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Men of Nehemiah is an All-Male Residential Recovery Program in South Dallas

Ervin Lee of Southlake is a successful marketing executive, author, and DFW radio personality. He co-hosts the radio program and podcast “From Beer to the Bible” on 100.7 FM The Word every Saturday at 8 p.m. 

Lee also works as a spiritual coach and consultant for Fortune 500 executives, leaders, and pastors. Lee is the picture of success. He is also a recovering alcoholic. The former liquor store owner has been sober for eight years. And he uses lessons he has learned to help other men who are battling addiction. 

“Being a Mentor is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life,” said Lee. “I know what it’s like to need help. This is my opportunity to give back. The main obstacle to building trust is getting a man to be real and authentic. You have to be a good listener.”

Lee currently mentors two men who are in treatment at Men of Nehemiah, a nine-month long, all-male addiction treatment center that combines Biblical discipleship with professional counseling and military discipline. Lee isn’t the only man who has faced addiction. 

Originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, Kenneth is not a typical down and out addict. “I didn’t come from under a bridge,” Kenneth said recently. In fact, he has a bachelor’s degree in theology. “I’ve been married for 15 years. My wife and I met in church. We grew together in church. I have grandkids. I had a drug problem that I tried to hide from my wife and children. It ain’t so easy to quit. I’ve been through rehab before. I went to one in San Antonio, but they didn’t have the resources Men of Nehemiah does. This organization gives me the tools I need and the opportunity to use the God in me.”

Lee said, “The first time I hung out with Kenneth, I knew I needed to establish a relationship with him. I wanted him to know he wasn’t just talking to a guy who read about life in a book. You’re sitting across from a man who’s made all the mistakes you have, and most times a few that you haven’t made.”

“We’ve been like glue ever since,” Kenneth says of Lee as a mentor. “He gave me what I need, man. He’s been through some things just like I have. So, he ain’t telling me nothing he ain’t been through himself.”

Lee’s other mentee, Blake, came to Texas from Chicago. “I came to Men of Nehemiah because I was struggling with meth. But what I was struggling with more than drugs was an identity. I didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be. As crazy as it sounds, I let my culture and rap music raise me. I got all my values from places that weren’t sound. I was just lost.”

Blake looks at Lee and sees a life he wants. “One day we were in his car and he started talking about our future like it was already here. I know he’s going to put me in a community and I know he’s going to be around. I didn’t say anything about it. I just let it flow. But that was a big deal to me. He’s just a random man. But he’s a man of God. And he started treating me like family without even knowing it. It just flowed so naturally. I knew it was real. Being able to have a community with him is important. Because the community I created for myself was no good.”

Men of Nehemiah offers men a nine-month residential recovery program that seeks to restore lives that have been derailed by drug and alcohol addiction. The objective is to help each man become the person God intended him to be and reunite him with his loved ones and community.

“Mentorship is huge,” said Jim Ramsey, CEO at Men of Nehemiah. “A lot of men have rebuilt the values they held. Mentors give them confidence. They are good listeners. A mentor is really just a friend with a purpose.”

In 1994, Pastor Louis Harrell, a former US Army Colonel, founded Men of Nehemiah in New Orleans to deliver his wayward son, Louis Harrell, Jr., from the grip of addiction. After being restored, Louis Jr. relocated to North Texas, where he launched Men of Nehemiah in South Dallas with the help of Roger McCasland, President and CEO of Operation Relief Center.

Today, Men of Nehemiah has helped more than 1,500 men find paths to recovery. Research compiled in 2022 affirmed that 61% of men who graduated from Men of Nehemiah prior to 2020 stayed sober for at least two years. Of the men who graduated from the program in 2022, 100% were employed when they left the program, and each man had a savings account. More information is available at menofnehemiah.org.

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