Alumnus Teams Up with Fellow Pastor to Fight the Opioid Crisis

After a tragic weekend over the summer involving three deaths of young adults from overdoses, Alumnus Pastor Ryan Bennett (MDiv ’03) teamed up with fellow local pastor, Michael Ruttlen Sr., to help fight the spread of addiction within their community of Lebanon, Tennessee. One of the overdose victims who passed away was Pastor Ruttlen’s godson. Due to these tragic events, Bennett and Ruttlen created Drug Free Wilco, a coalition that will fight opioid misuse and addiction within their community of Wilson County, Tennessee.

Pastor Bennett (in red) and Pastor Ruttlen (in white) gather with others before an event.

The two churches combined on August 10th to do a grocery giveaway for their community in which 150 families were given food. In the food packages, the coalition included opioid resource information to all the families during this event. It was a huge success, and they plan for many more events like this in the future.

For the full news segment and for more information on their efforts, please click here.

For more information on the coalition and for updates, visit their site here.

If you or someone you love is suffering from an opioid addiction and are in need of counseling, recovery, or more information, please call these hotlines available to you or visit their websites:

National Drug Helpline: 1-844-289-0879

SAMHSA (Substance Asbuse and Mental Health Services Administration: 1-800-622-HELP (4357)

Above the Influence:

We are very proud of Pastor Bennett’s efforts along with Pastor Ruttlen. They are moving in their community and being the arms and feet of Jesus to provide assistance and support to those who need it, whether it be by feeding them physically, mentally, or spiritually. Let’s be in prayer for them, DrugFree Wilco, volunteers in the organization, their community, and those who are suffering from this epidemic around the globe.

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