Please pray for Pastor Ken Graves and the leaders at Calvary Chapel Bangor, Maine …
Story by Tom Price
Photos by Micah Martin, Lisa Pascua, and Gary Apodaca, 2018
“Unconscionable and frightening.” That’s how Pastor Ken Graves, Calvary Chapel Bangor, in Central Maine, describes the impossible choice Maine Governor Janet Mills is forcing on Calvary Chapel. In essence, it’s “stay away from church or go to jail.”
The church hosts a substance abuse treatment center, Calvary Residential Discipleship (CRD), on its property. It is a 12-month, Christ-centered, structured discipleship program that applies a biblical foundation to the root of addiction. The program has a success rate over 70 percent, which is far greater than secular addiction programs.
Substance abuse treatment centers were deemed “essential” by the government and have no numerical limit to the amount of its participants. CRD residents can receive counseling with the blessing of the state, until a Bible is opened, and they worship, then the assembly becomes illegal.
Pastor Ken Graves teaches men and women at Calvary Residential Discipleship (CRD), an addiction ministry of CC Central Maine.
Ken stated, “I am responsible for overseeing and managing all of the affairs that the Lord Jesus Christ gave me in my role as Under-Shepherd of his Church at Calvary Chapel.” As the residents learn God’s Word, they develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and begin to heal from their addictive lifestyles.
“As a pastor who has firsthand experience with the evils of substance abuse and who has worked nearly my entire life to help people trapped in bondage by their addictions,” wrote Pastor Ken in the court filing, “I know that Bible studies and worship are essential. But the governor’s orders presented a Hobson’s Choice (an unsolvable dilemma, with every choice being a bad one) – the Calvary Residential Discipleship program could continue without numerical restrictions, but we could not gather for Bible studies and worship. I could not and cannot in good conscience remove worship from the Calvary Residential Discipleship program.”
Men at CRD work with Ken, gaining skills to help them when they leave the program.
Men pray as part of Calvary Residential Discipleship’s treatment for substance abuse.
Pastor Ken works on a vehicle frame with several men in the CRD program.
Ken demonstrates auto body repair at CRD.
Program residents partake in food and fellowship.
Women discuss the Bible at a Calvary Residential Discipleship’s Women’s Program Bible study.
All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.