UNION — A local weekly recovery program will welcome a famous guest speaker in two weeks.
Jim “Soni” Sonefeld — drummer, founding member of Hootie & the Blowfish, and solo Christian artist — will be the special guest speaker at “Celebrate Recovery” on Friday, May 16, at Crestview Baptist Church, located at 1100 Furman Fendley Highway, Union.
Sonefeld began his music career playing drums in the basement of his childhood home in Illinois. He was musically influenced by a variety of classic rock and R&B bands such as Creedence Clearwater Revival; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Elton John; and Led Zeppelin.
As a college student at the University of South Carolina in 1989, Sonefeld joined a band with like-minded musicians who were also attending the university. They named the band, “Hootie & the Blowfish.”
The band toured regionally while honing their craft, and after signing a record deal with Atlantic Records, the band released a full length debut “Cracked Rear View” in the summer of 1994. They have sold more than 25 million records since then and have toured worldwide. Sonefeld has been one of the main songwriters in the band, writing several of their early hits including “Hold my hand” and “Time.”
Sonefeld released his first solo CD “Snowman Melting” in 2008 on Aquarian Nation Records. It was a musical testimony of heartbreak, addiction, recovery, and hope.
In 2011, compelled by his growing Christian faith and more recent musical influences such as Chris Tomlin, Casting Crowns, and Jeremy Camp, Sonefeld embarked upon his first contemporary Christian music project.
Sonefeld will speak to those who attend Celebrate Recovery at Crestview Baptist Church about his own journey to recovery from addiction through faith in Jesus Christ.
The local program teaches people how to “break free from life’s hurts, habits and hang-ups.”
Each Friday night, Crestview Baptist Church hosts a Celebrate Recovery meeting. Like other recovery meetings — such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous — Celebrate Recovery includes 12 steps, however, the difference in this group is that it is based on belief in Jesus Christ. Each step is Christ-centered and is accompanied by scripture. For example, Step 6 is, “We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character,” and it is supplemented with James 4:10:
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Church pastor Josh Freeman said he launched the program after a friend who had a drinking problems had made numerous trips to rehab.
“I told him, ‘You need a program or you are going to die,’” Freeman said, adding that he took his friend to a Celebrate Recovery meeting in Spartanburg, and they both liked what they saw.
Freeman said the program is for people with all sorts of issues — not just drugs and alcohol. He said those who attend may need help recovering from anger or depression, while others get help coping with the loss of a loved one. Freeman said the meetings are a safe and confidential place for people to come for help.
“We celebrate God’s healing power in our lives through sharing our strengths and hopes with one another and most importantly, through our strengthened relationship with Jesus Christ,” he said.
Meetings consist of dinner at 6 p.m., followed by a meeting in the church sanctuary at 7 p.m.
For more information, call Josh Freeman at (864) 426-1719 or Dee Dee McDade at (864) 466-6659.