Florida Keys News - Islamorada/KL Free Press
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Bible-based recovery program meets in village

KEY LARGO -- For 15 years, Brad Lange was at war with himself every time he touched a drop of alcohol.

Lange was in and out of Alcoholics Anonymous and could only maintain sobriety for part of the year. He said he was overdrinking and it was negatively impacting his lifestyle.

It wasn't until Lange put his faith in God that he was awakened to his suffering, he said.

"I battled and battled until I finally overcame," said the Islamorada resident who is now two years sober.

Now Lange and wife M'Leigha organize and host weekly Celebrate Recovery meetings at their business, Seven Sports, to help others deal with an array of addictions.

Though akin to AA's mutual aid fellowship, Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered ministry founded by famed California evangelical pastor and author Rick Warren.

The program is highly supported by Pastor Jeff Denis, who leads the Florida Keys campus of the Calvary Chapel evangelical church. The local Calvary Chapel congregation meets at the movie theater in Tavernier.

Denis said he regularly attends Lange's meetings.

"We've been seeing some amazing things, so far," said Denis, who admits to having his own battle with drugs.

For 14 years, Denis struggled with what he described as a marijuana addiction. Then one day, he flushed his pot down the toilet and moved on.

"There's not a magic bullet to curing addiction," Denis said, though Celebrate Recovery offers a targeted path.

Of the few dozen participants in the Upper Keys program, he said some just may be going through the motions, but it still makes an impact. One of the successful aspects of the program is that the group grows closer together and can call upon one another whenever they feel they are in a comprising position.

"Just pick up the phone when you get the urge," Lange agreed.

Lange said the program is open to anyone, not just Christians. The program also addresses sex addiction, eating disorders and anxiety disorders, not just drug and alcohol abuse.

So far, one product of program has been a band put together by those recovering.

According to Lange, Celebrate Recovery is not clinically-based, but he says he will direct those in serious need to the correct physician.

The sessions take place at Seven Sports at 84771 Overseas Highway, across the street from the Oceanview Pub and Lounge. The men meet on Tuesdays and the women on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. For more information, call Brad Lange at (305) 393-3883 or M'Leigha Lange at (305) 393-0098.

jgore@keysnews.com

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