Crossover Ministry reveals changes in leadership at banquet

Published 9:15 am Saturday, April 27, 2024

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It was a bittersweet celebration at Crossover Ministries’ annual banquet held Tuesday in Opp as longtime director James “Red” Coleman announced his departure from the faith-based addiction recovery program while also naming his predecessor.

Crossover Director Red Coleman, right, introduces his predecessor, Brett Coleman.

In addition to the change in leadership, the event also comes on the heels of a fire in February that damaged the Crossover facility. Members of the board continue to work toward either repairing the facility or finding a new home.

For Coleman, Crossover was a crossroads. His relationship with the ministry began as one of those seeking help to recover from addiction. It laid the foundation for his calling to spread the Word to others as a pastor.

“Almost 20 years ago I came to Crossover with one thing in mind: to pacify my wife and, certainly, to pacify the county and the state court system. All these years later, here I am. People ask me how I did it and I tell them, ‘I went to Crossover and I never left.’ Crossover introduced to Christ and helped me regain my family,” Coleman said.

His experience at Crossover led him to the ministry. His new calling is to be a fulltime minister with a Geneva church.

Filling the director’s position will be Brett Carter. Like Coleman, Carter is a graduate of the Crossover Ministry program who was called to the ministry.

“I want to thank all of those who support Crossover, whether it is through prayer, financially, volunteering. You are part of the reason I’m standing here tonight. I don’t have outrageous plans and big ideas for change, because I know what we do works. I’m excited to move forward and continue the work of Crossover,” Carter said.

Guest speaker for the event was Gary Miller, pastor of Westview Baptist Church. Introduced by Crossover Board Member Greg White as “the community’s pastor,” Miller spoke about his time serving the ministry.

“In 2013, I got a call that there was a vacancy on Thursday morning and was asked if I would come and start doing devotions, and I did. I’ve been doing it ever since. I love those devotions. To watch those men grow in Christ was a wonderful experience. We had a lot of fun and there were some tough times, too. The greatest memory I have are the changed lives of the men and women (who go through the program),” Miller said.

The current challenge for Crossover is to re-establish a home following the February fire. Board Member Dr. Joshua Driver said it is a unique time for the ministry.

“It’s been a roller coaster,” Driver said. “There was a point we wondered if we should even have this banquet. But, what I see in this room represents the largest banquet we ever had and the largest number of sponsorships we’ve had in 20 years. That tells us we need to continue doing what we’re doing. We’re excited about some opportunities we have to continue the ministry on a short-term basis while we find a long-term solution for the facility. We want to get back to our ministry and helping people.”

Covington County District Attorney Walt Merrell, also a Crossover board member, closed out the evening speaking about the impact Crossover has for those it serves.

“We are asked what happens if Crossover doesn’t work? Ask Red Coleman what happens if it doesn’t work, or more importantly ask his wife and kids. Ask anyone of the graduates what happens if it doesn’t work. What you will hear time and time again is that it does work. There are people in this room who are clean, sober, and saved because Crossover works,” Merrell said.

Special music was provided by Louis Kathman and graduates of the program volunteered for set up and serving. Video testimonies featuring Jordan Morley and Tyrill Sims were produced by Genard Johnson. The benediction was provided by Jamey Wismer.