Addiction rehabilitation ministry celebrates 2,000th graduate

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 5:38 PM CDT
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CHARLOTTE, Ark. (KAIT) - A northeast Arkansas addiction recovery ministry is celebrating its 2,000th graduate.

Since beginning in 2003, John 3:16 Ministries has grown significantly, seeing thousands come through its campus.

“Families trust us. We’re being used, and we’re making a difference in the lives of many men, and not just the men, but their families as well,” Instructor Brent Waugh said.

The ministry helps those suffering from addiction become sober and turn their lives around.

On Sunday, Cave City resident Jaret Patterson will receive his diploma as the 2,000th person to graduate from the program.

Patterson’s addiction began back in high school when he suffered injuries playing sports.

“Hurt my knee playing football at Cave City. Got addicted to pain pills. Basically, a 15-year window and my addiction slowly got worse,” Patterson explained. “I hit my personal rock bottom on February 27 of this year. Landed in jail and decided to come out here for help.”

Since Patterson’s arrival to John 3:16, he’s worked to improve his physical, mental, and spiritual health.

“When I got here, I had no hope. The guys at this camp, the instructors, the older residents, they love you, and they show you a better way,” Patteson explained.

Patterson said when he looks back to the first of this year, he’s thankful for the new future ahead of him.

“If it was not for John 3:16 and their loving support, I would not be here. My wife would not have a husband, my daughter would not have a father, and my mom and dad would not have a son. I am forever grateful for John 3:16,” Patterson said.

After Patterson’s graduation on Sunday, he plans to return home to his wife and child and live the life intended for him.

John 3:16 said stories like Jaret’s motivate them to continue their work.

“Some of the most rewarding things that I’ve seen since I’ve been here are definitely the reconciliation of the families. When you see a man’s lights come back on,” Waugh added.

For more information, visit the John 3:16 Ministries website.