Celebrate Recovery founder, John Baker, passed away unexpectedly. The announcement of his death came on Wednesday through the program’s official social media page.
They wrote, “There are times in life when words are totally inadequate in sharing how you feel, this morning is one of those days. My dearest friend and brother has gone Home. John Baker, co-founder of Celebrate Recovery, made his way home early this morning. To say this took us by surprise would be an understatement.”
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered and biblical 12-step program dedicated to persons struggling with addiction, hurts, or pain of any kind. John birthed the program in 1991 from his own experience.
John grew up in a Baptist family. Later in life, he confessed that he became a “functioning alcoholic” and eventually turned his back from God and his wife.
But, God had different plans for him. When John hit rock bottom, God encountered him. So, John reconciled with his wife and decided to enter into a secular recovery program for alcoholics.
But, he knew that healing programs should be based on Jesus. So, he presented a biblical recovery plan to Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, where he was a member.
Today, more than 35,000 churches have utilized his 12-step Christ-based recovery program, helping millions of struggling people to start anew and find hope in God.
Saddleback Church leader, Kay Warren, honored John in one of her Facebook posts. She said, “Our world lost a giant of a man today, and our family lost a dear friend and brother in the Lord.”
“Thirty years ago, John Baker turned the ruins of his life over to Jesus Christ, and God transformed him from a driven businessman with an addiction to alcohol, a failing marriage, and alienated children to a Christ-follower with a passion to help others with their ‘hurts, habits and hang ups’ through the principles of recovery.”
She continued, “More than 7 million men and women around the world have found hope, a new start, and the God who made them [through] the program he co-founded with his precious wife Cheryl and Rick – Celebrate Recovery. There is simply no way to put into words how I love John and will miss this kind, creative, brilliant, and faithful man.”