Our guest is Jim Gaffney, former Recovery Pastor at Mariners Church, Irvine, California. Jim is a pharmacist with long experience in addiction recovery work. Jim helped set up “A Nationwide Recovery Conference with Dick B.” at Mariners Church Community Center in May 2009. Then helped us form the International Christian Recovery Coalition in July 2009. The Coalition owes Jim a big debt.
I met Jim 20 years ago. Four Southern California churches were training church folks wanting to serve in Christian recovery.They held the “Shepherding the Shepherds" Conference. I met two of the pastors. One was Rev. John Baker of Saddleback Church shortly before he founded Celebrate Recovery. The second was Rev. Jim Gaffney, Recovery Pastor at Mariners Church.
John Baker asked me to speak at Saddleback Church on the biblical roots of A.A. and also at Mariners Church, where I met Jim. I observed his recovery program, and attended one of his recovery groups. Jim was thoroughly supportive of 12 Step recovery programs for Christians. His Senior Pastor freely allowed recovered alcoholics to give testimonies in the church itself.
20 years later, I asked Jim Gaffney if we could hold our first nationwide conference for Christian recovery leaders at Mariners Church. And he set it up.
He also told us of Christian leaders--one at The Crossing Church; and another at New Life Spirit Recovery treatment and counselor training center (where Dr. Robert Tucker soon provided a free Coalition office). A third was at Capo Calvary.
Jim was thoroughly conversant with Christian and 12-Step recovery aspects and also knew other Orange County Christian recovery leaders, who soon became the. nucleus of our own work with leaders in Orange County.