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 treatment facilities, 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 program in their own backyard. It would minister to those with few resources and less options.
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 were miraculous recoveries. Once considered hopeless, Chad Shreve sobered up in 2008 after 14 attempts at inpatient treatment. He returned with 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 team from the Wilmington Star News returns to document the first photos of the newly opened campus. Since that time, hundreds have received treatment free of charge. They, in turn, have helped yet others. The authentic story of our forgotten history is available through any internet search or featured in the link 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. Something was missing. Aftercare had become an issue.
Chad Shreve resigned as Director in 2012 to focus exclusively on the dream of a recovery community with no borders. He brought back the original emphasis on 12-step recovery with the concept of service without boundaries —- a ministry not restricted to a building or property. And one old fashioned idea that a ministry has only one “boss.” Pastor Larry became involved in 2016 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. In our experience, self-support is where personal recovery begins. 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.