CR Inside Newsletter

The blog for CR Inside. Much talk about all things CR Inside...

Meet Bishop Frank Willett, Northeast Regional Editor

After being in CR at Trinity Life for about 6 months I was asked if I'd be interested in going inside the Baltimore County Detention Center teaching the program and I agreed.Little did I know that this is where God wanted me to be after all these years in Ministry in the pulpit. After entering the facility and seeing the inmates I felt comfortable among them and saw their need for the word and knowledge. Shortly thereafter I was approached by Pastor Handel Smith and asked to start up a new group in a Federal facility formally known as Super Max in Baltimore. We Kicked off in June of this year and I've been there every since, at one time it was just me until I was able to obtain some help. I started with 21 detainees and have graduated 3 classes of men totaling close to 50 now that completed Purpose Driven Life and Life’s healing Choices. These courses have been taught 2.5 times and we have now moved to the 12 steps.

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Meet Bobby Pepper, Southeast Regional Editor

Bobby Pepper, who serves as Southeast regional editor for the CRI newsletter, is community news editor for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo, MS. He has been with the Daily Journal 28 years, which includes stints as a sports writer, assistant sports editor and online editor. Pepper first attended Celebrate Recovery in March 2011 and is in recovery from porn addiction, depression, divorce and workaholism. He is co-ministry leader of CR at NorthStar Church in Saltillo, MS. Pepper previously served as assimilation coach and continues to lead the men's step study and small groups. He has led men's step studies for CR groups in Starkville, MS, and in his hometown, Houston, MS, He also attended CR in Tupelo, MS, Pepper is a 1985 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a BA in Journalism. He is single and has two grown children, Phillip and Samantha.


Meet Darlene Monroe, Western Regional Editor

Darlene came to Celebrate Recovery through a friend, and non CR participant, in October 2009, at Capital Christian Center in Sacramento, CA. In 2010-11, she served apprentice Assimilation Coach at Capital. At Christmas 2010 she was welcomed to serve with a team of ladies to take a CR Christmas program and bibles to the inmates at the Sacramento County jail women’s facility at Rio Consumnes Correctional Center. At this visit she realized both an area of recovery that needed to be healed and her calling to prison and jail ministry. The visit was catalyst for a letting go of stuffed anger toward her mother for being incarcerated at this facility while Darlene battled cancer.

When asked for assistance in pulling together interest for a ministry team at RCCC, Capital’s CR TEAM was supportive and helped out by housing meetings and purchasing bibles. No matter how hard we tried we could not get in or even considered for clearance. The team of 5 faithful volunteers kept meeting and trying to get inside but constantly ran up against walls. In January 2011, during the One Day Summit held in Sacramento, CA, Darlene met Hector Lozano and asked for 2 minutes to pick his brain on the idea of CR at the county jails. She was privileged to get 45 minutes in a car Hector and Marnie (summit coordinator) to talk prison ministry. It was both a confirmation and the encouragement the team needed to continue moving forward.

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Meet Ashley Gorka, North Central Regional Editor

I am so excited that I get to be on this amazing journey with such an amazing team. Like everyone here I have a passion for the jail and prison ministry of Celebrate Recovery. I have been so blessed to see lives change through this transforming ministry and I want to share these testimonies to give hope to the hopeless. It is my passion to help get the word out about what God is doing in your life and the lives of those around you. I am hoping we can connect to continue supporting and encouraging one another.

I have 12 years in recovery from chemical addiction and I now an married for the second time with 6 children total, 3 boys and 3 girls. I have been in CR since 2008 serving as CR and CRInside state rep and currently North Central Regional Editor! God has really changed my life. I am a new person and my identity is no longer in my addiction but in Jesus Christ.


Meet our Regional Editors

Marian Collins

South-Central Regional Editor Marian Collins.

Marian is a State Rep from Texas, and has great love for those inside. She also contributes often to our Facebook page. Read Marian’s bio including her story of her amazing happenings in Texas institutions.

Bobby Pepper

Southeast Regional Editor Bobby Pepper.

Bobby, who by profession is a writer and editor, is also a Ministry Leader at his CR. After you’ve seen Bobby’s bio, you’ll want to be sure to read his article about the first ever East Coast Summit that Bobby covered for us!

Ashley Gorka

North-Central Regional Editor Ashley Gorka.

Ashley, who is also a State Rep, has conducted leadership seminars at Summit, as well as inside. He translates his exuberance and heart for the incarcerated into a wellspring of service. He has been contributing to the newsletter for a few years, and is a great fit as a Regional Editor. Read Ashley's bio.

Frank Willett

Northeast Regional Editor Frank Willett

Frank brings his years as a preacher in the pulpit and combines them with his recent exposure to CR Inside, which promises to bring a fresh perspective. Read Frank's bio.

Darlene Monroe

West Regional Editor Darlene Monroe

Darlene’s great skills as a writer and her heart for the hurting is sure to provide us with great articles like the one in this issue, as well as covering a region that CR Inside is well represented. Read Darlene’s bio.


HomeRun Updates

Home Run screenings in prison and jails continue, have you introduced it at the facility where you serve? The response from inmates, chaplains, and wardens has been awesome. You can still order a license agreement that is good for one year, at less than one-fifth the cost to outside churches and organizations. Here’s the link: http://providentfilms.org/homerun/chaplains.php

Read what the ministry leader at my home CR, Norma Murphy, wrote after accompanying our Inside Team to Eddie Warrior’s Women’s CC; as they screened Home Run to the residents there: "I have seen Home Run about 50 times: in theaters, in homes, in churches, with believers, with non-believers, with pastors, with CR leaders and more! But our experience last Sunday at Eddie Warrior Correctional Facility, in Taft, OK, surpassed them all!! We had 140 women enjoy absolutely every moment, laughing at the humor, intimately relating to the pain, reciting the Serenity Prayer with emotion and finding encouragement as the characters found freedom in Jesus Christ! We were deeply moved to watch the response of these women and are more proud of this movie than ever and more passionate about getting into EVERY prison and jail in Oklahoma! As always, I'm so blessed to be inside our Oklahoma prisons and see God so powerfully at work!! (Many thanks to our Celebrate Recovery leaders who take CR Inside [to] the jails every week!!)”.

And if that’s not enough, watch the Burl Cain video, if you haven’t yet. Click here to watch the video.