A Community in Pain: church program helped man battle addiciton

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For one Tri-State man, it’s been a tough road. His journey into big trouble started when he was a young boy.

Former drug addict Gary Price said, “I found out that I couldn’t trust myself so I had to learn through trial and hardship that I can trust God.”

Gary Price’s journey with drugs began and ended on the streets of Evansville.

He started smoking marijuana at age 11.

Shortly after, he started drinking beer. Like his father, he became an alcoholic.

He had an apartment, but not much else. That apartment didn’t even have power and he didn’t have a car to get around.

He decided he needed help and turned to Stepping Stones Recovery Center to help him battle his addictions.

Even then, he felt he needed more. So he walked from Stepping Stones to the McDonald’s on Lincoln Ave. for a 6 a.m. Bible study class.

Pastor David Schwambach of Bethel Church said, “The truth is, we need loving people to stand with us – and especially when we fall down – and the church has to be involved.”

Schwambach oversees the ministry’s “Celebrate Recovery Program,” a program that introduces a spiritual component to healing.

Schwambach said, “They’ve put around themselves relationships that have added, I’m going to say, encouragement, and they’ve really embraced the faith-based community.”

Gary and his wife Carla serve as leaders in the program today – helping others who are battling addictions.

Price said, “I’m joyful now. I’m fulfilled now. I have love and I have joy and I have peace. I have people around me that love me and it transformed my life.”

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