Christian Love Ministries: 25 Year History
On October 26th, 1986 Denny Smith announced a call from God to create a residential treatment center for drugs and alcohol in Murphy, North Carolina. On that date in 1986 the announcement was made that "God is going to build a drug/alcohol recovery center in Murphy, NC."
"The Lord had been giving a little information here and a little more there, and it was finally time to make it public. I announced it to my family as we sat around the table after church that evening at 7:00," Denny Smith recalls.
"The preacher said, 'Brother Denny has something he wants to say to us.' I stood up and said that God has called me to be a minister. The mission He has given is to build a place where people can come to get help for their drug and alcohol problems."
Several church members were stunned at the announcement. All kinds of reactions came: "It'll never happen!" "Oh won't that be wonderful!" "God use him? He's just a drug addict." And on and on.
"The best reaction I remember was from a seventy-some-year-old man, Robert Morse," Denny adds.
"Brother Denny," he said, "I'm retired and have a lot of time on my hands. I am available to help you any way you need."
Robert Morse and literally thousands of other individuals and volunteers worked hard for the next ten years to build the ministry and get it opened on August 6, 1996 to start helping people. Nearly 1,600 individuals have now gone through the treatment program. Many lives have been saved!
Thank you to the 1000's of people who have made the ministry what it is today. Pictured below are just a few. (Photo gallery coming soon. Please contact us if you have pictures you would like to include)
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25 Years and Counting- Timeline of Building Christian Love Ministries
October 26, 1986 Denny announced to family and church that God would build a drug/alcohol recovery center in Murphy. (Halley’s Comet was passing by that winter).
November, 1986 starting with two bags of “yard sale type items” began raising funds having week end yard sales in the pasture where the present day Marketplace is today.
January 1987 Ricky Barnard donated an old mobile home. We were able to store the items that would be sold instead of having to take them home every day when sales were over.
January, 1987 Began visiting 3 churches every week (Sunday morning, Sunday night & Wednesday evenings) telling them that “God is going to build a drug/alcohol recovery center” and they are invited to help. Went door to door telling every business the same thing. Many made donations or pledged merchandise to help.
February, 1987 Cherokee Scout donated a display ad weekly giving people the opportunity to “Buy a Board to Save Lives.” The public responded in a miraculous way, giving & helping.
March, 1987 Sam Kay gave us an old building at his auto parts store. We disassembled it and began constructing a “lean to” shed where sellable merchandise was displayed and sold. It grew 12 feet each week as the public heard what was going on and began donating and supporting it.
September, 1987 Foundations for the facility completed.
July 15, 1989 Enough money had been saved to “dry in” the building (floors, walls, & roof).
September 16, 1989 Construction began when 35-40 volunteers came & worked under the direction of Rell Lackland and Paul Crisp (licensed contractors who volunteered to oversee project). (Pictured here.)
February 16, 1990 Marketplace was flooded and destroyed.
March 16, 1990 Marketplace was rebuilt and restocked and flooded for the second time.
December 8, 1990 began plumbing the treatment center.
December 23, 1990 Flood number 3. The public urged us to quit or move to another location, but that was the only land we had, and quitting was not an option since God had told us to do it.
January 1991 Board of Directors prayed for God to show us what He wanted done. Plans were formed to build the Marketplace in 3 phases, up on piers, surrounded by a fence.
August 24, 1991 Benefit held at Marble Community Center to raise funds to furnish the building (sheetrock was half finished at that time).
September 11, 1991 painting interior began.
September 13, 1991 all sheetrock finished.
April 23, 1992 finished decks and moved furnishings in.
September 26, 1992 Open House. Over 600 came to see the new finished, furnished facility.
October 27, 1992 weekly recovery meetings began each Tuesday evening. Public attendance was great. Denny presented weekly one hour lectures, plus 24 pages each week for taking notes. The result was 62 hours of recorded videos and a 200 page “Student Workbook” teaching “How to overcome problems/addictions God’s way.”
February, 1994 a “Salaries Account” was started. The goal was $96,000 to hire a certified counselor and 8 other full<br>time employees for one year.
March 14, 1995 New Marketplace first of three phases completed.
December 1995 Salaries goal reached.
December 14, 1995 A young man receiving counseling at the ministry announced that he was called by God to be a missionary, helping others to conquer their addiction. The “multiplication process” had begun.
May, 1996 Staff hired. Their training begun.
August 5, 1996 the treatment program officially opens with one male and one female “student.”
August 31, 1996 God gave the vision to build a separate treatment facility, one for men, and one for women. The two students had fallen in love and were dismissed from the program, walking down the hill, holding hands, carrying all their possessions with them (a truly sad sight).
September 29, 1996 first two students baptized in river behind the Marketplace.
September 30, 1996 foundation poured for the “Half-way House.”
April, 1998 Half-way house passed final inspection. Harold Stanley named HWH Manager.
November 1, 2002 Ground breaking ceremony for “Mary’s House” (women’s center).
December 18,2002 Geoff Grubb and family began digging foundations for the new facility for women.
January 14, 2003 ladies’ footers for foundations finished.
February 19 & 20 Blocks laid/ foundations completed.
April 5, 2003 first volunteer work day work day at “Mary’s House.”
May 7, 2003 Marketplace flooded after 3 days of solid rain. Many homes were destroyed and 30 were killed in the Midwest and Tennessee. Marketplace stood the test, and remained dry.
June 23, 2003 Vinyl siding completed, and decks started at women’s center.
July 3, 2003 World Changers insulated building.
August 27, 2003 passed framing inspection.
September, 2003 sheetrock delivered and heat/air equipment installation began.
October 2, 2003 clearing land for new Marketplace in Blairsville, Ga. began.
May 22, 2004 Mary’s House dedicated.
January, 2005 road, parking lot, and septic system at Blairsville store completed.
June 6, 2005 first 2 women stayed in Mary’s House as it was insured and given the certificate of occupancy.
December 7, 2005 Male and female counselors in place. Construction began at Blairsville Marketplace.
March 7, 2006 Marketplace finished. Called for final plumbing/building inspection.
March 22, 2006 Ingles donated shelving in Hendersonville, NC for the new Marketplace.
May 10, 2006 final inspection passed for the new store.
May 15, 2006 Girls moved into “Mary’s House.”
June 1, 2006 New Ga. Marketplace opens in full operation.
October 28, 2006 “Twentieth Anniversary” Celebration/ Open House
May 17, 2007 wrote 1,000th article published in the Cherokee Scout.
September 10, 2007 began training substance abuse counselors doing clinicals from Southwestern Tech, Sylva, N.C.
September, 2010 began research and information gathering to construct “Detox Facility.”
October 26, 2011 “Twenty fifth Anniversary” of Christian Love Ministries.