Crossover farm provides opportunities

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 18, 2014


“We used to get high together,” the preacher said, pointing to an old friend.

“He’s walked in my shoes,” the old friend replied. “He knows what we’re going through.”

The preacher, James “Red” Coleman, is now pastor of First Baptist Church in Gantt. But, nearly a decade ago, he was a member of the first class at Crossover Ministries – a faith-based drug and alcohol recovery center based in Opp.

The old friend, Roger Rhodes, has changed his ways as well and is currently going through the eight-week rehabilitation program himself.

Thursday, both men were working in the produce stand at the Crossover Farm on U.S. Hwy. 84.

“These guys are glad we are giving them work,” Coleman said of the men, all of whom are currently enrolled at Crossover and spend their days tending to the 8 acres of land. “I’m a recovering addict myself. This gives them a sense of pride.”

Coleman said the men in the program are on hand working at the farm Tuesday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., during which time the produce stand is also open.

“This time of year we’ve got peas and okra and we don’t even have enough property to keep up with the demand,” Coleman said. “We also have peppers, tomatoes and watermelons as big as 60 pounds.”

Coleman said the farm’s produce is also sold at Covington Pecan in Opp, with proceeds from both locations going toward funding the rehab center.

Adam Bishop and Jason Barth, both of whom are three months into their eight-month rehab programs, said the farm is a great way to focus on the things in life that matter through good, honest work.

“I love it,” Bishop said of the farm. “Being the outdoors all day; it’s a blessing.”

Barth said the farm is a fitting place to work for people recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

“You reap what you sow,” he said. “This helps us focus on the true meaning of life.”

Thomas Green, who is also going through the Crossover program, concurred.

“I feel better about myself,” he said. “The program teaches us a good work ethic and that you can’t do things on your own; you need God.”

For more information on Crossover Ministries, how you can help or upcoming events, call 334-493-1030.