Exodus Ministries Helps Addicts Recover

Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting for Exodus Ministries Wednesday. Pictured are Rob Parker, Chamber president and CEO; Emanuel Matthews, biblical counselor, board of directors, Exodus Ministries; Rick Keeven, president of the board of directors, Exodus Ministries; Pastor Ronnie Patrick, board of directors, Exodus Ministries; David Doss, Exodus Ministries; Andrew Wade, Lake City Bank, Chamber ambassador; Tommy Streeter, Fort Wayne Recovery and Allendale Treatment; Benjamin Irvine, founder and president of Exodus Ministries; Scott Allison, W.R. Hall Insurance, Chamber ambassador; Heather Lardino, 1st Source Bank, Chamber ambassador; and Scott Wiley, Chamber member relations manager. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.

Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting for Exodus Ministries Wednesday.

Benjamin Irvine, founder and president of Exodus Ministries, started the organization officially Dec. 10. It used to be called True Purpose Ministries, but Exodus Ministries separated from them and created their own nonprofit.

Exodus Ministries is a faith-based addiction recovery home.

“We’re a 12-month program. Residential. We provide housing for the 12-month course. We have faith-based classes, evidence-based classes. We do the 12-step model,” Irvine said.

Exodus Ministries is nondenominational.

Currently, Exodus Ministries is a men-only addiction recovery program, but Irvine said they want to eventually expand to serve women, as well. The women’s program will be housed separately from the men’s program.

Irvine said the program is located in Warsaw, but didn’t provide an address for safety purposes for the men involved in the program. Exodus can house 12, but has five men in the program.

About half of the people who attend Exodus Ministries come through the court system and the other half come on their own, he said. While focusing on Kosciusko County, Exodus Ministries also serves the surrounding areas.

Exodus deals with all kinds of addiction.

“We don’t even really limit it to addiction. We really are open to helping anybody who’s had any kind of life-dominating problems that have caused legal problems or anything like that,” he said. “We really focus on trauma. Helping guys get healing from the traumatic events that have happened to them in their life.”

To do that, Exodus Ministries offers biblical counseling and seeking safety classes.

The vision is to provide a therapeutic recovery environment to have the men being able to focus on their bills, he said. When the men first come to Exodus Ministries, they live there. At the beginning, they don’t have any bills. The first six weeks, the men are there to focus on their recovery and getting sober.

Then the men are able to get a job. The men don’t have to pay any bills until they start working full-time and then they have to pay rent. It helps make each man feel personally invested in his recovery, Irvine said.

“That’s a big part of our program, vocational training, work ethic, learning how to pay their bills on time, things like that. Just the responsibility of things like that,” Irvine said.

Irvine said what makes Exodus Ministries different from other addiction recovery programs in the county is Exodus is faith-based and not all the other programs are. The men in the program are also supervised 24 hours a day, which not all programs can offer. The men always have someone going places with them.

Exodus Ministries charges a $350 fee to get into the program, but if a person doesn’t have the money, the program will still take them. Irvine said they will make a deal with the person where they pay the money back.

Those interested can donate $350 to Exodus Ministries through their website https://exodusministries.us/. The money will go toward sponsoring someone in the program. That pays for their entry fee. Irvine said a lot of people go to Exodus Ministries from jail and they don’t always have money.

Irvine said the name was chosen because if you read the Bible, the Book of Exodus talks about God leading his people out slavery. He said that’s what the ministry’s mission is, to lead people out of the slavery of addiction.

Irvine said he is a former addict, as well as several other staff members.

Emanuel Matthews, biblical counselor, says Exodus has a 70% recovery rate in its program. He thinks one of the reasons is when he was going through his own addiction, the thing helped him was Jesus Christ. That helped him shape things in his life.

Matthews is able to relate to those who are in the program with certain addictions and to help set them free through the word of Jesus Christ.

Irvine said, in the recovery world, people sometimes can’t get the full help they need from someone who’s never been there. There are some things that a person with an addiction goes through that a person with a reference point needs to have in order to help that person. When someone comes in and says nobody knows what they’re going through, those at Exodus Ministries can say they can because they’ve been there, Irvine said.

Exodus Ministries can be contacted through their website, calling 574-377-2699 or emailing setfree@exodusministries.us.