The Thursday June 28th Radio Interview by Dick B. of Recovery Pastor Matt Pierce of Golden Hills Community Church, Brentwood, California
A Project of International Christian Recovery Coalition
Synopsis of the Matt Pierce Interview
Today’s radio interview with Matt Pierce, Recovery Pastor at Golden Hills Community Church
in Brentwood, California brought out several refreshing facts.
First the ChristianRecoveryRadio.com radio interviews are offering a great diversity of speakers and subjects.
Second, our objective of bringing in representative, personally known, world-wide Christian recovery leaders, workers, newcomers, and concerned participants in International Christian Recovery Coalition is exceeding in practice our fondest hopes.
Third, today’s speaker represents a growing number of unusual Christian church leaders who are first and foremost devoted to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They tend to be young. They spring from a background of drug and alcohol abuse. They also have recovered from their maladies.They have had favorable experiences in A.A. and other 12 Step fellowships. They favor daily Christian fellowship in the nature of that found in early First Century Christianity as reported in the Book of Acts and in the early Akron A.A. Christian Fellowship.
And they speak to our audiences as garden variety drunks and addicts, Christian clergy or recovery pastors, Christian counselors, Christian intervention specialists, Christian treatment program directors, chaplains, psychiatrists, addiction medicine specialists, professors, historians, pharmacists, psychologists, sober living and residential living owners or directors, and people with outreach into prisons, the homeless, veterans, military, legal and judicial arenas, 12 Step groups, and professions such as nursing, therapy, and, social work.
Now to Matt and the Golden Hills campuses, programs, and visions.
Matt had his own struggles with alcohol and drugs at an early age. He did not enter A.A. until he was 31. He entered A.A. with little religious experience. He was just plain sick. He entered A.A. in 1991 and believes it saved his life. He read the Big Book. But he did not grasp the spiritual side which he defines as knowing who God is and having a relationship with Him through His son—just expecting God to reveal himself. And, as he says, he was not disappointed. For he met a man who witnessed to him about God and His son. He began attending church and grasping the truth of the Gospel. He accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior. Then he went to Bible School and pursued the pastorate.
But he hit a snag. He decided he didn’t need recovery and could do what was needed through religion. He spent eight years in the midst of legalism, he says; and he sought righteousness through works. He married and had two kids. But he hit bottom. He was burned out.
Back he went to his recovery roots. As a Christian pastor, he got a sponsor and worked the Twelve Steps. He got an understanding of the sin issues that were controlling his life. Then he became a College Pastor and was appointed Recovery Pastor five years ago. And the church program is called “New Hope.”
There began a series of recovery activities he still loves and pursues. The church program had a Friday night program somewhat similar to that of Celebrate Recovery. It enabled “Open Share” groups—some 15 to 20 groups on specific issues. But they needed more than these. Participants are directed to the many A.A. meetings on Fridays. A relationship with Christ is poured in. There is a Leadership Training emphasis in the church, and it has a steady flow of leadership students There is a new campus about 5 miles away, and another New Hope program is slated for Mondays. A recent expansion has been the establishment of a resident program about ninety miles away. It is located in a town called “Rescue.” The main street is “Mercy Way.” And the facility is called “Bethesda Way.” They will bring in young men between 18 and 25, have two mentors and a program director. The church is now sponsoring a non-profit fellowship hall where all kinds of meetings to “honor God” are held.
And Matt says his most refreshing resource has been his finding of our own emphasis on old school, old style, A.A. meetings with A.A. Conference-approved literature and traditional early A.A. approaches. He expects to have the church start one of our suggested “Stick with the Winners” meetings in mid-July. He is very supportive of the many projects of International Christian Recovery Coalition. His church is now a member of the “Agape Circle” which supports our worldwide work. It sponsors ChristianRecoveryRadio.com. And looks forward to working with Ken and myself to learn and teach more about old school A.A.’s Christian fellowship, principles, and practices.
Matt may be visiting us in Maui some of these days, as we urge all Christian Recovery Leaders and Workers to do sooner or later. To that, we say and offer “Aloha.”