Earlier this year, we all heard the sad news of the death of Pastor John Baker. John along with his wife Cheryl were the co-founders of Celebrate Recovery, a recovery process that would not only help people to deal with their hurts, hang-ups, and habits but introduce them to the only true higher power, Jesus.
In 1997, Val and I had the privilege of meeting John and Cheryl when we visited Saddleback Church. We had previously heard about Celebrate Recovery and had an overwhelming feeling that we needed to check this out. Our meeting with Pastor John was to be a defining moment not only in our own lives but also in our ministry within our local church, and later in serving John and the National Team as UK Director of Celebrate Recovery.
We had the privilege of having two weeks in Saddleback where we spent many days in John’s office asking question after question about this ministry called Celebrate Recovery. It was clear to us at that time that here was a man who was passionate about Celebrate Recovery and opened his life to us as we looked to absorb as much as we could.
The way that he received us will stick with me for the rest of my life, nothing was too much trouble for him. Pastor John was a caring, humble, passionate, dedicated, visionary leader who God chose to carry this great vision of Celebrate Recovery.
Over the last 23 years, Val and I have seen how through John this vision has grown and developed into what we have today. We will also be forever grateful to him in the way that he has supported us and served us here in the UK. Pastor John impacted not only our lives but also our nation through the process of Celebrate Recovery with the 12 steps, 8 principles and the DNA. It is an incredible vision clearly blessed by God.
Let us all honour him as we continue to build and grow Celebrate Recovery here in the UK and beyond. Pastor John will be sadly missed by all and our hearts and prayers go out to Cheryl, Johnny, and all his family. We will carry your legacy to the best of our ability, rest in peace good and faithful servant.
Tony & Val Turner