Local rehabilitation center destroyed by fire, now picks up the pieces

UPDATE 12/4/11:  CLOVER BEND, AR (KAIT) - The residents of Jumpstart Ministries held their first church service today in their new home after a fire wiped out their newly renovated facility in Clover Bend Thursday.

The former Charity Apostolic Tabernacle in Minturn, Arkansas, which houses a kitchen and several bedrooms, is now home to the 22 men who lived in the Clover Bend facility. The men will move in Monday after the electricity is turned on.

Assistant director Shawn Williams is thankful for the donations from people in Region 8 and the Mid-South.  "First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, they've donated clothes, the Red Cross donated cots, and if it hadn't been for them we don't know what we would've done," he said. "I've been very busy the last few days. We've had some people donate some stuff from Memphis and I've been driving over there to pick up stuff."

Williams said not everyone made it through the transition from Jumpstart Ministries' Walnut Ridge facility to the new building. "These were newer guys and the strain was just much for them."  The men who lived at the Clover Bend building are in phase 1 of the program, Williams explained. After being at Jumpstart Ministries for several months, the residents move to the Walnut Ridge facility for phase 2. Phase 2 residents are allowed to work.  Williams said he found out about the fire while bringing some of the men from looking for jobs.

Steve Jarrett was in the  Clover Bend building when the fire started. "We knew there was an immediate need to get everybody out," he said. "It was just a matter of about 10 minutes and we couldn't even go back in there."

Jarrett is grateful for the support the group has received. "We've not went without anything, without food, we got a new church today, got a new house, a new residence," he said.

"It's really been a trying time, but at the same time, it's been a time where we've grew stronger in our faith."

To donate to Jumpstart Ministries, call the Walnut Ridge facility at 870.886.2929.

Copyright KAIT 2011. All rights reserved.

CLOVER BEND, AR (KAIT) - A fire destroyed a local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center Thursday morning.

Crews from Hoxie, Walnut Ridge, Clover Bend, Alicia, Sedgwick and Portia responded to the call at Jumpstart Ministries in Clover Bend at about 8:30 a.m.

Jumpstart is a 13-month, faith-based rehabilitation center for men, with housing two facilities located in Walnut Ridge and Clover Bend.  The men who lived at the Clover Bend facility rebuilt the building after flooding destroyed it earlier this year.  "We actually rebuilt all the interior of this church," said Donnie Banning. " We took out the drop ceilings and put in vaulted ceilings, and restructured the inside and built rooms."

Jamie Hutcherson enrolled at Jumpstart five months before the fire destroyed the building. "I've got a lot of memories here. This is where I met the Lord and got baptized here," he said. "I was court ordered here because I had a drug addiction problem, and I came here and met Jesus Christ and he changed my life."

The 22 men who lived in the Clover Bend facility will move to the building in Walnut Ridge. "We don't have enough room at the other facility, but just for now we're going to try to put them on some cots," said program founder Ray Brandon.

James Tarlton said they are fortunate that no one was injured, but regrets not being able to save some of his personal belongings.  "My grandfather just died and I had some of his stuff in there," he said.

"It's devastating.  Most of us lost everything we own."

To donate to Jumpstart Ministries, call the Walnut Ridge facility at 870.886.2929.

Jumpstart Ministries Web Site

Copyright KAIT 2011. All rights reserved.