SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

It happens inside a church building, and it looks and sounds a lot like a contemporary Christian church service.  But the people who attend it say what really takes place there is far different from anything you might expect.

"Fear of change, fear that their life could be different, fear that they're going to be judged.  It's all about fear," said Les Palmer, the director of Celebrate Recovery, at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield.

Attending the program takes courage and requires faith, something Frank and Holli East know first-hand.

"When meth consumed me, nothing else, I could care less about anything, except for my next high, when I was going to get my next high," Frank East said.

"I was so tired of the vicious cycle of the life that I had created for myself--the insanity of the drugs and alcohol and bulimia," Holli East said.

Even though they didn't meet until a few years ago, Frank and Holli lived parallel lives.  Both developed dependencies on drugs and alcohol early on.  The addictions soon controlled them.

"I would steal.  I would do whatever it took to feed my addiction," Holli East said.

They lost their jobs, houses, and all meaningful relationships.

"I just started isolating and basically became homeless.  I was living in and out of recovery centers, recovery homes.  That's where I hit my rock bottom," Frank East said.

Frank and Holli both believe God lead them to Ridgecrest Church and a program called Celebrate Recovery.  They said the program provided a place of both acceptance and forgiveness.

"I knew I never did have to do drugs and alcohol again, because I no longer had to be dependent on them.  I had something else I could be dependent upon that I could draw strength from," Frank East said.

That something was God.

"Isaiah 61:1 says he came to heal the broken-hearted, to free the captives.  It's because of our broken hearts we build those walls and those protections," Palmer said.

Palmer said every addict has to overcome denial.

"If we tell people our secrets, they may judge us our judge our family. Once they realize they can share the secret, and they're not going to be judged, that things will be okay and world doesn't crash down, then the secrets don't have same hold on them that they did before," Palmer said.

Palmer acknowledges people often think of church as a place where they will be judged.  Although Celebrate meets in a church, it is just the opposite.

"We're not interested in your sins; we're interested in your healing," Palmer said.
 
Now married, with two kids of their own, Frank and Holli are sober and living their new normal.  It is a life they say they never could have imagined before.

"God wants you to know you come to him, and there's hope," Frank East said.

Hundreds of people come through Celebrate at Ridgecrest.  They use a national program, very similar to the 12-step program, with Alcoholics Anonymous.  For more information for yourself or a loved one, you can contact Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield.