Our church became interested in helping people with addictions in 2005, when former Pastor Greg Stine became burdened for our county. At that time Barron County had one of the highest usage rates for methamphetamine in the state of Wisconsin. Pastor Stine started the addictions program in association with Reformers Unanimous (RU) of Rockford, IL. RU meetings are held on Friday evenings at the church. In addition, we hold 90-minute meetings in our county jail every Friday morning for men and every Thursday afternoon for the ladies.
The program format is Talk…Talk…Talk…
- We talk to God in prayer and testimonies during which we give folks an opportunity to tell something the Lord has done for them and share prayer requests.
- We talk to each other in challenge groups. RU workbooks contain “challenges,” which vary from Scripture memory to reading assignments to essay assignments.
- God talks to us through the message. We share a message from God’s Word.
The community response has been fairly positive. We have had a great deal of support from local law enforcement and the jail administrator and most of the staff.
We have had several decisions for Christ in our jail meetings that average 12 inmates in attendance. We struggle with follow-up and discipleship as many of these men and women are sent away to serve longer sentences in the state system or may move away upon release. We do have about eight individuals who attend church regularly and continue to grow in their faith.
Darrel J. Robinson, Sr., Pastor
First Baptist Church of Barron