CLC, Emerge officials bless new pavilion


XENIA — Leaders at Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative and the Christian Life Center of Dayton gathered recently to bless the new pavilion recently constructed on the campus.

Emerge was granted $175,000 by the CLC for the project, which created an outdoor pavilion and basketball and pickleball courts. The outdoor wellness space will be utilized for counseling sessions, group activities, concerts, quiet meditation, and community gatherings.

During a ceremony attended by about 50 people, most of whom are in recovery themselves, several community leaders spoke before a prayer and blessing was given for the scenic outdoor space along West Enon Road.

“This is God’s work we’re doing here,” said Elaine Bonner, director of philanthropy at Emerge. “When I met the CLC team in 2021, they immediately believed in our big vision and dream. Their financial and volunteer support in our early days gave us so much hope. This church really digs in to support the community. This relationship continues to blossom and grow in so many ways. We appreciate the partnership.”

Stan Tharp, lead pastor at CLC, one of the largest churches in the Dayton area with 4,000 members — spoke during the ceremony as well.

“God has given each of us the life we have,” Tharp said. “He’s given us so much. The day we stand before him, he is going to ask, ‘What did you do with it?’ We have a fallen nature. We are selfish. We at CLC are honored we get to be a part of this. God puts a burden on your heart. It’s not an easy journey. God gives you a vision and then he teaches you to depend on Him, one day at a time. God, I confess my incompetence. I am not capable without you. This reduces stress. I am thrilled at what I see happening here. Satan thought he had you. He wants to kill your future. Destroy your dreams. Take your life. You can Emerge out of that here. Thank you for doing what you’re doing — for being a light and place of restoration and healing. We wish you all the best.”

During the ceremony, the crowd joined hands in a circle around the pavilion and Emerge founders Kip Morris, Chris Adams, and Doug Van Dyke added their prayers of thanksgiving.

After the ceremony, Tharp said his church looks to continue making investments into Emerge.

“We also want to see our people help here and volunteer,” he said. “Emerge will be a referral source for us when we come across people needing help. One thing I love about Emerge is the job training aspect, preparing people for a full life with skills, employment and income.”

Tharp said because of this, Emerge sets a person up for success.

To learn more about Emerge, contact Bonner at [email protected] or visit

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