“I fell in love with Kingsport,” he recalls. “I had been on the road for years and I thought ‘I’m old and tired. I want to leave this life on the road and settle down.”
Doug’s life had not been an easy one up to that point. Struggling with drug addiction and an unhappy marriage, he was saved, literally, by some caring friends who staged an intervention.
“In all honesty,” he says, “I should be dead. It’s all about grace. We don’t deserve forgiveness - we certainly haven’t earned it, but it is God’s gift to us, to give us a second chance to become what God wants us to be - happy, healthy, productive Christians.”
Doug Hallock Ministries has one main purpose - to spread the message of eternal life through salvation in Jesus Christ.
“We believe that Jesus Christ is the ONLY answer - there is no other,” he said.
Music is central to Doug’s ministry.
“I started writing music about what I knew best - me,” says Doug. “I write about the pain of addiction, the glory of salvation and the need to stay in recovery.”
He has released two CDs of music that he wrote before joining the band, Broken, with whom he released another two CDs.
“I left the band, though I still perform the music I wrote... It is a large part of how I communicate my message.”
That message, Get Real, is his ministry which has caught on in the Kingsport area, thanks in large part to the United Methodist Church. Similar to Celebrate Recovery and Celebrate Freedom, Get Real is a 12-step program, but with several significant differences: the large group gatherings are more interactive, less structured. There is no “set way” to give a testimony. Gatherings are designed to be uplifting and offer encouragements.
“We don’t want to build our own church - we want others to experience what works for us so that they can go back to their own churches to lead groups. We are powerless over addiction,” says Hallock. “Freedom is found through transparency about our stuff. And everybody has stuff.”
“Our desire is that this ministry, through testimony and song, will glorify the name of Jesus,” says Hallock. “That those who have ears to listen will find comfort and encouragement, and that God will use this ministry to touch the hearts of the hurting and lost. We encourage people not to be concerned about what others think about us. We just encourage them to talk openly about their struggles, fears and hope.”
Doug and his wife, Teri, who struggled with eating disorders, alcoholism and drug use, celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2012 and have a beautiful daughter, “a true gift,” says Teri. “But we are always in that recovery phase because anyone - anyone - can fall. It is an ongoing, intentional process, forever.”
Get Real is about transparency: owning the issues plaguing your life and taking steps to work through them and coming out the other side. Some of those issues are drug addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders, abuse, pornography, and anger.
Services are held at Colonial Heights United Methodist Church every Friday at 7 p.m. Anyone 16 years of age and older is invited to attend and participate. The service begins with large group, which includes music by a Praise Band, rock band, worship team, youth band or gospel singers; an inspirational message and testimony; a light snack ('Instead of cake and ice cream,' says Doug, 'we have apples'), then small group in which men meet with men and women with women. Each week there are different Praise Bands.
“We want to keep things less structured, so while there is always music, it is by a different group. That way, Doug says, no one group is identified as “The Band” and no one gets too “territorial.” And, again this is not a “startup” church. The Hallocks want people to be uplifted through this ministry and then return to their own church to offer this message to small groups.
Doug is currently working with several local United Methodist churches to build partnerships based on the Get Real ministry.
“Doug is a wonderful person, very upfront - he genuinely wants to help people be free from their addictions,” says the Rev. David Graves, Kingsport District Superintendent for the United Methodist Church. “We are excited about using his ministry to reach out to those who are hurting because of their addictions.”
For more information on Doug’s Ministry, his music, upcoming appearances and Get Real, visit www.doughallock.com or visit his Facebook page. Or simply attend one of the Friday evening gatherings at Colonial Heights United Methodist Church.