursdays at New Life).”

Celebrate Recovery began as an effort to help people struggling with addictions, Nagel said, but it has since grown to include abuse victims as well as those dealing with anger issues, eating disorders or depression.”

“It’s really for everyone,” he said. “We all have issues, and this is a great place to learn and find healing through God’s word.”

This won’t be New Life’s first foray into New Castle’s East Side. For a few years now, New Life has been overseeing what originally was an Epworth outreach, the East Side Bread Basket. The ministry, which continues to operate out of Epworth, is part of the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank, and with about 875 clients, it is the largest food bank in western Pennsylvania, according to the Rev. John Bailey, New Life senior pastor.

Clients, Bailey said, are nearly equally divided between the elderly and underprivileged families.

“The situation in New Castle is very serious,” Bailey said. “That East Side of New Castle is in the 90th percentile, meaning that only 10 percent of America lives at a lower income than many of the clients we have there.”

In the course of administering the outreach, New Life surveyed Bread Basket clients, asking among other things if a ministry like Celebrate Recovery might interest them.

“We had two or three dozen people sign up, saying “If you would come here, I would like to have the opportunity to go with that,’ ” Bailey said. “So we’re going to do that, partnering with the City Rescue Mission downtown, they’re going to use the program as well.”

Nagel realizes that the Lower East Side of New Castle is a world removed from the rural area of New Wilmington. But he believes the scriptural principles behind the program transend demographics.

“ There’s a lot of need in that area,” he said. “The group will probably look a little different than the one we have here, but the DNA of recovery is the same everywhere.”

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