‘Celebrate Recovery’ Continues What Rehabilitation Creates

Phoenix Citadel Corps, AZ

Jocelynn Norton and Tim Watson are involved in Leadership of Celebrate Recovery, held on Friday Evenings at the Phoenix Citadel Corps. And, they are engaged!

Every Friday night, at selected Salvation Army Corps across the nation, a ministry called “Celebrate Recovery” provides weekly opportunities for men and women addicted to drugs and alcohol to come together for praise, worship and support.

“Celebrate Recovery is a Bible-based program,” explains Tim Watson, a graduate of the Phoenix Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) and a participant/leader of the Celebrate Recovery held at the Phoenix Citadel Corps.”

“Where you have AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous), which are both also Bible-based, Celebrate Recovery goes a step further through intensive praise and worship before breaking up into groups that support one another,” he adds.

Celebrate Recovery is not indigenous to The Salvation Army—many denominational churches use the model in all 50 states.

“But Celebrate Recovery is right up the Army’s alley—especially those graduating from ARC programs and who want desperately to stay clean and sober,” says Jocelynn Norton, another Phoenix ARC graduate and participant/leader in the ministry conducted at the Citadel.

Celebrate Recovery was founded in 1990 by Pastor John Baker of Saddleback Church, and is aimed at all “hurts, habits, and hang-up,” including drug and alcohol addictions, sex addiction, eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and people who have been sexually abused.The founders felt that Alcoholics Anonymous was too vague in referring to God as a “higher power,” and wanted a more specifically Christ-based program.

Celebrate Recovery utilizes eight Recovery Principles that are based on Christ’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5).

Tim and Jocelynn agree that the Celebrate Recovery chapter held at the Citadel has grown tremendously over the last couple of years—testifying to the truth that people struggling with life are realizing that only Christ can fill the missing piece of God’s grace, mercy, and love.

“Two years ago, we were averaging between 10-30 every Friday night,” Jocelynn says, “and just last week we had 200!”

There are no membership dues—just a desire to stay clean and to grow in Christ, while helping each other along.

“Praise and worship is as important as the group work we do afterward,” Tim points out. “After all, its all about Him!”


Major Frank Duracher
Assistant Editor-in-Chief