The Path to Healing
At Brunswick Christian Recovery Center, men, and soon women, step through faith into recovery.
On a sleepy section of Ash-Little River Road, Brunswick Christian Recovery Center (BCRC) is a sparkling little campus on a former North Carolina Wesleyan Church property. The all-male, faith-based, 12-step drug and alcohol rehabilitation center is freshly painted and perfectly landscaped — obviously the work of many hands.
BCRC has come a long, long way in eight short years, and Executive Director Joshua Torbich should know. He graduated from the program six years ago.
“I had overdosed on heroin and hit an 18-wheeler head on at age 22,” he confides. The Johnston County native’s parents were to their limit. Torbich was as well. “I headed to the center, and the rest is history.”
It was here that Torbich recommitted himself to God and Jesus. “I feel at that moment, God had a plan as well,” he says. And in faith, Torbich asked to stay on at the center when he graduated. “I started with the premise that I would drive the van,” he says. “That van was an old, stripped 13-seater with two lawn chairs in the back so we could seat 15.”
BCRC began as an idea flowing among a group of local pastors and businessmen who saw the need for a men’s residential recovery center in Brunswick County. It was funded solely through church donations in the beginning.
“We saw the opportunity for advancement and began writing grants and gaining contracts from the PGA and NASCAR to provide workers for large events,” Torbich says. The center also works closely with the United Way.
The main campus sits on 2 acres among old family farms and includes three buildings. The former rectory is now administrative offices, a new fellowship hall includes a commercial kitchen, and the dormitory is housed in the former church building. The 16-bed facility employs three full-time on-site counselors who rotate shifts and are available 24 hours per day. Tyler Smith is the director of operations, and Ridge Bell serves as the director of admissions.
Down the road, the Ray campus nearly doubles residential capacity for men by adding 13 beds. The auxiliary campus is for sleeping only, as all the participants come to the main campus to work, eat, worship and attend recovery meetings. Days are regimented and provide little distraction from the recovery process. GED tutoring is also available.
To date, 470 men have graduated from BCRC. The success rates vary year to year, but the stakes are high. “To deem a graduate successful, he must meet three requirements: be clean and sober, have gainful employment and live in a stable home.”
In 2017 57% of the graduates met these requirements — a huge success considering the hurdles. Most of the participants are local, from Brunswick, New Hanover, Columbus and Pender counties. But they have had men come from as far away as Alaska, Torbich says.
Soon services will be available for women as well. BCRC has agreed to purchase the Rose House, a Sunset Beach bed and breakfast, that will be converted into a 23-bed self-contained women’s residential recovery facility — the first in Brunswick County. The current plan is to have it open for 20 participants and three staff members by March 2020.
The Capital Campaign was kicked off on July 13, 2019, with an annual Charity Golf Tournament at Carolina National Golf Course. “We have raised nearly $150,000 of the $650,000 goal,” Torbich says, adding that he is confident the group will reach the goal. “This community has been so very supportive of all we do here. We could not do this without our many volunteers.”
A large portion of funding for the center comes from their contracts with NASCAR and PGA, in which BCRCs provides labor for large PGA and NASCAR events. Upwards of 30 volunteers work on behalf of BCRC. Outside of large events, on a weekly basis, the center hosts about 15 to 20 volunteers.
The no-cost recovery program is voluntary as well. “The participants volunteer to come here, either through an arrangement with the courts or through their own initiative,” Torbich says.
The 16-week program is very intense. “Even before arriving here, participants have to go through a medically supervised detox for about six days,” Torbich says. BCRC partners with several local medical facilities so that recovery begins with the proper care. When participants arrive on site, they commit to 16 weeks of meetings, self-work and community work.
“We begin at 7 am sharp,” Torbich says. “Devotionals on awakening, then chores and breakfast.” After breakfast, the men attend chapel, work on campus improvement projects and attend a share-partner meeting. After lunch, there is a 12-step meeting from 1:30 to 2:30, and then another afternoon recovery meeting before dinner. “After dinner, the men write in their journals or complete workbook assignments. Free time is from 8 to 11 pm, then it is lights out.”
Most importantly, participants learn they are not alone on the path to recovery. Regular pastoral care and counseling is available, and support is provided every step of the way. The program includes an exit strategy so that graduates can prepare for success. This includes community service, day labor jobs and team-building experiences.
Community outreach is important to the success of the BCRC, and the group participates in a variety of events. Through a partnership with Brunswick Family Assistance, participants volunteer for food drives, the Christmas toy drive and other activities.
Celebrate Recovery is a faith-based, 12-step program held Friday nights at Beach Assembly of God Church on North Highway 17. Open to the public, dinner begins at 6 pm, and the meeting follows at 7 pm.
In a partnership with Brunswick County Schools, BCRC now provides the Alcohol and Drug lessons to the seven middle schools. “We take a few of the participants along to give testimony to the real effects of drugs and alcohol on their lives,” Torbich says. “The experience is not only good for the students but is a great opportunity for BCRC program participants to take their first steps back out into the community.”
Want to know more about Brunswick Christian Recovery Center?
For more information about the faith-based, 12-step residential recovery program, visit: bcrcrecovery.org
Main campus: 1994 Ash-Little River Road in Ash