By Daniel Johnson-Kim, Editor in Chief
Minister Kinwood H. DeVore wants visitors in his Summit class to understand two things:
the war against drugs still rages on and it is up to communities, churches and individuals to help end it.
DeVore will lead the class “How to Win the War Against Drug Abuse” during the week to educate visitors on what he calls a drug pandemic throughout the United States.
“Since the government has given up and said we can’t win this war, then individual churches, individual communities and individual people will have to equip themselves to win the war,” he said.
DeVore, the minister for the Metropolitan Church of Christ in San Francisco, has been working in the drug and alcohl recovery ministry for more than 35 years and is the founder and executive director of Metropolitan Fresh Start House, a faith-based 24-hour residential live-in drug treatment facility in the San Francisco Bay area. He founded the treatment facility in 1989 after he said he discovered no faith-based facilities existed that worked to help rehabilitate addicts in the Bay Area of California.
“My first time I was a fulltime minister was at a place called South Side Church of Christ in Richmond, Calif., and the first thing I had to deal with was a heroine addict,” DeVore said.
He said he took the addict to a nearby rehabilitation facility and was disappointed after finding God was never discussed in the rehabilitation process. ”
I did my research on these places, and what they practice was called assault therapy,” DeVore said. “They tell you to take your Bible and throw it away and those were the only places I could take people to that were God’s people.”
So DeVore launched his own rehabilitation facility, where he said he has been able to counsel addicts and their families.
His Summit class, which will be at 9:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, will be a place where attendees can hear how the Metropolitan Fresh Start House program has changed lives. He said he will talk about the “enemies and friends” of recovering drug addicts and hopes to have a dialogue with people in Abilene about how they can join the cause.
“No. 1, we need to know we can win the war, and No. 2, we need tools on how to win the war,” DeVore said.
Brady Bryce, director of ministry events, said he invited DeVore to lead the class because student leaders he visited with in fall of 2007 said drug abuse was a topic they wanted to have a conversation about at Summit. Bryce contacted DeVore and said the dialogue the California minister will bring
to Summit will open conversations that may not have been discussed at past Lectureships.
“We want this to be a place of conversation, not for safe conversation, but a safe place
for conversations,” Bryce said.