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Editorial

QUIT PLAYIN’: Shower Your Blessings on ARM!

Michael K. Williams
Michael K. Williams
Photo Credit: Matt Webb Mitovich

By Vincent L. Hall

The old adage is that when it rains, it pours, and it must be valid for all aspects of life. I had two excellent reasons to support the Adult Rehabilitation Ministries (ARM) of the Golden Gate Baptist Church just a few days ago.

North Texas Giving Day is upon us, and now I have three reasons.

As someone who has referred family and friends to “The Gate,” I decided it was time that I gave back, so I begged them long and hard until they let me join their board of directors. My second reason was that I know firsthand how few addicts get the chance for rehabilitation.

The number of beds in Dallas and throughout the state is limited, and most are court-ordered. The truth is, if you are poor, Black, or female and don’t have a criminal record, there is nowhere to get residential treatment.

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Addictions generally require at least a 60-day stay, and relapses are not just expected. They are the norm. This leads me to my third raindrop.

Days ago, “The Wire’’ actor Michael K. Williams was found dead of a suspected heroin overdose in his Brooklyn penthouse. The 54-year-old star was discovered unconscious in the dining room of his luxury Williamsburg home. There was a substance that appeared to be heroin on the kitchen table. My guess is that it was an overdose linked to relapse.

Obie Bussey
Obie Bussey
Photo Credit: Matt Webb Mitovich

If a rich Michael K. Williams can’t kick that “Jones,” how can our less fortunate neighbors get help without our help.

The Communities Foundation of Texas’ NTX Giving Day is an 18-hour online giving event. This is your chance to give back to the community by supporting local nonprofits. The Communities Foundation platform makes it easy. I am asking that you help ARM/WARM Ministries this year.

In 2020, almost $60 million was raised through 106,000 donors benefiting over 3,200 local nonprofits through NTX Giving Day. There is no shortage of people who need help in a state-run like Texas. Unfortunately, budget cuts for these and other social services are slashed routinely.

The Adult Rehabilitation Ministry (ARM) began in 1989 as part of the Outreach Ministry of the Golden Gate Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

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The late Pastor Emeritus C.B.T. Smith envisioned a ministry that would faithfully rebuild the lives of chemically addicted men and women. In addition, he wanted to equip them with strong Christian principles and concepts so that they could return home as better husbands, wives, parents, siblings, sons, and daughters.

The Gate House’s main edifice has treated more than 5,000 men and five years ago commenced WARM, a program for women struggling with all types of addiction. ARM ministries have many services, ranging from alcohol and narcotics anonymous classes to education classes such as parenting and anger management.

Mr. Obie Bussey is the ARM/WARM Program Director and, in my opinion, one of the most gifted standup facilitators to ever lead a class. As someone who has designed, curriculum, written and delivered training material, I will attest that nothing can get you ready for the experience of hearing Bussey render the residuals of his testimonial. His message and the wealth of his experiences are transformative.

Golden Gate’s current pastor, Dr. Vincent T. Parker, has a singular stated goal to achieve. “To transform chemically dependent individuals through loving, accountable relationships and a Christ-Centered twelve-step process in a residential treatment program.”

Obie Bussey is a walking, breathing, and contributing example that recovery is not a pipe dream. It can be a reality. I only wish that Michael K. Williams could have spent a day with him. Fortunate for us, literally thousands of addicted persons in Dallas can if we are willing to give to ARM Ministries.

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When it rains, it pours on far too many of our homeless and addicted brothers and sisters. So let’s rain out a blessing on arm and warm.

Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and an award-winning columnist.

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