15 Years of Celebrate Recovery
Shepherd Church of The Nazarene
Gahanna, Ohio

Celebrate Recovery
On May 11th 2017 family and friends gathered at The Shepherd Church of The Nazarene for two celebrations. The first was the 15th anniversary of the start of the Celebrate Recovery Chapter at Shepherd Church, and the second was to honor the founder, Nancy Skaggs who stepped down that evening as the group’s leader after 15 years of service.
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The event actually started the previous Sunday, May 7 when Pastor Rob Paugh honored Nancy during all three services. He gave a brief history of the program, made some very kind observations, read letters of congratulation from former Shepherd Pastors Eddie Estep and Sam Barber, then presented her with a generous gift bag.

This is a link Pastor Rob’s presentation during the 2nd Service.

With his permission, below is the letter sent by Pastor Eddie Estep, who served Shepherd Church of The Nazarene from 2000 until 2006.


Greetings from South Carolina on this beautiful weekend. I trust you and Barry are doing well.

Congratulations on your retirement after 15 years of leadership of the Celebrate Recovery ministry at Shepherd! It does not seem possible that it has been that long since this incredible ministry began.

I well remember the start. It was obvious that you were the right person to begin CR. Your gift of hospitality, your education and background, and your passion for ministry to those suffering from hurts, habits, and hang-ups all evidenced your calling. What was most impressive was your insistence that the ministry be developed with a strong foundation. You had an innate understanding that the CR leaders would need to be rooted deep and strong and you were relentless in their preparation and development.

I appreciated how you made a priority of the development of leaders. You realized that you were about “building leaders” as much as you were about “building ministry.”

You also realized that Shepherd’s reputation as “a grace place” would be tested with the demands of this new ministry, and you did all you could to intentionally ensure the climate at Shepherd was such that the new ministry could be adequately nurtured.

Over the years God has used your quiet spirit to produce large impact. The ministry has never been about you. It has always been about making a difference in the lives of others. And God has certainly used you to do that.

Thank you for your faithfulness and commitment to the mission, in difficult times as well as good times. You are an inspiration to us all.

Now, as this new chapter of life and ministry opens, may God continue to bless you with His goodness and grace.

Warmly Yours in Christ,

Eddie Estep

District Superintendent
South Carolina District Church of the Nazarene
Website: http://www.southcarolinanazarene.org
Website: http://www.eddieestep.com
Email: edwardlestep@aol.com

With his permission, below is the letter sent by Pastor Sam Barber, who served Shepherd Church of The Nazarene from 2007 until 2014.

May 4, 2017

Dear Pastor Rob,

What an honor to write a few words about Nancy Skaggs. I have been in ministry for a long time now, and have never enjoyed working with anyone more than Nancy. Her passion for God and love of people stand out as examples of her character. On more than one occasion Nancy was the first to extend kindness to my family. Even the day we were moving into our little apartment when we relocated to Columbus, it was Nancy and the CR Team that provided a meal for all of us. Later, many times we gathered around her table as a staff to enjoy her hospitality. Don’t even get me started on those stuffed mushrooms!

In seasons of stress, Nancy was always a rock of consistency and brought a perspective shaped by the grace of God in her own life. I always felt I could count on Nancy to pray for and with me and to understand the challenges of leadership.

I used to love to attend the CR gatherings. I was not only impressed with Nancy’s dedication to leading it, but it always seemed to me like a place where Jesus would like to hang out. I used to joke that the CR meeting was the only church gathering where I didn’t sweat! Nancy’s gentle and consistent leadership made everyone feel at home.

Of course, Shepherd recognized her gifts, but so did the state of Ohio and the Celebrate Recovery organization as a whole. She was a leader among leaders in my tenure at Shepherd.

Jill and I offer our very best wishes to Nancy as she steps down from the leadership of Celebrate Recovery. Only eternity will reveal the many lives who have been brought closer to Christ because of her ministry. We love you, Nancy! May the peace of Christ reign and rule in your life.


Pastor Sam Barber

Pastor of Lenexa Central Church
    of The Nazarene of Lenexa, Kansas
Website: http://www.kccentral.org
Email: sam@centralchurchonline.com

With their permission, the following video allows members of Celebrate Recovery to express why they approached the ministry for assistance, the impact it has had on their day-to-day life, and their relationship with Jesus Christ.

With their permission, the following video is an expression of the love and appreciation felt by some of the members toward Nancy and her 15 years of service as a Celebrate Recovery leader.

The next three videos are from State and National leaders of Celebrate Recovery.

With permission, the following video is from Ohio State Representative, Sheila Knudson. Sheila leads a ministry in Athens, Ohio in addition to her duties as an Ohio State Representative.

With permission, the following video is from Bill Natalzia.

With permission, the following video is from John Eklund. John is a Pastor at Temple Baptist Church of Selma, North Carolina and the Eastern National Director for Celebrate Recovery.


This chart was published two years ago and lists the spin-off ministries as a result of Shepherd Church and Nancy’s service as an Ohio State Representative. The “Tens of Thousands” mentioned by Bill Natalzia in his video is demonstrated by this chart.

Below are the notes prepared by Nancy for her farewell address.

At CR I introduce myself this way… “Hi, I’m Nancy, a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with codependency and fear of rejection & abandonment.” We tell people that their identity is NOT in their struggle, but their identity is in Jesus Christ!

As we look back over the past 15 years…really over 15.5 years if you count the preparation and prayer time starting in August 2001. The vision really started a long time before that. I remember being in a board meeting and Pastor Greg Rosser, who was the associate pastor at the time, talking about a vision for a recovery ministry at Shepherd. WE thank Greg for being open to God’s leading and planting CR here at Shepherd. Not all churches are open to having a recovery ministry. Life can get messy for all of us at some point, and we are glad we have a safe place to come where we are allowed to share what is happening in our lives and find healing.

Tony Mosley, a Christian Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who works out of our church, helped with the launch of the Shepherd Church chapter of CR . He’s supported us over the years but couldn’t be here tonight. He sends his greetings and love. He asked me to share one of his favorite scriptures: Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God every time I remember you.”

There are so many people who have helped over the years and I can’t begin to name them all... people who’ve helped with set-up and tear down, greeters, childcare workers, cooks, kitchen workers, leaders, praise team, tech team, church staff who helped with graphics, running copies & folding literature, behind-the-scenes folks who were encouragers or made donations to fundraisers, people who helped when we hosted a one-day training and had hundreds of people here, folks who came from other CRs to share their testimonies, and the list goes on. If you’ve ever helped in any capacity, please stand.

We thank this church for allowing us to have this ministry and we ask for your continued support…please let others know that this ministry exists and that it is for ANY hurt, habit or hang-up. We hope that some of your take-aways from tonight are:

  • EVERYONE, at some point in their life, could use CR! We all will suffer a loss of a loved one, a job, a marriage -some type of grieving; or maybe something has happened in your life that you can’t control, but it greatly impacts you and knocks you off your feet…you can’t seem to get up and get going again….you are STUCK. Maybe someone has deeply wounded you and you can’t forgive them. Maybe someone in your family is struggling with something and you keep rescuing them and they aren’t working on their issues.
  • We want to encourage you to see that this is a SAFE PLACE and that we aren’t here to judge you…we are here to be your cheerleader on the journey and to let you know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
  • And we want you to know that approximately 7 out of 10 people who attend are NOT coming for addictions to drugs & alcohol, as you saw on the cardboard testimonies. It is for ANY hurt, habit or hang-up.

Salvation through Christ as the ultimate goal of any healing, to awaken from whatever is interfering with our lives that blinds us to The One who truly loves us enough to suffer for our sins and be reconciled to a just God. Once that awakening takes place, we can see clearly the need for the eternal healing and forgiveness that can only come from Christ.

It has been my privilege to be the ministry leader since Celebrate Recovery began 15 years ago. As I begin a new chapter and new season in my life, I am excited to “pass the torch” to Becky Jackson who will become the new ministry leader. We are taught in CR to have apprentices and to not consider it “our/my ministry.” We want the ministry to continue long after we are gone. Becky has been my apprentice for quite a few years and she will do a remarkable job as the ministry leader. She will have a strong support team in the leaders and others who attend…it’s a group effort and we truly try to function as a healthy family. Current leaders, would you please stand? It has been a true privilege to serve with all of you and I thank you so much for your patience with me over the years.

God bless!

Many thanks to those who provided artistic, technology, and logistic assistance by providing data, pictures, videos, and tracking down permissions - including Becky, Todd, Jason, Phyllis, Chaney, Pastor Eddie, and Pastor Sam. Thanks also to Pastor Rob for honoring Nancy the Sunday before.

If you have other pictures from the anniversary celebration or from some other event over the years, and assuming we can get the permission of those in the photos, please email them to BLSkaggs@Outlook.com. Also send email if there are any corrections to be made.

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