A house that received a new beginning became a strategic setting for men and women to find healing, purpose and a new beginning. This is the unfolding of the story as in 1996 Lloyd and Elaine Hoover acquired a house close to their farmstead that was scheduled to be removed due to the ambulance association’s need to expand their parking lot. After moving the house to its new location on the Hoover property in Leola, it was dedicated for the purpose of transformation of lives. A ministry to men transitioning from prison emerged in 1996 and by 2003 became known as The Potter’s House. The ministry became a setting for many who were leaving local and state prisons but had no family or resources to help them in their new beginning. They would be homeless and likely recidivists without this intervention. Since 1996 over 980 men and 20 women have been served as students in the residential programs and have received help in finding recovery from addiction, mentoring in life skills, reconciliation with family, establishing a strong, positive support group, employment and the opportunity to experience Jesus as their source of hope.
In 2011, Transition to Community, a similar residential ministry to men, merged with The Potter’s House. The ministry expanded to 2 residential settings with beds for 15 men and a long term residential discipleship House for 6. The strategy for ministry is family oriented with intent to multiply through small group home settings to create learning experiences that can best prepare them for healthy function within the context of family.
In 2016, addiction in our country had reached epidemic levels and was stealing life from many youth and adults. The severity of the epidemic necessitated an even stronger emphasis on recovery while developing skills to care for self and family in the community. It is our intent to see that everyone caught in the trappings of this craze have opportunity to become an overcomer through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We envision each person that experiences the transforming power of Jesus and freedom from their addiction to become a competent leader in our homes, churches and communities as they learn from experience the difference that Jesus makes.
In 2017 we obtained a parcel of property in Brownstown that was very conducive to an entry phase of the program and embarked on a capital campaign called “Captivity to Destiny”. The property was razed and two of three buildings were constructed with completion in early 2020. This allowed the Men’s program to expand by 7 additional beds and allowed for a separation of entry level men from those who are re-integrating into the community. In addition, the program partnered with a local church to establish a second Discipleship House for Phase 3 men.
In response to frequent requests for a women’s program, we also purchased a house in Leola and created a similar faciality for women. The program opened in June 2020, providing space to serve up to 6 women. We have since celebrated several graduations.
In 2021 we moved forward with a second capital campaign to raise money for the construction of the third building at Still Waters. It was completed and placed into service in 2023. This added 8 beds for students and increased educational and counseling resources. Your 2022 grant helped us to place recreational equipment in this building and in the Potter’s House of Ruth.
Activities and Accomplishments
The program has continued to expand both in facilities and in breadth of programming. A key accomplishment was the addition of the third building at Still Waters.
Staff support on all levels continues to be enhanced and provides for a safer and more supportive environment for overcoming addiction and moving toward God’s intended destiny for each individual. More students are staying the course and completing the program. We have seen numerous graduations in the past three years. In addition, we are beginning to see a growing stability post-graduation, especially in those who choose to stay on in our Phase 3 houses for additional support and coaching.
The curriculum has been evaluated and expanded to better serve the induvial as well as corporate needs of the students. The new Traum Informed Haling Ministry is an outgrowth of that process. In addition we have a close working relationship with CCARS (Community Care and Addiction Recovery Services) which provides professional substance abuse counselling services to our students.
The Program staff have expanded the ministry to reach the families of our students as well. The monthly F.A.I.T.H. (Family Awareness Instruction Truth & Healing) program gives them an opportunity to meet others who have a similar experience and to receive support and training from the staff. We have also been offering Community Awareness seminars that give inspiration and education to the general public. This has included a focused Business Leaders’ Breakfast with an emphasis on identifying and appropriately responding to addiction in the workplace. We also have planned a similar focus with pastors and community churches in mind.