“We hope to just help people.” Faith-based band inspires others in recovery

Published: Jan. 2, 2022 at 6:14 PM CST
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PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - A religious rock band in Paragould, brought together during a dark time in their lives, hopes to encourage others in the same place through their songs.

Deny Myself Ministries was formed in 2016 when band members Michael Stuht and Michael Celeskey met at Shepherd’s Fold, a faith-based drug and alcohol rehab program for men.

“We started writing songs on theology, basically out of the scriptures, and we were hoping to benefit other people going through faith-based treatment programs, and just anyone struggling with drug and alcohol recovery in general,” said Stuht.

The band takes it’s namefrom Luke 9:23 in the Bible, where Jesus says ““If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

“Sometimes there’s a struggle with being a Christian. You know not everything is peaches and cream and just smooth sailing,” said Stuht. “Sometimes things are tough, but you’ve got to deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Christ. So that’s where we got the name for.”

Bass player Brandon Rhine joined the band around two years ago, after watching them play while in recovery at Agape House in Paragould.

“It means the world to me [the band] because it’s the substance of my belief. When I was listening to it going through my roughest times is what saved my life,” said Rhine.

Each of the band members has successfully completed rehab and has been in recovery for some time.

The band exclusively plays for faith-based rehab programs and meetings, and holds regular benefits to help these facilities.

“Deny Myself goes way beyond the five members in the band. We’re a community,” said Stuht.

One of the locations the band often plays at is Ridge City Church in Paragould.

Senior Pastor Chris Barhorst and his wife met the band in 2017, after moving from Florida and planting their church.

“I don’t remember the first time we went to a Deny Myself show but it was just, It’s my kind of music,” said Borhorst. “I’m not a traditional kind of guy, and I’m in recovery as well, and it just really kind of clicked.”

Borhorst said the greatest thing about the band’s music is that it speaks Bible truths and doesn’t cut any slack.

“I grew up in a very traditional church, and then fell away from that. And just feel like I don’t fit in that traditional mold anymore,” said Borhorst. “So to have music, scripturally and Jesus-inspired music, that doesn’t sound like the hymns I grew up with has just meant a lot to me.”

Rhine said playing for those battling addiction and sharing his faith is an honor, because it helps spread the truth of the gospel.

“We hope that our music will convict you of your sin and draw you to Christ and cause you to become more like Him,” said Rhine. “I’ve been a drug addict for 20 years of my life, and in that, tried everything possible. And the only thing that ever works, and what I found in faith-based, is Jesus Christ.”

Stuht said the band really just hopes to help others through their addiction by inspiring them with their songs.

“We hope to be able to share the comfort that we’ve received from God,” said Stuht. And that’s our goal is to be able to show as many people the love and the grace, actually. The grace would be the biggest word, the grace that’s in Jesus Christ.”

Saturday, January 8 Deny Myself will play a benefit for The Lord’s Refuge, a men’s rehab facility.

The concert will start at 7 p.m. at Collins Theatre in Paragould.

To learn more about Deny Myself Ministries, follow the Facebook page here. You can also listen to the band’s music on the YouTube page here.

Ridge City Church regularly hosts recovery meetings, and has a program called Next Step for recovery program graduates.

Next Step meetings are held every Tuesday starting with a meal at 6 p.m. and worship at 6:30 p.m.

To learn more about Ridge City Church, follow the Facebook page here.

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