Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Galen K. Johnson
Addiction, Missions, Recovery, Substance Abuse, Ministry
Counseling | Religion
Simpson, James Bailey, "Using Intentional Relationship Building and Community Presence to Minister to an Addicted Population in Cookeville, Tennessee" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3387.
Addiction and substance abuse are banes in American society as they destroy lives, families, hopes and dreams. Individuals with potential for productive lives and societal contributions are reduced to hollow shells and find themselves laser-focused on their next fix. Cookeville, Tennessee, is no different than any other rural American town as addiction and substance abuse are prevalent, especially within the northwestern areas of the city. West View Baptist Church was planted in this area in 1950 and has actively attempted to minister to the community's residents for the last 71 years. Recently, internal issues in the congregation and increasing disconnections with the community facilitated by the cultural implications of addiction and substance abuse have led to significant impasses in the church's effectiveness in missional outreach. There is a lack of academic work focused on in-person, active evangelism programs in communities significantly impacted by the culture of addiction. Therefore, this project utilizes information gained through numerous surveys of persons who have successfully engaged in various recovery programs to develop and implement a training curriculum to prepare church members to minister among those suffering from addiction and substance abuse. Further work is anticipated beyond this project as church members will begin active missional outreach in the community immediately bordering the church campus.