ELIZABETHTOWN — After far more than 1,000 battles shoulder-to-shoulder with individuals against drug addiction, the director of Carolina Crossroads will soon be stepping down.
David Chestnutt, director of the drug rehabilitation center Carolina Crossroads, is leaving the site at the end of December. Chestnutt has been the head of the facility since it opened in 2015.
“The Bible tells us about God using little David to take down Goliath,” Chestnutt explained. “When all the others were standing around shaking in their boots, David said, ‘I’ll take care of this.’
“That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do, is be bold for the Lord, and I’ve spent the last 13 years taking on the big, bad giant of drug addiction.”
Chestnutt has fought the battle more than 1,000 times. In the almost three years Chestnutt has been at Crossroads, 423 fathers, husbands, sons, and friends have come through the 42-day program.
Prior to his time at Crossroads, Chestnutt headed up Open Door Ministries, a drug rehabilitation center in Sampson County. He held the position for 10 years before moving it to Bladen County under the auspices of the Bladen Baptist Association.
Going into battle almost 1,500 times has taken its toll on the minister.
“This type of ministry really has a lot of wear and tear on you, and it’s a lot of responsibility,” Chestnutt explained. “One thing I’ve always said is every family that walks through the door, it’s like someone going to the ER from an auto accident — it’s total devastation. The average person might have that happen at most two or three times a year. We see it every single day. It’s just tiring, constant trauma, over and over.”
Though the work itself may be mentally and emotionally exhausting, Chestnutt was quick to point out the rewards of the ministry to which he’s devoted the last 13 years.
“Over 60 percent of the guys that I’ve seen are still clean,” he commented. “I’m proud of that, but it’s nothing about me; it’s all about Jesus Christ. The Bible says if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains, and it doesn’t matter if the mountain is addiction or anything else — all it takes is faith.”
The director will be exchanging the world of chemical bondage for the kingdom of spiritual freedom. Chestnutt leaves Crossroads to assume a pastoral position at a Southern Baptist church in North Carolina.
“The Lord’s calling me to be a pastor,” he emphasized. “We have so many preachers, and they’re worried about growing their churches. I just want to love people and be the type that helps people fix a lawn mower or helps someone with the roof. I just want to be the hands and feet of Jesus.”
Taking the Crossroads helm in the interim will be Kincy Barrow, pastor of White’s Creek Baptist Church. Barrow has served on the board of directors for the rehabilitation center since its inception. Barrow will serve until a permanent director is found by the Bladen Baptist Association.
“We have gotten several resumés, which is as it should be, so we can have a variety of people to choose from,” said David Foster, associational missionary for the Baptist association. “It takes a big commitment, and we want to be sure we’re following the Lord’s leading.”
Southeastern Carolina Crossroads is a 24-bed residential treatment center for men battling drug or alcohol addiction. The 42-day program is housed on 400 acres of wilderness off Susie Sand Hill Road between White Lake and Garland.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.