By Michelle Colesanti
Reformers Unanimous (RU) is a program helping people with crippling addictions gain their freedom through Jesus Christ. Founded in 1996, Steve Currington started the program in Rockford, Illinois after his own 10 year bondage to drugs and alcohol. A very serious car accident that nearly took his life helped him focus on a new direction. He decided to return to church, and was welcomed with open arms. Over a period of time, he developed a program to help others who were also addicted. That program was Reformers Unanimous.
Currington decided to launch the program nationally in 2000 and today there are over 1,000 RU chapters worldwide.
In 2013, Pastor David Goforth of Providence Baptist Church in Riverview introduced RU to his church. Members took up a love offering for the ministry and began praying about when and how to start it. It took two years, but in December of 2015 Ethan and Sarah Owen felt the calling to take on the ministry.
They received formal training in Rockford needed to bring RU to the church, trained other members and began the program locally.
Ethan is currently the director of the Tampa Bay’s RU chapter. He felt the calling to this ministry because of God’s working and great power in the midst of his own addiction-filled life. He spent most of his teenage years filled with depression, frustration and anger, which was due to bad relationships. Instead of turning to God, he turned to drugs and alcohol. In 2011, he finally understood that his addiction was because he did not have the Savior in his life. Through His power, Ethan gained not only sobriety, but freedom from his addictions.
The RU program is open to the public and meets every Friday at 7 p.m. at Providence Baptist Church, located at 5416 Providence Rd. in Riverview. Childcare is available.