I was born in Virginia in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. I married at 19 and had two beautiful girls. After 13 years though my marriage was over and I moved to Texas where I reared my girls while working full time and attending college. In '02 I married my best friend on the front steps of the state capitol building in Austin...at midnight. I retired in '07 after 35 years of working as a lab tech but, came out of retirement in '11...and thus the greatest journey of all began.
I was approached the fall of '04 by a friend who informed me that Celebrate Recovery was going to be starting at our church and asked if I would like to be involved...uh yes! Jan. '05 was our start up date. I've led five step studies, served as a small group leader, an encourager & training coach and served as the female ministry leader. In '07 I was one of four who was blessed to go to Jaco, Costa Rica to introduce Celebrate Recovery. For years I had wanted to take CR inside the prison walls however circumstances beyond my control kept this at bay. But God cannot be stopped. I was approached spring of '11 by the Warden and Chaplain from a local facility about bringing CR inside. I was privileged spring of '12 by becoming the East Texas CRI State Rep. Since then I have introduced CR to other prisons throughout East Texas. At the unit I call home, there are in any given year, 9,000 inmates rotating through these wired gates. What a CR 101 this is! The women's CR large group runs on Monday evenings, the men's on Wednesday evenings. Over the last two years approximately 800 inmates have gone through LHC's.
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.
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.
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.