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.