The 12 Steps

.Groups are instructed to follow the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, and 12 Concepts as modified from Alcoholics Anonymous. It is designed to provide on-going help, not to be a week-end “hit-and-run accident.”

  • When in an atmosphere of Christian love and acceptance, people meet each week and become openly honest with each other, in a “safe place,” where anonymity and confidentiality are respected
  • Participants are asked to share their experience, strength, and hope without “cross-talk” and judgmentalism
  • They are not to try to fix each other, rather they are to “let go and let God” do for them what they cannot do for themselves
  • Most important, they are invited to recognize that Jesus Christ is the Highest Power
  • Recovery and freedom from obsessive thoughts, compulsive actions, habitual behaviors and spiritual separation is the hoped for result

Read the research article Alcoholics Anonymous Effectiveness: Faith Meets Science published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases, 2009 for information on the effectiveness of 12-step groups.

AA Effectiveness– Faith Meets Science 2009

12-Step Comparison

See how the 12-steps relate to principles of recovery taught by the Bible and expanded in the book Steps to Christ.

Professional Help

The Journey to Wholeness Facilitators can play a role in helping individuals receive the help they need to find freedom from addictions.  At times, individuals will need to undergo services provided by a healthcare or addiction specialist.  For Christian practitioner referrals, contact one of the recovery resources listed below.

  • American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) or Christian Care Network (CCN) to locate a Christian counselors in your state or province.
  • The North American Division Family Ministries Department of the Seventh-day Adventist church hosts an online database to assist you in locating an Adventist counselor in your area.
  • Pastors both in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and other area Christian churches in the community are often helpful in locating Christian counselors.
  • Hospitals, especially Christian hospitals, may also be helpful.  Contact their chaplaincy department.

Remember no two people are the same and no two counselors will be the same.  Be willing to find the person who can best help you in your recovery.  A professional Christian counselor should not undermine a person’s core beliefs.

Note: These resources are provided for informational purposes and should be accessed at the users discrimination.

Our History

The history of the recovery ministry work in the Seventh-day Adventist Church dates back to the 1860’s when church pioneer, Ellen G. White, began to share messages about the need for temperance in all we do and avoidance of alcohol, tobacco, and other dangerous drugs.  The church has continued to share that important message.

In the early 1980’s Hal Gates, an attorney and an alcoholic, returned to the Seventh-day Adventist Church of his youth and began to serve as a pastor.  In January 1986, he felt a call from God to start a ministry dedicated to people in need of recovery from addictions.  Within 24 hours the first Regeneration group was ready to meet, as the Seventh-day Adventists for the Extinction of Addictions (SDAXA).  Soon after, in 1987, Pat Mutch, then Director of the Institute of Alcoholism and Drug Dependencies, invited Hal to come to Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan to help her teach a class of graduate students at the Adventist Theological Seminary.  Two large boxes of materials which he brought with him were published as the Regeneration Manual.  Pastor Ray Nelson, passionate about the power of the recovery ministry, became the director of Adventist Recovery Ministries and was instrumental in expanding the ministry and building a strong network.

In the early 2000’s, the NAD Health Ministries Department planned and financed awareness tours in 2002 (East Coast – Maine to Miami), 2004 (Midwest – New Orleans to Chicago), and 2005 (West Coast – Seattle to Southern California).  Since then, training seminars have also been offered at the NAD Health Summit.  In 2006, funded from Vervent – the NAD Church Resource Center, NAD Health Ministries began to develop the Journey to Wholeness materials to be used by support groups.  These materials are produced and published by AdventSource.

In 2007, Adventist Regeneration Ministries assisted with the planning and presentation of a four-day Addictions Ministry Conference held at Andrews University, and in 2008, the Association of Adventist Parents and Adventist Regeneration Ministries unite due to their shared mission and purpose, which is to help people develop Christ-like characters in preparation for His soon return.  ARMin became active in helping to organize Annual Celebrations of Family Recovery (programs originally started by the Association of Adventist Parents) weekends that are held in three locations in the United States

On April 6, 2011, the North American Division Committee votes Adventist Recovery Ministries (ARMin) as an official ministry of the NAD Health Ministries Department.  In response to the NAD Health Ministries Advisory Committee, an ARMin Taskforce was formed in 2017 to bring together professional and lay members with an interest in addiction recovery to continue to develop training and tools.

The ministry continues to grow and develop through the online ARMin training course is launched in partnership with the Adventist Learning Community and the General Conference’s ARMin Global project.

Global Resources

The North American Division continues to provide on-going resources and support for individuals who live and minister within this territory, which includes USA, Canada, Bermuda, Guam/Micronesia.  For individuals who live outside the North American Division, please visit the ARMin Global website sponsored by the General Conference.