First House, a Christ-centered residence for men in recovery from addiction, will host an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday.
The project is a new venture and partnership between First Lutheran Church, First Covenant Church and Zion Covenant Church of Jamestown.
"It's unfortunately pretty rare to see churches, particularly across denominational lines, working together like we're doing," said Adam Rohler, pastor at First Covenant Church.
First House, a Christ-centered residence for men in recovery from addiction, will host an open house Friday.
The churches pooled resources and ideas to form First Things First, a not-for-profit organization that oversees the ministry of First House and "We Believe" recovery meetings.
For many, it was truly an act of faith. What was evident, however, was that they were seeing genuine transformation in the lives of those who had been attending the "We Believe" recovery meetings, which were growing by leaps and bounds. What had begun as one meeting on Monday nights at First Covenant Church, in just over a year had grown to nine meetings a week in several locations around Jamestown. The powerful meetings drew people from diverse backgrounds and experiences, including those who had never experienced addiction to drugs and alcohol, but attended for support and renewal. Some meetings have as many as 50 people in regular attendance.
"Starting a residency program was a natural extension of our meetings," said Judd Hamilton, First House manager and director of Urban Outreach at Zion Covenant Church, "and we needed a very real way to give those in recovery the support, love and accountability they needed to bring about lasting and life-giving change."
The result was First House.
Centrally located at 116 Chandler St., it was the former parsonage of First Lutheran Church. Members from all three churches helped paint, make repairs to the house, as well as providing the furniture and basic household items needed to furnish it.
"It was a labor of love, and we couldn't have accomplished what we did without everyone coming together," said Karen Rine of First Lutheran Church, who also serves on the board of First Things First.
The Christ-centered residence is a nine- to 12-month program for up to nine men, in which opportunities for spiritual growth are provided as well as support for the men's recovery needs and the development of employment and life skills needed for stable living in the community. Church attendance and volunteering in the community is strongly encouraged.
First House is hosting an open house for the entire community on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. All are invited to attend and enjoy tours, food, music and a brief program.
"We hope that representatives from churches, agencies, community service organizations, those in the medical profession, people struggling with addictions-everyone-will stop by and see what this recovery residence is all about," said Dan Nagle, pastor at First Lutheran. "Besides, we're all in recovery from something."
For more information on First Things First or We Believe recovery meetings, please call First House at 573-6539 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Donations are accepted, included donations of non-food items such as cleaning supplies, laundry soap or toilet paper. Checks may be made out to "First Things First" and sent to 116 Chandler St., Jamestown, NY 14701.