The church event is free and open to the public, but online registration is required, said Jeri Lewis, marketing and community development director at Kingswell, organizers of the event. She hopes to fill the 500-seat sanctuary.
Lewis predicted the meetings will allow the city to “launch into the streets” a strategy to combat the heroin epidemic in the region.
“We have to have a community aspect,” Lewis said.
Those who attend will hear inspiring stories of hope and opportunity while learning practical and proven methods for their communities, Lewis said.
The Strawberrys will spend the day in Middletown and Lewis will give them a tour of the city, including Hope House, the city’s homeless shelter, the revitalized downtown business district and city parks.
Having a former MLB player like Strawberry, someone who won one World Series championship with the Mets and three with the Yankees, talk about his addictions grabs attention, Lewis said. Strawberry was also suspended three times by MLB for substance abuse.
Lewis said God “laid on the heart” of the Strawberrys to use their celebrity status to share their story and give their “beautiful testimony.”
On their website, the Strawberrys said they lived “defeated lives” and were separated from God for many years. Addictions, abuse, divorces, cancer, jail-time, and other issues plagued their lives. They met while attending a drug recovery convention.
HOW TO GO
WHAT: Epidemic of Hope
WHEN: 7-9 p.m. March 6
WHERE: Breiel Boulevard Church of God, 2000 N. Breiel Blvd.
HOW MUCH: Free and open to public