About: Our Story

The National Association for Christian Recovery is a not-for-profit religious organization whose passion is the cultivation and growth of recovery communities within or in partnership with Christian churches. We believe that part of the Good News that Christ brought to us was the realization that we can all bring our “problems of self” into the community of Christ and that his grace extends to our hidden wounds as well as our faith.

We encourage churches, ministry teams and recovery professionals to wrestle with what it means to obey Christ’s commandments of love and community (Matthew 22:36-40) as we serve people seeking to recover their lives.

The NACR sponsors workshops, conferences and supplies materials to groups and churches looking to inspire recovery in their community. We also offer our time on a consultative basis to groups looking for guidance when establishing, growing or reviving their recovery communities.

A little of our history will help explain who we are: In 1989, three people – Carmen Renee Berry, Pat Means, and Dale Ryan (and later joined by Dale Wolery) – began a series of meetings that led to the formation of the NACR. At the time, few churches had recovery ministries. Those that existed were mostly small, disconnected, marginalized, and confronted by resistance from elements in the Christian community. They were lucky to get a room in the basement. The NACR organized a series of national STEPS conferences, and published it’s magazine STEPS until 2010.

The past few years have seen dramatic changes, including the rapid growth of the Christian recovery movement. In response to these changes and to the evolving media landscape, the NACR has embraced a more digital focus. This allows the NACR to touch thousands of people every day through the daily e-mail meditation and the NACR website, which has received wide praise as a resource for Christians in recovery. The pioneering work of Carmen, Pat, and Dale has laid a solid foundation for us to build on.

The days of wondering if anyone will let us out of the basement have passed. Christians around the globe are asking great questions about the role they can play in the recovery movement. The question is no longer whether a recovery ministry is a viable option for a church, but how it can best be pursued: How do we respond to the families suffering from substance abuse? How do we develop healthy leadership? How do we sustain this kind of ministry? How do we find the resources we need to carry God’s message of hope to hurting people? How do we remain faithful and healthy as we serve?

In November 2010, a small group gathered in Kansas City to talk about how we might continue the pioneering work of the NACR and encourage those on the front lines of recovery ministry. The following January, Teresa McBean accepted the position of Executive Director. The mission remains the same: to provide resources, training and hope to others who share a passion for Christian recovery. Teresa and others are working to collaborate with recovery ministry leaders, pastors, therapists and others who can provide the support, encouragement and tools necessary to sustain recovery within the walls of our churches. In the near future, expect a revamped website, on-line learning opportunities, and intentional discussion communities popping up in both the virtual and real world – places for us to gather and listen and learn from one another. The team’s first conference effort (“breathe”) was held in Dallas, TX in November, 2011 – with more regional “breathe” conferences in the works for 2012.

If you would like more information about us and future events, we would love to hear from you.


  1. Survivor says

    My incest started before age 4, by my dad, & lasted ’till I was 16.
    My mother never wanted my & wanted to abort me. Which she has told me several times throughout my life. So, instead of having a relationship with my dad, she had affairs.
    He did also, along with me.
    Her hatred towards me has lasted for many years. She is now 91, soon to be 92; & is totally dependent upon caregivers for every thing. A terrible way to live.
    My older brother, believes everything she says, so has nothing to do with me.
    He is my only sibling.
    My dad apologized to me THREE times before he died. That was a real blessing to me.
    My mother, on the other hand, continues to say she “has never done anything wrong.”
    Most importantly, JESUS came into my life at about 13/14 and has been with me since – all my ups & downs.
    The FATHER is just amazing to me & takes such good care of me. I am so very blest.
    Under HIS wing, I have gone from being a victim of being of …
    my dad’s incest;
    stranger molestation in a theater;
    gang rape;
    stranger rape;
    three divorces;
    my two children walking away from me;
    HE has saved my life multiple times … I should clarify, bringing me back from death / brink of the death.
    I am 62.
    No one has ever loved me … no one has ever wanted to be a part of my life.
    I have never known a friend to love me.
    I have never known family to love me.
    Yet, my LORD, my POTTER, my SAVIOR, has always been faithful to me.
    So, I have to wonder … what is wrong with me?

    • Jim says

      Surely, you have some neighbors, fellow worshipers in a congregation at a church you attend, acquaintances somewhere in your life. Who is in your circles that you orbit in? Describe them…

  2. says

    I’ve been in pastoral ministry for 25 years and witnessed a tremendous amount of damage inflicted by churches and pastors and Christians in general. Truth is, I’ve been on the giving and receiving end of this damage at various times. The pain we endure as well as the pain we inflict on others was so concerning to me that I finally decided to redirect my focus on helping people find freedom from their pain and addiction through the love and grace of Christ. Now I counsel, coach and speak in the area of Christian Recovery. Having suffered with my own addiction for many years I understand how our brokenness can keep us stuck in a cycle of destructive behavior. In addition, I also understand, firsthand, how betrayal can keep us stuck in a hole. My first marriage of 18 years disintegrated when my wife chose to have an affair and then walk out on our relationship. Over the years God has walked me through the fire and healed my heart but it was a very painful and challenging journey.

  3. MOSES says

    Personaly I have witnessed abuses when I was beaten up by my Pastor withwhom i was staying when he suspected that i slept with a Church girl. The next day he announced to the WHOLE CHURCH what he thought i had done and from that day every one saw me as a devil.
    But i have learnt to forgive and continue with salvation. I know of many people(youths) who give up when they face such and leave salvation and my dream is to help them as well through recovery programe.
    Thank you

  4. says

    Hi, Susan: (I hope you get this)….Thank you so much for your kind, understanding words of affirmation. Yes, I agree with everything you said. Some of my family still attends that church, and I feel betrayed, but there is nothing I can do, so I say nothing (unusual for me, LOL, LOL. I wrote a letter a few weeks ago to that church (new pastor), and even sent them information how independent fundamentalist Baptist churches were more likely to keep pedophiles around, etc., because they have no heiraarchy outside their own little clicque…….all so incestuous, LOL, LOL……I told him just what I thought about what happened to me and sent a news article about how because of what I wrote about my life I won a scholarship and am a Sophomore at 67. I am on a mission to make a difference in the world regarding verbal abuse…my purpose and mpassion to speak on national television. I presented my paper, Society’s Hidden Pandemic, Verbal Abuse, Precursor to Physical Violence and a Form of BIochemical Assault at the Michigan Counseling Association. I will never be silent as long as there is abuse, which means i can never be silent. subject line so I won’t Kindest Regards and much appreciation for your comments! Alice

  5. says

    Unfortunately, my abuse was spiritual. My church of 31 years voted me out of membership with my name up on a big screen, followed by the words: “Conduct Unbecoming a Child of God.” Called to a meeting of deacons and not allowed to have a woman present ; I was asked “Are you still having sex with your ex?”

    No boundaries…this was because I let the x live in my house after the divorce. The abuser was never called to a meeting.

    Unfortunately, this was 10 years ago; it is a wound which will never heal.

    • Rich says

      Hello Alice,
      I too have been wounded by the church. Fortunately, God is bigger than the pain I suffered and the people who did it. I am not greater than God, nor our my feelings. Jesus could have been unforgiving for being murdered, but He was forgiving, thankfully. Permit God to heal you. He wants to. The Bible does not say we forgive people because it makes us feel better, it says we forgive because we have been forgiven! Although, when we let the Lord in, we do feel better. Blessings to you. Praying for “the Peace that passes all understanding” in your life.

      • says

        If God wants to heal me, why hasn’t he? It has been 9 years. I realize there are no answers; how does one forgive when one does not have those feelings. I have prayed about it, etc and even said I forgive them (even wrote the whole church a letter forgiving them), but I don’t feel it. THanks for the prayer of peace.

        Kind Regards, Alice
        Over comer, wounded healer
        Dancer, singer, author, poetess,veteran and sophomore at 66!

        • John Graves says


          Luke 6:28 has the “how,” but it sounds like you haven’t fully dealt with hurt and grieving the loss of your church community. For me, having similar un-forgiveness issues, confessing my part of the brokenness and sharing my hurt with others was necessary. If it’s been 9 years and you don’t feel that you have forgiven them, it may be time to let go of the resentment and accept that God is big enough to handle all of our problems. Praying that you find rest at the cross.

          • Tony says

            God is not the problem, those professing to be church leaders are the problem and they live in the community without recourse

    • Susan says

      Alice, your pain jumps off the page, screaming for attention. That should not have happened to you, let alone in such a public manner. It sounds like you were dealing with a group of modern day pharisees. They love to run around, getting into everyone else’s business, and gleefully point out the speck of dust in someone’s eye, all the while ignoring the plank in their own.

      What’s almost as bad as dealing with the pharisees, are the well-meaning, but misguided knuckle-heads who show up after the battle. These folks think that they are being helpful by “sharing a verse”, spouting christian sounding one-liners, such as “let go and let God”, and giving you the “two thump on the back” hug of encouragement. These people are the reason that Christians are known as being the only group that bayonets their own wounded.

      I too, have had my share of run-ins with this crowd. After I told my small group about being abused during my childhood, someone asked “well, you do LOVE your parents, don’t you?”. When I replied that I didn’t, several in the group gasped, and wanted to know how I obeyed the fifth commandment. The others shifted nervously away, as if they expected lightning bolts to come out of the ceiling lights. I simply told the group that I didn’t know how to honor someone, when I didn’t even want to be in the same room as that individual.

      I have learned to take comfort in the fact, that the people who have hurt me so badly, will someday have to answer to God for their actions. In the meantime, I continue to ask God, on a daily basis, to continue to heal my wounds. And He does.

  6. Kimberly Huntley says

    I am in Vancouver, Wa, and have a grown son who is struggling with addiction. My hearts desire is to become equipped to help hm and those who are also struggling overcome. I would appreciate any workshops, training or any other volunteer opportunities available in my area.

  7. lisa humenik says

    Hi, I am interested in anything you’all have going on in atlanta Ga. I have a son/daughter with marijauna,alcohol and precription pill addictions. I need help with confronting/ discussing their options to them I have 2 years in recovery myself for cocaine and I know God’s power in my life at this time and I just need some help with this situation. Thank you for any info you may have here in Ga.

    • Nathan Smith says

      My name is Nathan Smith. I am the leader of a church that ministers primarily to people with addictions. We are in Lawrenceville, Ga., just outside of Atlanta. Please feel free to contact me. I deal with these types of issues on a daily basis in conjunction with the local treatment facilities and other leaders in the recovery community.

      • says

        Greetings Nathan. I’m tagging onto these other folks who have grown children struggling with addiction, as we also have a son dealing with alcohol addiction – for which we are quite sure, will die without immediate intervention. For those who’ve lost nearly everything in the economic downturn, we’ve recently realized that options for rehab and recovery are slim. It feels somewhat presumptive to expect that there be a no-cost option (yes, that’s where the recession impact has left us) to realize some form of hope for one’s child. However, in our humility, we find ourselves in this very position. We are in CA, (though we are happy to have him relocate elsewhere) and our research bears little availability for options.

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