Chili Crossroads Church offers faith-based recovery program

| March 20, 2018

FRESNO – Friday nights at Chili Crossroads Bible Church in Fresno are a place where people from all different walks of life can come into a building with a common goal without the fear of being judged or seen as an outsider. The church offers those with addiction or those who know of someone with addiction a faith-based recovery program called RU Recovery.

“They’re either so deep in it that they are finally getting help or the other struggle people have is they’re not ready to admit it to other people that they need help, and for those people, this is a great place for them to come,” said Julie Dearyan, who leads the program along with her husband Pastor Neal Dearyan.

Each Friday night, the program hosts about 20 to 40 people who want to overcome their addiction in a faith-based, non-judgmental environment. Some people choose to come for emotional support of their loved one who may be addicted even though their loved one chooses not to attend.

“Some parents think it’s their fault, but it’s not their fault,” said Julie. “It could have been just one time at a party and that’s what started it. At one point, it’s a choice, but there comes a point where it’s not a choice. We want people to know there is always hope and always healing somewhere along the road.”

RU Recovery started at Chili Crossroads Bible Church in September 2017 and the church offers free rides to the program. In addition to learning about the Bible and God’s love, both Neal and Julie try to connect each person there with agencies in the community who can help them further.

“Some people who are coming to this are learning about resources they didn’t even know about in the community that can help them,” said Julie.

RU Recovery was founded in 1997 by Steven Boyd Curington. Curington grew up in a Christian home and graduated from a Christian university. It was after graduation that he became addicted to drugs. After drinking and illegal drugs contributed to a car accident, he started looking at his Christian faith in a new light and for the first time, developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He then saw a need for faith-based recovery for people suffering from addiction and created RU Recovery. He died unexpectedly on Oct. 30, 2010.

“What is so exciting with this program is clearly, God’s program with the world today is the local church,” said Neal. “His plan for today with people who are hurting is those in the body of Christ need to reach out to those who are hurting with love and without judgement. I love Friday nights because there is a raw sense of reality here. We are bringing hope back into people’s lives through Jesus Christ.”

During the summer of 2017, volunteers at the church took training on the program which then began in September. Both Neal and Julie said that they have seen a growth in people attending since that time.

The program is broken down into three sections: The first talk, the second talk, and the third talk. During the first talk, those attending talk to God through prayer in the sanctuary and share what God has been doing in their lives that week. The second talk is broken up into a men’s group and a women’s group where they discuss the positive events in their lives and how they have overcome temptation that week. During the third talk, everyone meets back in the sanctuary where they listen to God speak to them through inspirational messages and music.

Each week, the program focuses on one of 10 principals and awards participants for completing that week’s challenge. The program dwells on the positive in each person’s life instead of the negative and is really accessible to anyone who needs a helping hand.

“We also talk to each other about what’s going on in our lives, what we’re struggling with, and encourage each other,” said Julie. “What’s been really cool is to see them come from Friday night to Sunday morning and have friends when they come that they made on Friday nights. They are no longer outsiders. RU has opened a door for us on how to reach out.”

Both Neal and Julie hope that the program will help other churches reach out to those in need and to share the Gospel, which is what the Christian faith is called to do.

“There is no separation,” said Neal. “There is no ‘us versus them’ mentality. They’re not alone. In general, maybe we as the church have isolated ourselves a little bit. There’s also a sense of people who come here, they have the excitement like, oh cool, we know what to do about this. It’s been a wakeup call for us to be the church. I believe we will be held accountable if we don’t do what we are called to do. Our call is to befriend people in need and develop a relationship with them.”

Both Neal and Julie want people who are suffering from any kind of addiction to know that they are not alone in their struggles.

“My prayer is that God will use this community and the compassion of all these volunteers to become a great awakening,” said Julie. “God is powerful. He can do it. I believe as hope continues to spread that we can get hope to spread the same way the epidemic of drugs has spread.”

The church has recently started a chapter in the local jail on Sundays at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re just going to keep investing in people,” said Neal. “We’re going to keep sowing. God’s in charge of the harvest. The results are up to the Lord. We’re the conduits from which he gives.”

The night ends with pizza and fellowship in the sanctuary. RU meets every Friday night at 7 p.m. at Chili Crossroads Bible Church. For more information on the program, visit or call the church at 740-545-9707. The program is free to attend.

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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