Welcome to Freedom that Lasts

What is Freedom that Lasts?

Freedom That Lasts is a Christ-centered, Bible-based, local-church-focused discipleship ministry to those who are enslaved in life-dominating sins or overcome by hurtful events of life. 

Man stuck in addiction sitting on a couch with his hand to his forehead

Sufferers and Sinners

We understand that addicts are sufferers who have chosen to respond to their suffering through the use of addictive behaviors of all sorts. Viewing men and women struggling with addiction through this lens allows for sympathy while holding them accountable to Gospel-driven standards. We have found that this approach equips non-addicts and addicts to be able to come together for encouragement, support, and biblical discipleship.

History

  • 2008-2009

    Jim Berg became acquainted with Winn Freeman, a former drug addict who came to Christ and launched a discipleship ministry, Wisdom in Living Life, in Greenville, SC. Winn taught seminars in churches in the area on drug awareness and the power of the Gospel to change lives. He taught weekly classes to addiction sufferers and counseled them individually. Winn constantly reminded Jim that churches should do more to reach the addiction sufferers in their communities and in their churches. Jim’s burden to reach these men and women increased as a result of these conversations. 

  • Spring 2010

    In the Spring of 2010, Jim researched the current biblical counseling materials to see how the movement addressed addiction. Soon afterwards, Jim met with his pastor, John Monroe, to discuss the possibilities of an outreach and discipleship addiction ministry at Faith Baptist Church (Taylors, SC). Pastor Monroe was immediately supportive, and they began praying that God would make this kind of ministry a reality. 

  • Summer 2010

    God brought several people struggling with addiction across Jim’s path. Terrance, the first, had been in & out of facilities & programs with no relief. Jim met regularly with him. 

    Terrance introduced Jim to others in his apartment complex. Jim met with them throughout the summer. They began attending Faith Baptist Church with Jim & Pat. When Jim returned to teaching that fall, he moved his discipleship efforts to weekly meetings at the church. Terrance had strongly suggested that the group meet on Friday nights because it would help them get through the weekend without falling. 

    Within a few weeks God brought 25 men & women who wanted help with overwhelming life challenges to Friday night meetings, and Freedom That Lasts was officially born. Jim began writing lessons & curriculum for the attendees.

    Pastor Monroe encouraged church members to welcome those attending services as a result of Freedom That Lasts and to get involved in FTL curriculum for their own spiritual growth. Church members began bringing addicted co-workers and family members to FTL & church services. 

     

  • Early 2011

    As the ministry grew, Pastor Monroe championed a budget allocation for the expenses of the growing ministry and made church transportation available for attendees who had no other means to get to FTL and church services. Many of these church members became volunteers in the ministry and were trained as Care Group Leaders, while others drove vans, cooked meals, helped with record-keeping, set up for the Friday night meetings, and cleaned the building afterwards. In short, Freedom That Lasts became an integral part of Faith Baptist Church, not just individual discipleship efforts of Jim and Pat. 

  • November 2011

    Jim revised and published the first level of a discipleship curriculum. As the ministry continued to grow, Pastor Monroe approved hiring an experienced ministry couple part-time to help Jim and Pat get the program launched. This freed Jim to work on developing the rest of the curriculum while the new local director handled the weekly details of the growing ministry. 

    Pastor Monroe also approved the hiring of a part-time secretary/graphic designer, Sarah Forsythe (now Zobrist) to help with curriculum editing, design, and printing. She also aided Jim with the chartering process and support for a growing number of churches who expressed an interest in starting their own chapters of FTL. 

  • 2014 - 2015

    Freedom that Lasts released the first two levels of a Teen curriculum in 2014. In 2015, Jim Berg developed an institutional version of Level 1 to be used in prisons and detention centers.

  • 2016

    Sarah served as the FTL secretary until 2016 when she was married to Jeremy Zobrist and moved out of the area. Sarah now serves on the FTLM board. Her position was filled by Tammy Hunter who has filled book orders and supported chapters until 2022. 

  • 2017

    Dr. Jim Berg developed a video seminar, “Helping Others Overcome Addiction” in order to train local church volunteers to counsel those being reached in their Freedom that Lasts chapters.

  • 2020

    Before the 2020 COVID pandemic, the weekly attendance had climbed to 100+ every week. During the shutdown, teaching and weekly meetings were held via online streaming platforms.

  • 2021

    After 10 years of effective ministry and with Pastor Monroe’s blessing, Jim and Marshall Franklin, a businessman and ACBC-certified biblical counselor, moved the headquarters of Freedom That Lasts out of Faith Baptist Church and into a non-profit organization, Freedom That Lasts Ministries (FTLM). A five-member board provides direction and oversight as FTLM seeks to equip churches to reach their communities with the good news that Jesus Christ is the only source of freedom that lasts.

  • 2022

    Ben Marshall, D.Ed.Min, joined FTLM as the full-time executive director. Ben is an ACBC-certified counselor and fellow and has 25 years of rich ministry experience in counseling those suffering from addiction. In his previous ministry Ben helped start a men’s and a women’s recovery home. 

    He and his operational assistant, Bekah Betancourt, provide support for FTL chapters while Ben and Jim develop further training and teaching materials for the growing number of chapters worldwide. 

Leadership

Freedom That Lasts Board of Directors sitting around a conference table

Operations

Headshot of Dr Ben Marshall | Executive Director of Freedom That Lasts - a Bible-based addiction ministry

Dr. Ben Marshall

Executive Director

Ben is an ACBC-certified Fellow and served for 15 years as the Counseling Pastor at Canyon Hills Community Church near Seattle, Washington. He holds a BA in Psychology, an MA in Biblical Counseling from The Master’s College, a Doctorate of Educational Ministry from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as a specialization in addiction and reconcilation counseling . Ben started a counseling ministry in his local church from the ground up and established it as an ACBC-Certified Training Center. Ben also founded two resident addiction recovery facilities—Damascus House for Men in 2015 and the Damascus House for Women in early 2022. His experience and passion for soul care has made him a great fit for his current role as the Executive Director of Freedom That Lasts. In his free time, Ben enjoys fishing and housework/mini-farming. He and his wife Cory have eight children (infant to young adult).

Headshot of Bekah Betancourt | Operational Assistant for Freedom that Lasts ministries

Bekah Betancourt

Operational Assistant

Bekah lives in Oldsmar, Florida, with her husband, Tim, who is the Director of Student Ministries at Keystone Bible Church. She has a masters degree in biblical counseling and is certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Bekah loves serving in her church alongside her husband in the Student Ministry as well as on the Communication Team as the church Digital Marketing Specialist. In her spare time, you will likely find her baking desserts, hiking, writing, thrifting, or exploring Tampa Bay with her husband. She is beyond grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Freedom That Lasts and to help make a difference in lives for eternity.


Board Members

Headshot of Marshall Franklin | Chairman of the Freedom That Lasts Board of Directors

Marshall Franklin
Chairman of the Board

Marshall, chairman of the board, is a global client service managing director at EY and chairman of the board of Freedom That Lasts Ministries. He has served at EY for a combined 26 years and also served as COO at Bob Jones University for seven years. At EY he leads the coordination of services to key accounts, was a founding team member of the risk practice, and completed tours of service in Bristol, England and Paris, France. He is an ordained minister and is certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors serving as a counselor and chairman of the deacon board at Faith Baptist Church in Taylors, SC. He and his wife, Lecia live in Greenville, SC. hey have three adult children and a granddaughter.

Headshot of Jim Berg | Vice Chairman of Freedom That Lasts - a biblical addiction ministry

Jim Berg
Vice Chairman

Jim is a professor of biblical counseling at BJU Seminary and is the founder and vice chairman of the board of Freedom That Lasts Ministries. He holds a doctor of ministries degree in biblical counseling from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is certified by the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and holds an Addiction Specialist designation with them. He is also holds Advanced Certification with the Association of Biblical Counselors and is a Commissioned Addiction Biblical Counselor with The Addiction Connection. He serves as a counsel member for the Biblical Counseling Coalition. Jim is an author whose works can be viewed at www.JimBerg.com . He and his wife, Pat, who is also an ACBC-certified biblical counselor, live in Taylors, SC. They have three married daughters and eleven grandchildren.

Headshot of Jim Newcomer | Board Member of Freedom That Lasts - a Biblically -based addiction ministry

Jim Newcomer
Board Member

Jim Newcomer, DMin., has served as the Senior Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Ypsilanti, Michigan, since October of 2016. He and his wife, Lorie, were married in 1989 and now have 3 adult children and two grandchildren. He entered pastoral ministry in 1994 and has served as a youth pastor (6 years) and an executive pastor (11 years). He has also held two senior pastorates--in North Carolina (5 years) and now in Michigan. In addition to pastoral ministry, Jim has been teaching pastoral theology and biblical counseling on both the undergraduate and graduate levels in several institutions since 2000. Jim is a certified biblical counselor with both the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors and the Association of Biblical Counselors. His hobbies include collecting pocket knives (especially Buck and Benchmade Knives), reading, outdoors, fishing, and shooting. And his favorite teams are all preceded by the word “Detroit.”

Headshot of Sarah Zorbrist | Board Member for Freedom That Lasts - a Bible-based addiction ministry

Sarah Zobrist
Board Member

Born and raised in South Carolina, Sarah Zobrist loved drawing from a very young age. Over the years she honed her skill and graduated with a studio art degree in 2004. After college, her art took a back seat while she worked as a graphic designer/counselor at a Christian camp in California. For six years, she was the college girl’s dorm counselor. In 2010, her Crohn’s Disease flared up and forced her to move back to South Carolina. While there, she was able to renew her practice of art and opened a studio at the Taylors Mill. In 2016, she met and married her husband, Jeremy, and moved to her husband's home in Illinois. Once the dust settled, she began to create art again. Resin began to take the forefront in her work in 2017 and has grown to be her favorite medium with which to work. Her husband is her greatest supporter, and her little girl is her greatest inspiration.

Headshot of Michelle Berg Radford | Board Member for Freedom That Lasts - a Christian addiction ministry

Michelle Berg Radford
Board Member

Michelle is an artist and educator living in Taylors, SC. She holds an MFA in Painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Michelle teaches college painting, fiber arts, and foundations courses. Michelle is a co-founder of the Leaf Institute of Art and Vocation. Michelle lives with her husband, Paul, and three young children and is passionate about weaving together art and daily life as a wife and mother of three.

Freedom that Lasts founder and group listening to former addict share a testimony of victory at a weekly meeting

Get in Touch

Headquarter Mailing Address:

110 King Arthur Drive
Piedmont, SC 29673 USA

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