On April 22, Chain Breakers Outreach Ministry, a local, non-denominational recovery program, will celebrate four years of helping people overcome addictions.
Chain Breakers is held Friday nights following Alcoholics Anonymous at the Life Center on Winnsboro United Pentecostal Church’s campus. The AA meeting starts at 7 p.m.
Karen Robinson, founder and director of Chain Breakers, saw the need of a “Christ-centered addiction recovery ministry” for Winnsboro and Franklin Parish.
“I am blessed with the backing of my pastor, Rev. Hawthorne,” Robinson said.
In the very beginning, Robinson was seeking ways to be used of God and received advice from an evangelist at a meeting one night.
He explained to her, “God is using you not because you are able but because you are available,” she said.
After much prayer and consideration, Robinson sought out avenues to host a recovery program centered around the Bible.
Robinson patterned the program after Pentecostals of Alexandria’s Seven program. She stayed a week in Alexandria and went to multiple meetings to learned how they did it.
“Sis. Mickey Magun (pastor’s wife) started Seven ministry about 13 years ago,” Robinson said. “She answered a burden for a Christ-centered ministry after seeing a relative battle an addiction.”
Robinson came up with the name while listening to the radio at a stop sign in Winnsboro.
“I said God, I don’t have a name for it,” she said. “I was by Ivan Smith and the Chain Breaker song came on. I heard a whisper and said that is your name. I had to back up and let Him guide me.”
The meeting starts out with an AA meeting with its 12-step program. After the AA meeting, participates have the option of staying for the Chain Breakers meeting which consists of a Bible study.
“You have some that stay and some that won’t,” Robinson said. “The ones that don’t stay, you usually read about them in the arrest report again. They got to get Jesus. You can’t do this alone.”
Before COVID-19, Chain Breakers saw 20 to 25 people every meeting. The virus slowed attendance down, but Robinson said numbers are starting to grow again.
For those coming, Chain Breakers gives needed Bibles along with notebooks.
“Some of the people do not have Bibles,” Robinson said. “With donations, we purchase real nice study Bibles. Chain Breakers goes further than those four walls.”
Robinson, along with several of other volunteers, assures everyone in Chain Breakers is ministered to and has someone to talk to. Ralph Sanders, a strategic volunteer, ministers to the men.
“There is a work for everybody to do,” Robinson said. “Even if it is just answering the phone.”
But, Chain Breakers is not just about drugs and alcohol.
“This is a celebrate recovery program,” Robinson said. “It is about all hurts, habits and hangups.”
Chain Breakers also ministers not only addicts but also their family.
“We encourage family members to come to our meetings,” Robinson said. “This is good for the parents to get a better understanding of the physical, spiritual and mental aspects of addiction.”
Knowing what they are going through
Robinson personally knows the struggles of someone going through an addiction. She battled alcoholism and a gambling program for years.
Robinson socially started drinking at a young age and slowly developed a habit. Along with the drinking problem she started a gambling habit that “started to concern” her.
At 45 years old, she realized she needed to change and looked toward the church for help.
“I’ve been sober for 10 years,” Robinson said.
Robinson emphasized she was from a “good family,” but three out of four sibling had addiction problems.
“Growing up in a good home does not guarantee your child will not have addiction problems,” she said. “We had a good daddy, and I am thankful he got to see us all get saved.”
Additionally, Robinson teaches battery intervention on Tuesday nights at 7 p.m in Winnsboro’s Learning Center.
“We want to change the mindset,” Robinson said. “We want to break the cycle of abuse. A lot of times domestic violence and drug and alcohol abuse goes hand and hand.”
A special Christ-centered recovery summit will be held April 24 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Life Center on Winnsboro United Pentecostal Church campus located at 2510 Loop Rd to celebrate Chain Break’s anniversary.
Theme for the summit will be “From the valley to the mountaintop.”
Those interested in coming should RSVP Robinson at (318) 535-6993. A catfish lunch will be served.
For more information, go to Chain Breaker’s Facebook page.