Pastor, President, & Founder
Undergraduate Ministry Certificate, Johnson University
Marley Jane Scalf
Undergraduate Ministry Certificate, Johnson University
Lincoln Shelton, LPC, MHSP
Kris McNeil, B.S., M.A.
Technology Integrationist, Operations Compliance Officer
Men’s Marketing Director
Womens Program Director
Auto Center Manager
Intern, Womens Marketing Director
Intern, Property Maintenance
Intern, Intake Coordinator
Intern, Dorm Director
Intern, Education Director
Intern, Intake Coordinator
Intern, Super Thrift Manager
- Josh Scalf
- Marley Jane Scalf
- Lincoln Shelton
- Bobby Morgan
- Bethany Morgan
- Mitchell Presnell
- Shawn Nance
- Joshua nunley
Who was I? I served thirteen years as a slave to addiction. Just like many, I was dope driven, wild-eyed and reckless. When chasing my high I didn’t care who or what stood in my way. My chaotic conscious was numb to consequence and my heart hardened to remorse. Drugs were my only purpose and for anything else in life, I simply didn’t care. My self-denial eluded the fact that I chose dope over anyone who truly loved me. I abused the love my family has for me to lure them in and get what I wanted. I smashed my friends and loved ones trust like a broken mirror. Even today, I can still see their anguish through the shattered pieces.
My Credentials. Living by crack-head concepts, I thought straws were for snorting, lightbulbs were for smoking and belts were better worn on the arm. I would say things like: “Rehab’s for quitters,” “Friends that stick together stay together,” and “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” I thought it was always better to ask forgiveness rather than permission. I served four calendars in Virginia department of corrections because a judge didn’t see it my way. I’ve eaten more state beans, slept on more kindergarten mats, and sat on more stainless steel toilets than I care to mention. It didn’t take long to realize that prison life isn’t for me. I always seem to run my crimes and drugs in the same sequence. It didn’t matter which ones I done and I did a lot of them. From grand theft auto to distribution and from smack to speed. I went as far down the rabbit hole my mania would take me. For years, I fell deep into dejection and felt that I was at the point of no return.
Addiction is sick and so was I. My cravings were so commanding that there was nothing I wouldn’t do to appease them. Even the strict rules of drug court couldn’t slow me down. From taking expensive blockers sold at head shops, to drinking bleach or sure gel, I became a drug test specialist. I was a bathroom James Bond, looking the P.O. in the eyes, as I emptied my condom of clean pee. They started to catch on however, as symptoms of my using started to show. It wasn’t hard to miss the significant loss of weight, missing classes, and excuse-making attitude. I was called in for an unexpected drug test. Not prepared or able to cheat this one, my sickness took over. Addiction decided there was no length we wouldn’t go in order to stay out of jail. I told the girl I was seeing at the time that I was going to the basement. I instructed her that she would hear a chainsaw start, and when she heard it stop, to call an ambulance. She didn’t have to wait on the saw to stop because my screams were enough to drive her to dial 911. My horrid habit had so much control over my life that I took a 191 Stihl chainsaw, squeezed the trigger full throttle, and gashed my own leg. I was taken immediately to the ER where the doctor wrote the prescription I needed to cover the opiates in my system and an excuse for why I didn’t report for my drug test. I didn’t go to jail, but in all reality, I could have lost my leg or hit an artery and bled to death on that basement floor. The scar I wear today is a vivid reminder of how ill addiction makes us.
The absence of life replaced with regret. I realize that there are so many afflicted. Their lives are at the lowest of lows. Even those that are coming off drugs are withdrawing and each new sobering day brings an ample amount of guilt. Your conscience slowly starts coming back to life and remorse floods your heart. It replays all the bad you’ve done and shows the faces of all you’ve hurt. When my niece was born, my sister looked around the room for her brother. I wasn’t there. All our lives she looked up to me. From chicken pocks to imaginary tea parties, we did everything together. She was so excited to introduce to me this little precious new member of our family. Sadly, I chose dope instead of choosing to be an uncle and brother.
I remember as if it were yesterday. I had tweaked myself into a closet. The phone kept ringing and in between shots, I finally answered. It was mom on the other end with devastating news of my grandfathers’ passing. My conscience was so consumed by my addiction that instead of feeling sorrow, I felt that I needed another shot. Later, I pictured my grief-stricken grandmother, so frail, leaning over my papaw’s casket. The pain and suffering from the loss of the one she loved most in this world, pouring out through her tears. I can see her leaning to the right seeking the embrace of her grandson. She needed me to comfort her and return the love she so humbly gave me all my life. I gave her or my family nothing. While they lowered my grandfather in the ground, I sit secluded in a walk in closet with the door shut, sticking myself over and over again in the arm.
My papaw taught me to mow. He’d pull the cord on an out dated Murray push mower. When that old Bridge and Stratton engine fired so would my excitement. He’d say, “Come on son, help papaw mow.” My happy little feet would toddle across the yard. I’d stand under him both hands on the crossbar mid-way up the handle. He’d push, we’d mow and I’d smile like a hero. I loved that man and he loved me. I just couldn’t leave that closet to bury him or give my last respects. I don’t have children, but a lot do. Who’s there to teach them to ride a bike, throw a ball or tie their shoe? Who’s at home tonight, checking for the boogieman under their bed? They need you to hold them, protect them and love them. You can’t hold them unless you let go of addiction.
Future Fighter. We can’t change who we were or what we done in the past, but we can create who and what we’re going to be in the future. You can be that brother a sister can lean on or the grandson whose comforting hug replaces grandma’s tears for a smile. You can be a parent your child depends on. You’ll hear them say things like, “I want to be like you, daddy, or momma.” When you take them by their little hand, they look up at you, and their big smile is your hearts recognition of being a true parent. There’s no greater high. This overwhelming sensation floods your insides. It’s the same emotional intoxication that speeds your heart when momma hugs you up, looks into your eyes and you know she knows you’ve finally made it. Her baby boy is truthfully clean. No more nights spent crying at the door worried you won’t make it home. You’ve made it and going to make her proud. A strong loving family needs the foundation of strong loving men to hold it together.
Normally foreign. There is a problem we addicts run into our first few weeks of sobriety. We clean out from drugs, but our minds and emotions are still prisoners of the life style. The world we lived and knew has come to a sudden halt. The ringtones from your phone have silenced and the incoming texts stop vibrating your pocket. You don’t have to take Carl to the doctor on the fifth to get his pain script or Sara on the fifteenth to get her Benzos. You’re not selling seventy of this to make ninety of that. You stop flipping here or hustling there. In the grocery store and gas station parking lots, there’s nobody waiting on you or you waiting on them. You don’t have to drop nothing off or pick something up. So the question you frantically ask yourself is, what the crap am I suppose to do now?
A normal life like having a checking account or a valid driver’s license is foreign to us. We don’t know how to use a calendar or how to schedule things. We eat in our cars on the go, not at a dinner table. Six in the morning is when we get home, not go to work. “What’s a grocery list? Do I really have to go to a post office to mail this?” Being on time to us is being fifteen minutes late. It doesn’t feel right to be around a crowd without a buzz, so ball games, church or social gatherings are out of the question. Because we don’t fit right into society, some of us sadly relate sobriety to feelings of worthlessness, loneliness and lack of accomplishment. We feel we’re always being told what to do or who we’re supposed to be. We quickly trade our addiction for depression and depression leads us to use again. Don’t use again. Instead use these feelings as markers. Big yellow caution markers to let you know what made you feel this way and that you don’t want to feel it again. Depression can be turned into direction. Use the pain of your past as a reminder the next time someone offers you a pill or you feel the urge to use. Remember, it’s normal that you feel bad for the iniquities of your past. Those feelings prove that you have a heart and that the Spirit is still dealing with you. They will convict you to change into a better man, a man to be proud of.
Freedom. Who I used to be and who I am now is inspirational hope that each and every addict can live clean and purposeful lives. I was filled with the same torment. I was a liar and a thief. I was a junkie and a drunk. I let down, abused and abandoned my family. I was a murderer. I cussed and constantly spoke garbage. What I’m about to tell you is crucial. Everything that I was and all the evil I did, I gave it to my Lord Jesus Christ. He lifted it from me and put it on his back. As they cussed him, spat on him, beat him, he drug it through the streets and up to Golgotha, the Place of a Skull. They drove nails through his hands, pierced his side, and as the thorns punctured his head, the blood dripped onto my sins and covered them forever. (Matthew 27:27-50)
This world often produces problems too big for us to handle. No doubt, we need to accept responsibility and pull our part, but there’s gratifying relief in knowing that if we lose grip, God’s big hands are there to take hold. He can lift the overwhelming weight of addiction too. For me the Lord has taken away the appetite for my vices and replaced them with the hunger to help others. There’s no greater fulfillment than love. Love for your family, love for your neighbors, and in loving others, you’ll find love in yourself.
Stop your dependency for dope and start to depend on God. Allow him to ignite the strength that I know lives inside you. Let the Holy Spirit come alive and bang on your heart like a gong! The reverberations will echo deep into your soul and allow your spirit to strum alive with the life God breathed into you. You will feel the essence of God more powerfully than any drug. Your pulse will quicken. Your pupils will dilate. You will be high! Believe me, I know. Just let the love of the Lord flow through your veins. Your choices will be the right ones. It will give you the tools to repair the relationships that your addiction has damaged. You won’t have to talk because your walk will say it all. Family will trust you. Most of all, God can mend the pain that I know cries out from your heart every day.
Redemption Road. I won’t lie and say it’s an easy road to travel. There’re slippery spots, loose gravel and blind curves. Keep your eyes on Jesus and your foot on the brake just in case you have to turn around from a tempting situation. Remember there are detours and help that you can turn to. You have to accept it and stop making excuses. You are a new creature in Christ, old things are passed away. (2Corinthians 5:17) The old man and old feelings are gone. You don’t want any mood altering substance. Just because a doctor prescribes it doesn’t mean you can take it. Ask him to write you a get out of jail free card too and some disappointment-free pills. You can give them to everyone your relapse lets down along the way. Channel your addiction and direct it into something positive. Put the same energy you put into getting high into staying clean. Find hobbies to fill the void; Church, recovery groups, spiritual healing classes, hunting, fishing, dance, music collecting, bike riding, rafting, swimming, skating, taking nature walks with Jesus, go to storytelling, food tastings, yoga, the gym, and there is so much more. Look for it like you looked for dope and you’ll definitely find it. Turn to being a parent. There’re a million things to do with your kids. Go find the fun. Working is a must. It builds self-confidence, self-worth and shuts down the devil’s workshop: which is idled time. Find a job you enjoy. If you regret it you’ll quit it. Keep a job while you look for one though. If you made it through withdraw, I’m pretty sure a cruddy job won’t knock you down. It won’t take long to find what you’re looking for. When you’re clean, you’re responsible. When you’re responsible people will hire you.
The last direction I can give you is to pray. Not just before a meal. Not just before bed. I’m talking all in, all the time, one on one, you and God. So I say to you, “ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; Knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him that knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10) One of my favorite scriptures. Ask for strength, seek wisdom, and the door of sobriety will be opened. This appetite for freedom is not just for me. It is for everyone that wants it. To the addict that suffers, there is hope. To the family that’s hurting, there is help. God has called Recovery Soldiers Ministries to the battlefield of addiction. Through him we can end the struggle. Take this blessing and opportunity. Call us if you or your loved one is in the pit falls of addiction. Sponsor and support us if God has placed a burden on your heart to help. We are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (Romans 8:37)
“As a young girl I was full of innocence and purity. I trusted EVERYONE… I spent my early years of childhood in my daddy’s junk yard. We lived in a tent and eventually a small shack. Most of the time we didn’t have a running vehicle so we walked. As a 4 year old little girl I would hold my daddy’s sweaty hand as we walked the roads. My daddy was a broken, hurting man full of hatred and pain…he filled his gaping wounds with alcohol. His addiction robbed him of me and so much more. I was taken in by my aunt and uncle at 5 years old…they introduced me to a world unknown… a world of running water, lights, a real bathroom, home cooked meals and most of all UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. They loved me as their own. They made every effort to make me feel like I belonged. My biological mother stepped in and wanted to spend time with me…I was ECSTATIC! My real mother….my blood…my heart…my momma. I would get to go with her on weekends and this was such a special time for me because I loved my mother. However, my mother was a drug addict. She was a broken woman seeking love in men, drugs and alcohol. Knowing of her brokenness made me love her even more… I wanted to save her. I wanted her to be safe…I wanted to see her smile. I loved my momma. Satan however did not…he hated her, he hated me…he only wanted to steal kill and destroy. And that’s what he did. My mother let the devil get in and shatter my innocence…her and her boyfriend sexually molested me when I was only 9 years old. I was destroyed, hurt, confused and afraid. That little girl that TRUSTED everyone suddenly could TRUST NO-ONE. By the time I was in high school I started doing drugs to numb the pain…I sought out my healing and my redemption through a pill, a pipe, a joint and fornication. I experience death, hell and the grave of depression and hopelessness. I was manufacturing and shooting meth in my veins every single day. By the time I was 18 I was seeking death. My misery had reached an all time high when the drugs were no longer enough to escape. I desired death… Revelation 9:6 “They will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.” My addiction sent me through…Death, Hell and the Grave. In saying that…what did Jesus experience? Death, Hell and the Grave! Then…JESUS ROSE FROM THE GRAVE AND CONQUERED FOREVER VICTORIOUS! Today I am honored to say that I have shared in Jesus’s suffering! I had to go through death to CONQUER , I had to go through hell to experience VICTORY and I had to go to the grave to RISE WITH JESUS! I was met by a loving father in a tiny jail cell. I cried out from the depths of my despair and every ounce of my being cried out. Only then, in that place of complete brokenness was HIS love made perfect! His power and might was most strong there in my weakness! Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Jesus resurrected me from the dust! He breathed life into my dry bones…he put a new heart in me and removed my heart of stone. Although he met me…I still had to get up and follow Him. I entered a faith based recovery program ready to spend 13 months humbling myself and letting God transform me with His word. I went on to graduate and serve as a biblical counselor for 4 years. I have spoken to thousands of people over the past 9 years since my conversion, I have proclaimed the name of Jesus as I pour out my heart and share my journey as a prodigal returning home to my loving father. He loved me in my brokenness…even then He shed his precious blood for me. I am forever humbled for his act of LOVE. I have fallen in love with this Jesus Christ…This Savior who redeemed me from the hand of the enemy…who brought down my heart with labor, who by his loving kindness and endless mercies led me to repentance. Thank You Jesus! Oh how I love you my KING, my ROCK, my REDEEMER! May I forever reflect your glory! “ ~Marley Jane Scalf
Hello, my name is Lincoln Shelton. I am 44 years old. I am married to my wonderful wife Denna, of 20 years. We live in Jonesborough, Tennessee where we are members of Nolichucky Baptist Church. Where at Nolichucky Baptist I teach discipleship and a Thrive class for Sunday school. I have been involved in ministry for over 20 years. I accepted Christ at the age of 20 and was called to preach a year later. Shortly after my call to ministry I began to serve as a youth minister. After serving at that church for two years I felt led to continue my education. I attended Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute in Hendersonville, North Carolina, where I earned an Associate Degree in Religion/Church Ministries in 2003.
After graduation, I worked at the Hendersonville Rescue Mission. I was employed there for seven years. During this time, I saw a great need for Christian-based counseling for those who are bound by addiction and for the mentally ill. While at the Rescue Mission I also pastored a bilingual (Spanish/English) church. During this pastorate I counseled numerous couples who were having marriage difficulties which furthered my desire to become more competent in counseling. During this time, we also baptized over 25 new converts.
My wife and I moved back to Tennessee in 2010, as we felt led to return to this region. Shortly after we moved, I began pastoring Community Church of Bristol. I served there for over four years. It was at that time I felt as though I needed once again to further my education. After working with juvenile justice youth, serving as a hospice chaplain, and counseling in the secular field, I felt called to create a ministry in the field of Christian coaching and counseling known as Thrive, Life Advancement Ministries INC (thrivelam.com). I received my license as a professional counselor (LPC, MHSP) 7-29-20.
I am ordained as a SB minister. I have my Associate Degree in Religion/Church Ministries (Fruitland Baptist Bible Collage), Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Christian Counseling and MA in Professional Counseling through (Liberty University).
In His service
Rev. Lincoln Shelton
My Name is Bobby Morgan I’m from Greeneville TN I was a 26 year Drug Addict. I completed the R.S.M program I signed on as an intern I am now the choir director I have been Clean and sober for 15 months and it’s all do to Jesus Christ working Through this program and not only that me and my wife were in Drug addiction together and God blessed my marriage allowed my wife to be the First Lady in the women center so we are both learning to put God first so we can have the Godly marriage we are ment to have
My name is Bethany Morgan and I am 34yrs old. I have been in criminal lifestyle and drug addiction for ten years. I have spent most of my life in prison and jails. But, the real prison wasn’t the one I was in physically, my prison was the one I was in mentally. Every thought I had ,and every decision I made… was connected and controlled by a craving. I was in complete bondage to drugs. When addiction attacked my life for a second time ,and began to destroy my marriage , I knew I needed help and couldn’t do it on my own. RSM stepped in and not only gave me a home, and a chance …but also my husband a home, and a chance. Jesus used this program to completely transform both of our lives and he has saved our marriage!As we have learned to build it on HIM as the solid foundation! What the devil meant for our harm, God has used for our future and our hope! And ,He used RSM to do it ! True freedom ,is not in the freedom to do what you want to do, but it’s the freedom you have in not doing things! I am finally free and am no longer in the bondage that held me for so long! I praise God for his mercy and how he has saved me and my husband!
My name is Mitchell Presnell I’m 33. I had a great childhood, when I got out of high school I thought I had life in my hands because I thought I had everything that the world told me I need to be complete. I was in a accident October 9 of 2011 Playing with Tannerite. It caused me allot of medical problems. after this I got hooked on meth for the better part of nine years it took everything from me but God stepped in! November 30th of 2021 made two years clean for me I’m actually living a blessed life now. I’m blessed to be part of recovery soldiers ministries. I enjoy every opportunity that God put in front of me. Living my best life now. Matthew 6:33
My Name Shawn Nance I am from Grundy Co TN, I am 52 years old I had a great life as a child and at the age of 40yr old is when I started using prescription medication my life went on a downhill spiral after that and at the age of 51 my life was completely a wreck and I came to RSM broken with no hope I was bond by sin an addiction and I surrendered my heart to Jesus onAugust 20, 2021 and I’ve never been the same this has been the best 12 months in my life for many years I’m just so thankful to have my family my children for all the support that they have given me and the transformation that is in my life now I’m just so thankful that when he was on the Cross that I was on his mind and all the love and support that RSM has given me since I’ve been here the structure the obedience that had came back in my life and I would like to say if you are struggling with any kind of addiction i’m ready to change your life come to RSM through the power of Jesus Christ with a open heart and a made up mind it will change your life forever!
My name is Joshua Nunley. I’m 29 years old and I’m from Monteagle, TN. My parents divorced when I was a toddler and I went to live with my mother. She taught me how to find joy and happiness in life. She showed me how to love and have compassion on others. I only went to see my father every other weekend. He taught me obedience and work ethic when I did. He also taught me Scripture and how to serve the Lord. Like most kids, I didn’t enjoy the discipline or correction I received when I went to my dads house so when I was old enough I stopped going. It was at this time that I turned away from the Lord and from his Word. I would attend church with my mom sometimes, but I never truly had a desire for it. I had a pretty typical upbringing throughout my youth. I made good grades, had lots of friends and lived a joy-filled life. When I was in the eighth grade my mom started suffering from brain complications and health problems. These health problems eventually led her into an unintentional addiction to prescription medication. It confused me and made me question life. My mom suffering from addiction and my dad not being present in my life made me feel alone and unloved. As a result I started drinking and smoking marijuana with my friends when I was sixteen. I just wanted to be accepted, included and to fit in with others. I never imagined that this seemingly innocent behavior as a teenager would lead me into a twelve year downward spiral of addiction and alcoholism. Over the span of a decade, what started out as drinking with my friends at age sixteen to have fun turned into me being alone with a needle in my arm just to get by. During my ten years of addiction I lost sight of myself. I lied, I stole, and I manipulated everyone that I encountered. I wreaked havoc on every situation that I was involved in. I destroyed every good thing about my life. I worried my family sick, I wronged my friends who tried to help me and I wasted many years of my life due to substance abuse. I was in and out of jail, working dead end jobs, dropping out of college and digging myself further into addiction. I was caught up in a repetitive cycle that was ultimately going to end in death. I knew that I needed help pretty much the whole time I was in addiction, but I didn’t have the strength to make the change myself. One of my best friends from high school, Marley, had overcame the addiction that controlled her for many years. She went to a program, found the Lord and eventually opened a recovery center herself. She tried to convince me to get help for years, but the enemy had me exactly where he wanted me. I believed his lies and was content living a life of hopelessness, misery and despair. As my life continued to crumble, I knew that I needed to get away from what I knew and get help. By the grace of God I got taken to jail on March 28, 2021. I started reading my Bible in jail and I began to feel this tug at my heart. The Lord met me where I was at in my life and He saved my soul. I surrendered my life to Christ on April 28th, 2021. I then reached out to Marley and told her I wanted to come to recovery. I came to Recovery Soldiers Ministry on June 18th, 2021 and traded my will for His. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but at the same time it was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I graduated from RSM on June 21, 2022 and signed a six month internship to work for the ministry. I am now the Intake Director of Recovery Soldiers Ministry so I get to help guys who reach out and want to come to treatment here to change their lives. I also teach a Living in Balance class, an Inner Healing class and small group Bible studies to the guys here at the ministry. God has revealed a burning desire in my heart to help others and to serve Him. I know that here at RSM I can continue to grow in the Lord and answer the calling that He has given me at this point in my life. I don’t know why He loves me so much, but I am forever grateful that He does. It is a testimony to the goodness of God that He has transformed an all around terrible individual like I once was into a man of God. He traded my anxiety for peace, my depression for joy and my unbelief for faith. He took the prisoner of the world that I once was and made me a servant of the King. For most of my life I was a slave to many things, but now I am content being a slave to Jesus Christ. As my roots grow deeper in the Lord and I separate myself from my old lifestyle I keep the mindset of the apostle Paul when he was writing in Philippians 3:13, 14. “One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Thank you for reading my testimony. Joshua 1:9.