To lead individuals that are entrapped with various addiction issues to Jesus Christ, who alone is able to provide complete pardon, deliverance, healing, and a transformed life. We also embrace loved ones and friends who find themselves on the other side of the addict’s destructive lifestyle.
As an integrated partner, to come along side local Bible believing Christian churches and ministries that desire to reach out to their community with a Christ-centered addictions outreach.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” —Philippians 1:6
WHAT AV IS NOT
Intended to replace or undermine any other Christian fellowship
Connected to any one denomination
A substitute for church involvement
A professional therapy group
HOW WE CAN HELP
By providing a network of friendly & confidential AV Christian support groups for struggling addicts.
Assist the local church and ministry with the launching of their own AV Christ-centered support groups.
Conducting training & equipping of the facilitators of the local church and ministry’s own choosing.
Offering support and assistance to individuals that want treatment, i.e. detox & residential programs (with emphasis on Christian facilities).
In the winter of 1986 in a little old Sunday school house at Blenheim Bible Church in southern New Jersey two brothers in Christ (Paul Street and Bill Rath) began a Christian support group. Both had previously completed America’s Keswick ‘Colony of Mercy’ 90 day Christian program located in Whiting, NJ, and shared the vision of one addict helping the other to not only stay sober, but to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Desiring to connect with an established Christian addictions ministry, they researched and found Alcoholics Victorious, a national organization that was headquartered in Chicago, IL. They affiliated with this organization locally under the name of Immanuel Chapter of Alcoholics Victorious. Bill & Paul served as co-directors while remaining under the mentorship of Pastor Glen Wagner of Clayton Baptist (Bill’s home church) for about 18 months. Oversight was then moved to Cherry Hill Baptist (Paul’s home church). During their tenure, a handful of meetings were birthed in the area, and they were able to send many struggling addicts to Christian rehabs throughout the country.
In 1996 at AV’s 10th annual banquet, Paul (the sole Director at the time) passed the leadership baton to Robert E. Ball who had been set free from his addictions in 1979 and was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). He wrote, “AA’s meetings were helpful and I was able to fellowship with some of the men. But I felt, for me, it was hollow.” Then God dropped him into an AV meeting in Westville, NJ, where he began to make new Christian friends and developed a love for the AV ministry.
Under Bob’s leadership the organization decided to become its own 501(c)3 LLC. In this process, the Board of Directors decided to change the ministry name to Addictions Victorious, so as to not be confused with Alcoholics Victorious and to be more inclusive of the multitude of addiction issues that ensnare people. During this period, the AV network grew to 8 meetings in the Tri-State (meaning DE, NJ, and PA) area. In Bob’s fourth year as Director he began considering passing the leadership baton, believing he had accomplished the tasks for which the Lord brought him to AV. In June of 2002 Bob passed the Directorship baton to Dan Gavin Sr.
Dan with his wife Rosemary and son Jude (a graphic artist) by his side, began to broadcast the ministry with a polished brochure and web site. The first new AV headquarter voice mail began as a prayer “Hello, you have reached Addictions Victorious, the best kept secret in the Tri-State area. With God’s help, we’re hoping to change that”. God has. Sixteen years later, we have 33 support groups in the AV network, located in 7 states across the country – Halleluiah!
From the start, Dan & Rosemary have concentrated on providing sound biblical training for our AV ministry team, and Christ-centered resources for use in our support groups. Another main goal has been to strengthen our connection with the churches that partner with AV. It remains our desire for our hosting churches to embrace their AV support group(s) as their own outreach to the community. We don’t want to do it for them, but with them; to come alongside. Please continue to pray for us toward these ends as we bring the hope of the Gospel to the brokenhearted.