Here's what those we've been honored to work with have to say about Rise Above Ministry.
I had been struggling with pornography since the age of 13. My cousin that was staying with us at the time had introduced me to porn. Over the years, what started off as something small, turned into a hell hole that I couldn’t dig myself out of. I had wounded relationships with some of those closest to me. I had even lost my girlfriend for a period of time over this mess. Then suddenly I just snapped and said to myself that I need to change for good!! Because I was sick and tired of always getting myself in trouble behind pornography, setting myself back spiritually, and going through the same trials and tribulations concerning porn. Papa Andy Matallana then challenged me to seek help and I was all in for it. Because at that point, I already knew I needed help and was willing to do anything to be totally free from this sin that has been plaguing my life for so long!! We prayed and asked God to lead me to where he wanted me to go for help and He lead to Rise Above Ministries, Freedom Community meetings. When I first came, I was very nervous and at complete rock bottom and didn’t know what to expect. But I knew that I had to be completely transparent about my struggles and not hide anything, so that I may receive the help that God had for me. Through this wonderful ministry, I have had the honor and privilege of meeting some wonderful people that has helped me through this journey which include: Grant & Carrie Folger, and the founders of this ministries Bobby and Ronette Wallace. They’ve helped keep me accountable through covenant eyes as well as keeping constant communication with me and vice versa on how I’m doing. I record the weekly teachings we have in a class called Freedom Community so that I may listen to it throughout the week along with reading this great book that Bobby prescribed to me Ironically called “Freedom Community” by Dr. Mark Shaw. It’s a great book that I would recommend to anyone going through an addiction. I’m so blessed and thankful for God answering my prayers in finding me Biblically based helped and to be a part of such a great and impactful ministry.
Freedom Community, Edmond
I began attending Freedom Community meetings in 2017. I was hesitant to attend because I’ve never suffered from an addiction issue. But after conversation with God & Bobby, I quickly learned this isn’t just an addiction ministry. It’s a heart ministry! Through this ministry I am learning who I am in Christ and who Christ is to me!! I am also learning the power Christ has to change me, if I just submit to His will. I’m powerless to the affliction of my flesh, but I can rely on the Holy Spirit, empowering God’s Word to move in my heart. I can do all things through Christ! Chirst paid the ultimate price for my sins! Purely because he loves me!!! He sees the real me!!! Not my fears, insecurities, pain or sins. A righteous child of God who can walk freely if I just submit daily to Christ!!!!!
Freedom Community has been revealing to me what God says about me!!!
Freedom Community, Shawnee
I was adopted at the age of 2 and sexually abused throughout my teen years by the man who adopted me. The feelings of rage and self-hate became too much for me to handle. I started drowning out the pain with self-harm and any drug I could get my hands on. This soon led to a 6-year addiction to meth and gang activity. I was in a life-threatening relationship that brought me to the point of suicide. I took a box cutting knife to my wrist, causing severe nerve damage. The doctor said if I had lost any more blood, I would have died. In April 2015, I found myself in jail for the 6th time and knew I had a choice to make - life or death. I was given the opportunity to go to Teen Challenge for Women where I found freedom from the chains of addiction and the pain I tried covering up all those years. After graduating there and working onsite for a year, I was ready to move back to Edmond. I wanted to be close to family again. I met Bobby and Ronette Wallace at Victory Church Edmond and was excited to hear there was a group I could relate to. That would not judge me for my past or everyday struggles. During my transition, I was faced with many obstacles: finding a job with my criminal background, a vehicle for transportation and having constant positive role models around me. Miracles began – I was given the opportunity to work for Bobby and Ronette’s businesses and Rise Above Ministries. One night at a Freedom Community group meeting, a couple who attend said they would like to give me one of their vehicles. I’m very thankful for all these wonderful people in my life. This ministry challenges me spiritually and has helped me stay rooted in Christ despite the challenges along this journey to full recovery.
I'm a recovering alcoholic of 18 months. I have been doing really good and on the "straight and narrow" but I found myself struggling by wanting to drink and I was facing a difficult time. That is when I found Rise Above Ministries thru LifeChurch, Norman. I have attended 8 meetings so far and they have changed my life. The lessons I feel are spoken just to me and they are so heartfelt and powerful. I truly feel God places just the right messages in Pastor B's heart to help each and every one of us. I have felt right at home in the group from day 1. Everyone is non-judgmental and always willing to lend an ear, or a shoulder to lean on, so you don't have to face your addiction alone. I feel if I hadn't found Rise Above Ministries when I did I might have fell into temptation by the enemy. With faithful prayer and regular attendance, I am doing great once again. Like my favorite bible verse says: “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THRU CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME.” PHILIPPIANS 4 :13
Freedom Community, Norman
Rise Above has been instrumental in the transformation of our marriage and Grant's freedom from addiction. No one should try to navigate through the devastating effects of addiction alone! We are very excited to be part of Rise Above Ministries and we are grateful that God has blessed this much-needed ministry. The Wallace’s have walked us through many difficult times with Biblical counsel and the direction of the Holy Spirit. The Freedom Community study has been the key to showing us that it is only through seeking God and his love for us that we are set free. From God's love and our identity in Christ, we are working through issues of the heart alongside our brothers and sisters. Anyone wanting to break the bondage of addiction will find life-changing value in learning God's process of healing us from our afflictions and additions.
Grant and Carrie Folger
I’ve struggled with addiction to pain pills and alcohol since I was 15 years old. My wife didn’t know this when we first met. Dating and engagement flew by and suddenly we were married. At this point she knew about my past but she didn’t know I still had a problem. I was sober while we we’re together for the 1st year, but by the 2nd year we struggled in our marriage and I turned to what I had in the past to help me cope, pain pills and alcohol. I got away with it for a while but eventually my wife found out. I repented, got clean, but this happened 3 more times in a row. By the last slip up, I thought things were over and I was near giving up. We met Bobby and Ronette and began meeting with them weekly. I didn’t want to listen to any preacher tell me the same thing I’d always heard, but Bobby and Ronette were different. I could tell they cared and they were so authentic. We got plugged into their Freedom Community group and Rise Above marriage counseling sessions. They have helped us walk through this tough time, not only one on one, but as a couple as well. Rise Above Ministries helped us not only heal as a couple and as individuals, but I can say I feel more confident in my walk with God and marriage than ever before. I know now that I’m not an addict or someone who’s messed up, but that I am God’s child that’s made mistakes that are forgiven. I no longer fear of messing up again, and that’s the first time I can say that in a long time.
Attending group and counseling
My name is Krista Collmorgen and I have been attending Rise Above Ministries Freedom Community meetings since September of last year. I battled a long history of addiction, not just in my own walk, but with my entire family. The Devil struck our family in an intense way and roared through every bit of our lives. My parents Shaun and Kristin Shingledecker also relapsed around the same time I dove into the deepest days my addiction with Meth and Alcohol. Over the last 5 years I lost my parental rights to my two children and haven't had contact with them since March of 2016. This has been the biggest fire under my addiction and finding the Lord ignited my path back into recovery. I also struggled with watching my parents fall, and also lose my two siblings to Child Protective Services. I received a call about 2 years ago and my Dad had literally fallen down a mountain and had been found by state game warden during a long binge. At the same time of getting that phone call I was sitting in an abandoned house with a dope dealer getting high and finding the whole situation surreal. My step mom, Kristin, had also strayed in her own addiction. I had a lot of resentment towards her and blamed a lot of my Fathers problems directly on her. In my mind she had brought him down with her. The Lord walked right into our deepest valley. I think back to how hard the Devil pulled us into addiction and how God pulled us out even harder. My Dad went from living in an empty storage unit with no water or electric to being free from drugs for almost a year. It took homelessness, becoming violently abusive towards my husband, and a suicide attempt to open my eyes to the Lord. May 26th of 2018 I decided to move into Branch15 and get my life straight. For the first time in my entire life, my step mom not only attends church, she is signing up to SERVE at their church. Most importantly instead of hitting up bars, getting DUIs, and doing all kinds of drugs, we all enjoy being a part of the Rise Above ministries Family. We talk about the Lord and the lessons Pastor B teaches us each week. We volunteer as a family for Rise Above Ministries events. Our family has learned how to ENJOY our lives in sobriety and live together, as GOD intended a family to live. Rise Above Ministries has given us a way to come closer, not just as blood family, but as a family in God's Kingdom. Thank you Pastor B and Ronette! We love you!!
Krista - The Shingledeckers
Freedom Community - Bracnh15 and Norman
Being a partner of an addict is torture that many don’t understand, unless you have been there. In my husband’s addiction I became just as sick as he was. I was broken, I was bitter, and it was all his fault. He caused pain so deep that I hated myself and I was so angry that God would allow his addiction to get so out of control. I blamed it on myself, I wasn’t good enough to save my husband and I was a failure as a wife and a mother. I tried support groups, I tried several just to walk out even more angry. I saw an ad on Facebook for a meeting called Freedom Community. I tossed the idea around to go. I still didn’t think I should, I wasn’t the addict. I was desperate so I forced myself to go on that Thursday, I threw on clothes, threw my hair up in a bun and left my house before I had time to change my mind. I walked in and I was sure no one would understand me. They had no idea the disaster our life had become, no clue what my husband’s addiction had caused. I wanted to trash talk my husband so bad and say all the awful stuff he had done. I sat over to the side of the room by myself listening to Pastor B talk about God’s forgiveness. He talked about the wreckage his addiction caused in his marriage and how through Jesus Christ, his wife was able to forgive him and their marriage was restored. God spoke through Pastor B that night right into me. Silent tears pouring down my face, things began to make sense. Just like that, for the first time in my whole life, God made perfect sense. Every doubt I had about God disappeared in that moment. If God forgave my husband, I most certainly could too. That night my heart became free, I walked out of Freedom Community that night with a free heart. I have been so blessed to have Rise Above Ministries walking this journey with me. Bobby being a great influence in my husband’s recovery. When I can’t hear God, Ronette is his voice that speaks to me. My heart has completely changed, and nothing has ever made more sense than the relationship I have with God today. While my husband is still not home yet, our relationship has been restored upon a foundation of Jesus Christ. I have no doubt that without Rise Above Ministries and the Freedom Community meetings we would still be on a dark path. Growing in my identity in Christ has helped my children, and my husband, grow in theirs as well. Had I not come across that Facebook ad, I would still be angry with God. Our community is so blessed to have Rise Above Ministries to help others walk out of bondage and into peace, joy, and freedom. The kind of peace, joy and freedom that only our Heavenly Father can bring us.
Freedom Community, Norman
When I started Freedom Community in November of 2017, I was taking two of my friends/family members who both had addiction problems. I wasn't really planning on getting much out of this class. My friends lasted about 6 months, but I continued to stay. The way Bobby and Ronette describe your true identity of Christ has really helped me. I had a lot bottled up inside of me from when I was young and molested by my own father. I was a drug addict until 16 years ago when my daughter was born. I had a spiritual awakening 4 years ago and also totally quit drinking that very day. But I knew the Lord wasn't finished with me. I had an identity crisis. as I stayed with the class, we dealt with a lot of issues on self-worth, pain, regrets, and release of these things. Since then, the Lord has opened up a whole new way for me and showed me who I am in Him. If it wasn't for this class, these parts of me would not have been dealt with in the right and proper way. So, I myself want to thank Rise Above Ministries for this class and letting Christ do the work in me. It's a process that you're always going through, and I know I can make it with Christ in my life each and every day, because I am free of bondage.
Freedom Community, Shawnee
I’ve had the unique opportunity of working with Bobby Wallace closer than many, due to the fact that he is my brother. So our relationship obviously goes back to the beginning, literally. Growing up, our dad taught us the trades of plumbing/heating & air conditioning, as well as remodel/new construction. Hard work, organization, dedication and commitment were all values instilled in us at a young age. Around 30 years ago, our parents also ventured into the ministry, as Pastors, which exposed my brother and I to a different kind of work, albeit just as hard, only more focused on serving the needs of others, while following Christ. All of the values we learned in life and the other trades, were needed and employed in ministry as well. Bobby worked alongside them and later with me in ministry and I worked alongside him in construction for many years. While serving as church administrator of the church I was leading, he demonstrated a “spirit of excellence” that is rare to say the least. I would later witness that same “spirit of excellence” on display as he built a company that impacted many lives, as well as the OKC Metro area. Nothing caught my attention however, like watching him and his wife endure incredible hardships in business, life and family, and see him “rise above” that which the enemy tried to heap on them. Did he stumble along the way? Of course, who among us hasn’t? He found himself in the battle of a lifetime with alcohol addiction…and for a while it threatened to take everything from him. At some point I saw Bobby & Ronette demonstrate incredible resolve and courage and they both dug deep into the foundational truths that had been instilled and began to identify with the Victory that was theirs in Christ. The struggle seemed to stretch out, but the turnaround was so quick and so strong, one couldn’t deny they had tapped into the love of the Father and it had energized every part of their lives. Now to watch them impact others lives with love, strength and resolve is nothing short of inspiring. The test became a testimony, the mess became a message of hope that God is now speaking through them!
Grace Center - Shawnee, OK
It’s an honor for me to write a few words about Ronette. Ronette has been an amazing, faithful, and creative supporting friend to me and the Women ’s Ministry of Victory Church. Over the years she has built an awesome decorating team of ladies who have designed large and small events She also mentors and leads a small group of ladies weekly that love her deeply. Ronette is real, compassionate and has a passion to see hurting people restored to be all that God has designed for them to be. As a pastors daughter she has a heritage of service and love for people, which is the driving force behind all she is.
Victory Church - Women's Ministry Director
I have had the honor of serving as Bobby and Ronette’s pastor for many years. Watching their testimony come to fruition has been an inspiration to not only myself, but our entire church. Rise Above Ministries is poised to make a great impact through the incredible testimony of Bobby and Ronette Wallace. 2 Corinthians 1:4 reads, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” I truly believe that their lives are a living testimony of how we are called to “rise above” the circumstances of this world and use it to bring glory to God by helping those around us. It is an honor to watch something that the enemy meant to harm them with become the very thing God uses to help set others free.
Pastor Jon Chasteen
Victory Church - Lead Pastor
Bobby and Ronette are the most generous and selfless people I’ve ever met. They truly are anointed in walking people through freedom from addiction as well as understanding their identity in Christ. They helped us understand the root of the issues we were dealing with so we could walk in freedom. Everything that they do and say is biblical and spirit led. When we were dealing with a relapse crisis I reached out to them and they immediately were available to meet with us. They understood where my husband and I were at because they had been there themselves, and genuinely cared and wanted to help us. They helped us set up a game plan and have walked with us throughout it. Our marriage and our family is stronger more now than ever. We are so thankful that they follow God’s call on their life in leading Rise Above Ministries.