RU began in April, 1996, with just one student. That person left after one week, and the next four weeks were spent teaching just spouses. After those weeks four new people began to attend (Jill, Gene, Todd, and Kevin). These four attended for the next two years. They became the foundation that we would build on: food addiction, crack cocaine, alcohol, and pornography. Four different people, four crippling addictions, yet only one need: Jesus Christ! We began to grow as the Truth began to set people free.
In year two the addition of counsel leaders and group counsel time to support the students during the week caused RU to grow exponentially. In 1999 Brother Curington authored the beginning curriculum: a program guide of the weekly lessons and tapes to follow along, and a handbook that encourages students to read the Bible, memorize the Bible, study the Bible (essays), and hear the Bible (church attendance). These a became the building blocks that Christ uses to change lives. The attendance began to explode.
In 2000 the acquisition of suitable housing allowed us to begin ministering to non-functioning addicts from around the country. Other chapters began to spring up throughout the states, and even in the Philippines. In 2001 we completed a line of workbooks to go with the handbook, began an award system to encourage participation (1 Corinthians 3:12,14), set goals of ten new Chapters per year and, most importantly, had our founder, Steve Curington, enter the ministry full time.
In 2002 the acquisition of increased staff and more chapters led the ministry to ask God for larger facilities. The answer came in the form of the Spafford Building which was generously donated to us by a Christian business man. This allowed the ministry to begin opening chapters at an increased rate of up to one hundred per year. Another generous donation also led to the purchase of a larger facility for our Schools of discipleship. Allowing the addition of a woman’s program to our previously existing men’s program.
In 2005 a steady growth pace continued with over 200 students a week in the Friday night class, and the Schools of Discipleship filled to capacity. Such explosive growth in the schools of discipleship demanded a larger facility to meet the ever increasing needs of the addicted. This need was met by a miracle from God- the donation of a hundred bed facility that was formerly a nursing home.
After over a decade of serving the addicted, RU has 50 full time employees, 150 men, and women in our discipleship homes and over 1,000 chapters. The ministry is now growing at a rate of a hundred chapters per year. In addition we now have a full line of curriculum in Spanish, institutional programs for the incarcerated, and ever increasing numbers of people in our Schools of Discipleship.