John and Linda both work full time. John is the Director of Recovery at Heartland Community Church in Rockford, IL and Linda works at keeping John out of trouble. They have 6 adult children (Kim 41, Jenny 40, Amy 38, Chris 33, Kevin 31, John III – “Butch” 30, and 7 grandchildren (Danielle 23, Tyler 20, Jacob 19, Kaylee 17, Parker 13, Lucas 11, and Sarah 7). They enjoy sports (Go Angels, Rams, Lakers and Kings), adventuring and getting lost on days off, traveling to other states (so far – WI, MN, IA, SD, ND, TN, IN, and MI) and sharing their CR testimonies, and serving in various ministries (Linda – CR, Women’s Ministry, Growth Groups, Youth Ministry and First Impressions; John – CR, Jails, Prisons, Street and Homeless ministries, Men’s Ministry, Growth Groups, Rescue Missions, and Youth Ministry). They travel locally and internationally for CR and are addicted to sharing God’s grace and hope while helping others find and follow Jesus.
John attended his first CR meeting in January 1996. He started researching recovery groups in 1998 and settled on CR in the same year. After 18 months of preparing, CR was launched at Emmanuel Reformed Church in Paramount, CA on March 17, 2000 where John served as the Ministry Leader. He was selected as a CR State Rep for SoCal in 2007 and accepted the position of Regional Director for the West Region in August 2010. John helped establish and train 30+ CR ministries in churches throughout the Southern California area, and the Western Region grew steadily during his tenure. Linda serves in all aspects of the ministry along-side John. She served as a Step Study Leader, Open Share Group Leader and lead in the Training and Encourager Coach roles in California for 13 years, prior to relocating to Illinois and serves in the role as the “E” Coach at Heartland since 2013. Linda is also the Northern Illinois State Rep for Celebrate Recovery.
John started working in prison and jail ministries in 2005 in California. John established the curriculum schedules for this ministry to protect the clients as well as the facilitators of the ministry as part of the “re-entry” process. John also established the CR Inside ministry in December of 2013 in the Winnebago County Jail (Wednesday for Women and Friday for Men). He is currently assisting with the Rockford Reachout Jail Ministry to support the planning for men and women who will be exiting incarceration into an “aftercare plan” in the Northern Illinois area. John is also working with Transform Rockford – Reentry to help provide a pathway for the high level offenders reentering the Rockford, IL area after incarceration.
John started his recovery journey on October 9, 1989 after a long career of Chemical Dependency and Sexual Addiction which resulted in 2 divorces. He celebrated 27 years of freedom on October 9, 2016 and continues to be a catalyst for those who desire to live with hope. Linda celebrated 16 years of freedom in Codependency on March 17, 2016 and is an example for others of how to live while trusting God to be in control.