It was a mission that began in the early 2000’s in the sanctuary of an unconventional ministry just miles from the beaches of Brunswick County. Open Door Ministries, led by pastor Larry Shreve, found itself at the center of a growing drug epidemic in the surrounding beach communities.
People seeking hope were attracted by the atmosphere of love and tolerance, encouraged by programs such as Celebrate Recovery, granted scholarships to Christian addiction programs, and eventually housed and fed in rooms transformed to provide a makeshift shelter. Behind the scenes there were weekly meetings designed to realize the dream of a recovery campus in their own backyard. A Christian recovery center was forming in Brunswick County.
Open Door Ministries was established in 2002 to reach out to a “really hurting crowd of people.” The recovery community grew and the ministry prospered. There was explosive growth and miraculous recoveries. Once considered hopeless, Chad Shreve sobered up in 2008 after 14 attempts at inpatient treatment. He returned with a heart for service and a passion for the original 12 steps that transformed his life. Several other success stories are mentioned in the Wilmington Star News link above.
Fast forward to November of 2010, a photographer from the Wilmington Star News snaps this photo during an interview at the newly opened recovery center in Brunswick County. Since that time, hundreds have received treatment with no regard for ability to pay. They, in turn, have helped still others. The article is available through the link found above.
Over the years the need became apparent for safe transitional housing for graduates of faith-based residential facilities, for others who suffered on waiting lists desperate for the next bed, for those who were cycling through recovery centers, released without resources, and returned to the streets from which they came. We could no longer ignore the fact that recovery is a ongoing process, not a prearranged event. There was new leadership with new priorities. This was no longer the same ministry.
Co-founder Chad Shreve resigned in order to focus exclusively on the dream of a recovery community with no borders. He brought back the original emphasis on action based recovery and the model of a ministry not confined to a building or property. He started fresh with an old fashioned idea that a Christian body is led by a pastor and exists for selfless service. He concluded with a recovery program written by those who know first hand about success in recovery. The new approach was actually the original approach, faith without works is dead.
Approval from the IRS followed with separate 501c3 status in 2018. Support spread throughout the community and local authorities. Pastor Larry Shreve committed full time and the community spirit of Open Door Ministries was reborn.
To have any real chance most will need structure, accountability, and individual treatment. But success requires opportunity, meaningful employment and truly affordable housing. This was the inspiration for Beach House Recovery, the next chapter in an evolving ministry.
A Sobering Testimonial
I want to start off by saying I owe my life to Chad Shreve and Larry Shreve. I was at a point in my life where I had nothing. My family cut me off and friends cut me off, everybody left me because of my addiction. It was me who brought everything down on myself but these guys took me in with open arms and showed me how to live a sober life and to be a productive member of society. I would recommend anybody struggling with addiction or alcoholism to contact Larry Or Chad.
Manager for Operation 6:12, a faith-based drug and alcohol recovery center.