Pilgrim Ministries, a faith based ministry to help men struggling with addiction will be building a new facility in Teloga according to the Ministries’ Executive Director, Andy Pilgrim.
The facility will be located on 50 acres off of Harrisburg Road. The final plans for the facility include a 56 bed unit if the funding is there to build one that large. Currently, Pilgrim Ministries has three homes in Clarkesville, Ga. Pilgrim said that the move to Chattooga County makes sense as 70-80% of the men who come to Clarkesville are from the Northwest Georgia area, and 60% of those are from Chattooga County.
The facility will not house sexual offenders or violent criminals.
There has been some voiced concern regarding the facility according to Commissioner Blake Elsberry. Members of the Teloga community have planned a town hall for Saturday at 6 pm at the Teloga Fire Station. Andy Pilgrim will be on hand to answer any questions or concerns and told AllOnGeoriga he would stay until midnight if that was what it took.
Sheriff Mark Schrader when asked about the new facility said, “I am familiar with Pilgrim Ministries and the work that they do. I believe that they are an asset to those who have addictions and want structured help. I understand that there are concerns about a new facility being located in the Teloga community. I hope that the meeting scheduled for Saturday evening will give the residents and the leadership of the ministry an opportunity to sit down and discuss the concerns and answer questions that are on the minds of all involved.”
More about Pilgrim Ministries:
“We specialize in training men to become disciples of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to experience His power to redeem their lives and to reconcile them from the bondage of drug/alcohol addiction producing productive citizens and servants in the surrounding communities. We work with lawyers, district attorneys, judges, attorneys, probation/parole officers and family members to help them find an alternative to jail or prison for men struggling with addiction. Jail or prison is not the answer to drug/alcohol addiction. Surrendering your life to Jesus Christ is the answer and cure to addiction and all sin. Pilgrim Ministries is a 501c3 non-profit 1-2 year residential ministry providing housing, utilities, food and training for each resident in the ministry. We have a minimal cost to the residents of $100/week in Phase I residency (6 months). During this phase the men are not allowed to gain employment. The men will attend Bible Studies and participate in biblical based curriculums for 6 to 8 hours a day Monday thru Friday. In Phase II residency (6 months) the men will gain employment and begin to implement the teaching and training they have received in Phase I. We have 100% employment for all residents. The cost of Phase II residency is $150/week. This puts more of the responsibility of the cost of the residency on the individual rather than the family or sponsors who are paying for the residents first six months of residency. At the end of one year the resident may agree to enter into Phase III residency for up to one additional year undertaking a leadership role in the ministry with new responsibilities as a residential house leader. Phase III residential cost remains at $150/week. Pilgrim Ministries has the capacity to house up to 16 residents. We typically have substantial wait times for men looking to enter the ministry sometimes 3 to 4 months with 10 to 15 men on our waiting list. Please contact us immediately to have your potential resident added to our waiting list and begin the necessary steps for admission. All potential residents are required to submit a criminal background check and health screening consisting of HIV, TB and Hepatitis A B C before entering. Pilgrim Ministries has saw great success over the past 13 years with 60% of the men who have completed the ministry not being re-incarcerated and most importantly 30% of the men who have completed the ministry God has drastically changed their lives for His glory. Jesus is the answer. Pilgrim Ministries cannot change a man’s life but we will do our best to point him to the one who can. Jesus!!! Colossians 3:2-3 “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God”.
How Pilgrim Ministries began:
“Pilgrim Ministries began in the fall of 2005. My wife Terri and I felt the Lord calling us to open up our home to men who have struggled with drug/alcohol addiction. We wanted to provide discipleship to them with love, encouragement, accountability, structure, and responsibility. I struggled with addiction to drugs/alcohol for almost 20 years before Jesus found me, saved me, and set me free at a faith-based addiction ministry in 2004. May 14, 2004 is the last day I used drugs or alcohol and June 19, 2004 is the day I gave my life to Christ. Praise God!!! I received Victory and True Freedom that day as I have been set free for almost 15 years now. Terri and I wanting to be obedient to God’s calling on our lives decided to open up our home to men with the same addictions I had battled. We were renting a humble two bedroom house with one bathroom at the time.
It started out with one man, then two men, three men, and before long we had four men living with us. Our house was very small even for us; however we knew this was something God wanted us to do. We had one man sleeping in the spare bedroom, one man sleeping on the couch, one man sleeping in a room on the back porch, and one man sleeping in the dining room where our kitchen table and chairs once were. It was a very trying time for us and I thank God that my wife is a godly woman. It was very hard on her with five men and one bathroom. We continued to pray and wait for God to reward our obedience as we sacrificed our privacy and personal time together. In March of 2007 God answered our prayers and we were able to purchase a home in Clarkesville. We knew this was the perfect house a gift from God as soon as we had seen it. It had four bedrooms upstairs and bath, master bedroom downstairs and bath, and an apartment on the side with a bath. This home provided us the necessary room to house these men, but at the same time gave us our personal space as well. God is so awesome! In June of 2010 God blessed us with yet another house located down the street from our main house that allowed us to house five additional men. Can I say again God is Awesome!!! August 2011 God provided yet another opportunity for the ministry to grow as we purchased a third house in our neighborhood that houses five more men. WOW!!! The ministry has now grown to three houses and the capability of housing sixteen men. October 2013 God provided Terri and I with our own home located right in the middle of the three ministry homes. Thank You Lord!!! Jehovah Jireh the Lord Provides!!!”