RUSSELLVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Todd Latham, a bivocational pastor in southwestern Kentucky, preaches routinely to primarily unsaved and unchurched people today. Some have not only never ever opened a Bible but they have in no way listened to of it.
The pastor of Grace Baptist Church is also the CEO of Grace Restoration Home and lots of of people attending his church are people from the rehab and their people.
“The bulk of them have under no circumstances stepped foot in a church,” Latham reported. “We educate them scripture and get them common with the Bible. They occur here and a great deal of them really do not know what a Bible is. You convey to them to turn to Genesis they really do not know what Genesis is.”
But they do know dependancy and so does Latham, who experienced his lifestyle turned upside down when he grew to become hooked on products in an innocent way extra than 10 decades back.
Latham in no way saw it coming. He was productive and residing the superior everyday living. He was married with four kids, holding a 6-figure profits with a Hopkinsville maker, attending Bible college and serving as a bivocational pastor for a nearby church. He experienced a major property and seven motor vehicles.
Lifestyle was great. And then, in what appeared like the blink of an eye, it wasn’t.
“I taken care of customer problems and was a excellent technician,” he explained. “One working day out on the ground of the plant, I reached more than a skid, relocating bins, and pulled some thing in my back. I could not bend more than after that.”
He went to the health care provider, exactly where he mentioned the place of work was “standing space only,” and the medical professional wrote him a script for discomfort products. Latham arrived again a number of additional months for extra pills until finally one particular stop by the doctor mentioned no more.
“The medical doctor under no circumstances observed me for more than 5 minutes,” he said. “The very last time I went, he explained, ‘Well, I don’t believe you need a lot more of these. I think you are wonderful.’ And he cut me off.”
Latham wasn’t accomplished with the products. He uncovered other methods to acquire them and said he was having 40 Loritabs a day, at a charge of $400-500 a working day. “During this entire time, I’m a bivocational pastor with 4 children and enrolled in Bible higher education. I’m not the drug addict dwelling under a bridge. It looked like I had the excellent life. This went on for 5 several years. I couldn’t function devoid of it. I received exhausted of the chase. When I bought hooked on medicines, I did not know you could get help.”
But Latham knew he couldn’t reside the everyday living anymore. So, he put a gun in the car or truck, drove to the middle of a discipline and planned to conclusion it. “Nobody understood I was hooked on medication. I was holding down a occupation, paying out my bills, going to college and building very good grades, standing up in the pulpit preaching each and every Sunday,” he explained. “I realized the everyday living I was portraying was not what was going on inside of of me. I knew it was heading to catch up. I was likely to destroy myself.”
But the assumed of his small children growing up devoid of a father saved him from pulling the bring about. He went residence and instructed his wife, who experienced no concept what was occurring with him. “I was carrying Fentanyl patches,” he claimed. “Addiction will take you to a spot you imagined you’d never go.”
His spouse named all-around and obtain a position for him to detox though he claimed it took various tries. “I was a entire-blown addict. I went to 4 different detox centers and walked out of a extensive-time period rehab,” he stated.
Ultimately, he tried Alcoholics Anonymous and obtained a sponsor and began to hear to the sponsor and choose suggestions. “That’s how I bought clean and sober. If it wasn’t for God in my existence, I would not be thoroughly clean and sober now.”
He mentioned as a young man in his 20s, he had a dilemma with alcohol and asked God to consider it away from him. “He did and it was right away. When I was in rehab, I questioned God ‘What simply cannot you acquire this absent from me like you did the liquor?’ I experienced to go as a result of the process and it was a process that taught me how to teach others.”
Through the two years it took him to get well, Latham dropped nearly every little thing he experienced accrued in daily life, together with remaining the pastor of Grace Baptist, his property, seven motor vehicles and most of his money. Latham claimed he and his spouse were being homeless for 10 months and slept in a tent. His young ones stayed with aunts and uncles. Finally they moved in with his wife’s moms and dads for 4 or five months.
Bit by bit but definitely, while, he was finding his everyday living back again jointly.
Throughout that time of rebuilding, he advised his wife he wanted to go back again to church at Grace. “I referred to as 1 of the deacons and questioned if I could come again to church. I told him I’m not coming for something other than to sit in a pew, get a word and go residence. I have to have to get connected with other believers.”
His family members came back again for various thirty day period of Sundays and one Saturday about noon he been given a phone from a person of the deacons.
“The deacon mentioned the personal that was coming to preach Sunday had a household unexpected emergency and he questioned me to preach,” Latham said. “I advised him to enable me pray and later on told him I would. I preached that one Sunday and he asked me once more to preach. A several months later they requested me to be their pastor.”
Grace was dwelling up to its name, contacting the former addict to be its pastor yet again. Latham claimed some members didn’t concur with the selection and inevitably still left more than it. The toll of what experienced occurred through drug use was getting a toll on his overall health and doctors advised him he desired time off. He explained to the deacons he desired to be off for a few of months. They agreed and rumors started off that he was back on medication. The church dropped from 65 to 15 associates and 50 percent of individuals were little ones, Latham claimed.
In the meantime, he saw God shifting in his daily life and his part as pastor. He was led to produce a Christian rehabilitation plan, completely knowing the need to have in the local community after viewing his very own life spiral out of command. It begun tiny but grew rapidly and God continued to bless.
Latham established it up by means of the small church and Grace Recovery operates five to seven therapy properties that treatment for 75-100 addicts at a time in the yr-lengthy software. The Kentucky Baptist church averages about 200 folks a Sunday with 150 of them remaining recovering addicts in the method and their family associates. It is effectively a church of 50 functioning a big restoration plan.
“This is what I’m hearing from the customers: They see people’s lives adjusted on a weekly basis. As a substitute of observing God move a couple of situations a year, we see God transfer each and every week,” Latham explained.
God also constantly opened doorways for the rehab houses and provided areas for Grace Restoration in miraculous means as he established up the now thriving application. It has not constantly been effortless with community groups preventing him around positioning residential properties.
Grace Restoration House helps with counseling of all varieties, and when unique types of counseling are essential that the restoration household is not certified in, Latham claimed they will enable get you to the place you can go to get the counseling you need. They assistance get you to medical doctor appointments, get you set up with insurance, an ID, and a delivery certification, get a job and educate you how to finances revenue.
“One particular of the conversations I was obtaining with employees was about setting up a podcast to educate men and women about restoration,” Latham claimed. “There’s a huge disconnect to what addicts are heading by way of.”