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Men of Nehemiah CEO Jim Ramsey, EVP Community Outreach Melinda Russ, Founder Louis Harrell, Jr. with wife Denise Harrell.

Men of Nehemiah (MON), a South Dallas nonprofit working to rebuild the lives of men who have been torn apart by drug and alcohol addiction, presented its annual Gospel concert at Dallas Country Club featuring a 50-man choir comprised of men who are currently in recovery.

Addiction respects no zip code. While some of these men were living on the streets, others had successful careers and previously lived with their families in gated communities. Some had been incarcerated prior to coming to MON. 

Travis Blakeley, a Greenhill graduate, shared his story of addiction, which he said was an ugly affair with the bottle the last few years. Blakeley spoke candidly about his addiction and going to a California rehab center where he enjoyed tacos and surfing but didn’t deal with the issues that led to his addiction. 

Blakeley continued his downward spiral and eventually landed at Men of Nehemiah where he recently completed their nine-month residential program. Blakeley credits MON’s family program with helping him and his wife, Amanda navigate the challenges of addiction within the family.   

“I have been home for six weeks and while it has been full of challenges, Men of Nehemiah has given me another chance to be a husband and father my family can be proud of,” said Blakeley. “God has paved a new path for us.”

Paul Rasmussen, the senior minister at Highland Park United Methodist Church, was the guest speaker and gave a resounding testimony about his own family’s battle with addiction. Rasmussen told the packed ballroom about his father, who was a minister and an alcoholic. 

“When you grow up in insanity, you begin to normalize it,” said Rasmussen. “Living with an alcoholic is like living with the elephant in the room. You live with the elephant long enough and you begin to think the elephant belongs there.” 

Rasmussen believes Men of Nehemiah will change future generations of families and create opportunities for families to heal. 

The MON program helps men deal with addiction and has the goal of reuniting a spiritually and mentally healthy man with his family and community. MON’s approach integrates Biblical discipleship, clinical counseling, and military structure. More information is available at menofnehemiah.org.