GREENSBURG – Saturday, city councilman Darrell Poling presented a framed document, complete with the seal of the City of Greensburg and Mayor Dan Manus's signature, to the directors of Foundations for Recovery, Speranza House, Celebrate Recovery and Recover Out Loud. That document officially proclaimed Aug. 10 as "The Day of Recovery" in Greensburg.

The presentation culminated an entire day of celebration and prayer as the four groups met at various locations in the community to celebrate sobriety and raise awareness of addiction.

At noon, the four groups met at Speranza House, the Decatur County Courthouse and at the LifeLine church on Moscow Road to march and pray over Greensburg Junior High School, the new jail site on S. Ireland Street, Decatur County Memorial Hospital, the Greensburg Learning Center, "Crack Alley" and "Tent City" on W. Main Street, and LifeLine Recovery ministries.

"We're uniting all the recovery programs here in Greensburg by praying over certain areas that are key to drugs and addiction" said Recover Out Loud Director John Cunningham. "And to be honest with you, I'm getting chills right now. That we could inspire so much unity so early in the game is just absolutely amazing. Just seven years ago, I was facing a lot of time in prison and now I'm looking at this group of people – family, friends and lawmen – all together and I'm amazed. Recovery is really worth it!"

Asked to comment on the perceived closeness of the gathering, Cunningham said, "We are all family here, and it doesn't matter whether you're recovering yourself or just a member of the community, we all have the same belief that unity and a belief in a higher power are important."

Shaking hands and hugging members of the gathering on the east steps of the courthouse, Decatur County Sheriff Dave Durant told the Daily News, "This is so encouraging. This is an answer to prayer. We have such a great recovery community, and the fact that we're able to bring everyone together like this proves that we all believe in the same thing. This isn't about me or these people, but it's about God and the importance of walking together in sobriety."

Recover Out Loud, after posing for a photo, split off into two groups. One group marched from the courthouse to S. Ireland Street to pray over the new jail site and "Tent City." The other group went to the rental property beside what used to be the ArMaDuc's Hotel location, now colloquially called "Crack Alley."

Residents, board members and supporters of Speranza house as well as Decatur County Prosecutor Nathan Harter, Sheriff Durant and mayoral candidate Joshua Marsh gathered on the steps of Speranza House to listen to Speranza House volunteer Tara Durant pray and issue directions for the upcoming trek to the junior high school. While waiting for additional members to arrive, Durant explained the mission for the day.

"I do bible studies with the girls in this house, and I love them all very much. I want all these lovely women to know how God loves them, how loved and undervalued they are, and how valuable they are as human beings despite what they've been through," she said. "There are four walks today, and each group participating will be praying over areas in our community key to the illegal drug trade in Greensburg – either where the drugs come in, like the jail, where they are sold, like the junior high school, or places where people are recovering their lives from the influence."

Durant explained they were going to the junior high because that's where many individuals first encounter drugs in this community. After that, they prayed over the Greensburg Learning Center and then the hospital, because those are all key locations in the local fight of the war on drugs, she said.

"In this town, there are more locations actively fighting drugs than are in Bartholomew County, Dearborn County and many others," Durant continued. "God is doing amazing things here, and he has placed leadership here that I know have this fight and these beliefs in their hearts and at the center of their decision making. When we have leaders like that, I know this community is really going somewhere."

When all the walks were finished, participants gathered at LifeLine Wesleyan Church for live music by the recovery duo Forging Lions, the Recovery Day proclamation presentation, and fellowship.

"How amazing is this?" asked Greensburg Police Chief Brendan Bridges. "I've arrested some of these guys two and three times, and now we're all standing hand in hand, unified against drugs. Amazing, just amazing. What a great thing for Greensburg!"

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Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext. 7011 or email bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com