Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

June 29, 2014

Altamont pastor starts program to help addicts

ALTAMONT — With substance abuse a continuing concern in Effingham and other area counties, an area pastor would like to help addicts and their families deal with the condition.

The Rev. Troy Kurtz of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Altamont is organizing a local chapter of HOPE, Helping Others Put Off Entanglements. HOPE is an Oklahoma City-based organization founded in 2008 by Dr. Rick Carter, a Baptist minister. The Altamont chapter would be the group’s first in Illinois.

Kurtz said he’s been wanting to develop such a program for quite some time. Now that some needs at the church have been met, Kurtz said he’s ready to hold the first meeting, set for 7 p.m. Aug. 1, at the church, located on U.S. 40 on the west edge of Altamont. The pastor hopes that HOPE can fill what he believes is a gaping need for faith-based addiction treatment.

“There’s not just a need, but a concern in the Altamont community about addiction,” he said.

Kurtz emphasized that HOPE would not limit itself to those addicted to alcohol and/or drugs. He said the program is designed to treat people with any kind of addiction, whether it be sex, gambling or eating, to name a few. But he added that the primary focus, at least at first, might be those addicted to substances and their families.

“We just have to get people pointed in the right direction,” he said.

The way to do that, he said, is to share the basic tenets of Christianity with addicts and their families.

“We know the real hope is in Christ,” Kurtz said. “We’re hoping to bring people to Christ so they can get over their addictions.”

Kurtz said Barbara Barr of Altamont has been instrumental in sharing a need for a faith-based program. Barr, a recovering addict herself, said HOPE will be beneficial not only to addicts, but their families.

“I highly support any faith-based organization,” Barr said. “I feel there is true freedom to be had in a faith-based recovery program.”

HOPE won’t be the first faith-based recovery program in the area. A chapter of Reformers Unanimous, a program founded in Rockford 18 years ago, is on summer hiatus, but the Rev. Jeremy Amster, pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Effingham, said the “RU” group will resume meeting sometime in August.

Amster said faith-based recovery programs are the best option for addicts.

“I believe if you are going to get help, the best type of help is through Christ,” he said. “I believe the Bible has all the answers we need to have victory over addiction.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • $500K coming to sports complex

    In a 3-2 vote Tuesday, Effingham City Council narrowly approved $500,000 in hotel/motel tax revenue to help fund the construction of the Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center during a meeting in which the council approved funds for other entities as well.

    August 20, 2014

  • Shimkus not taking anything for granted despite past electoral success

    U.S. Rep. John Shimkus  hasn't had a serious election challenge in more than a decade. But the longtime congressman said he's not taking anything for granted, even though his sprawling district appears tailor-made for continued Republican representation.

    August 19, 2014

  • Power out in Effingham subdivision; cause not yet known

    A small number of Ameren electric customers on the west side of Effingham were out of power this morning.

    August 19, 2014

  • Unit 40 presents $57k deficit Thanks to a series of personnel moves, Unit 40 officials have estimated a $57,136 deficit for the school year — much less than the $834,000 deficit the previous year. With this year’s expected revenue at $28,695,717 and expenditures coming in at $28,

    August 19, 2014

  • 8-16 bank robber 2.jpg Police seek suspect after Marshall bank robbery

    Police from several agencies were seeking a man suspected of robbing a bank in Marshall Friday morning.

    August 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Church Briefs

    Centenary UMCCentenary United Methodist Church, Effingham, will host the following activities: • Saturday, Aug. 16: Pick It Up Effingham at Menards, 8 a.m.• Sunday, Aug. 17: Connection Time, 10 a.m.; Glenwood Worship, 10:30 a.m.; Lavender Ridge Worsh

    August 15, 2014

  • tony- rural health pic 'A more urban nation' The demographic of those in need of health care in rural areas of the heartland are changing. While those native to the Midwest are moving to the south, east and west coast for better climate and employment, the number of immigrants and elderly is on

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Making preschool possible

    A quarter of children starting kindergarten in Effingham have no preschool experience. Studies say this lack of prior school experience is a disadvantage, but a group of community members intend to change that.

    August 14, 2014

  • Thankyou Dear T-town residents,To all of you who were in any way responsible for the perfect roll-out of our Terquasquicentennial, I want to say a public thank you. I know I speak for many.The planning for such an event must have consumed your lives for the p

    August 14, 2014

  • State board recommends license suspension for local lawyer

    August 13, 2014

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.