©2018 BY CITY OF REFUGE NORTHWEST GEORGIA. 

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11638 HWY 27 Suite 6 Summerville, Ga 30747

FIRST STEP TO FREEDOM

A Ministry to Families in Crisis

From humble beginnings, First Step to Freedom has grown into a vibrant ministry providing transitional housing, life skills, parenting classes, 12-step programs, and mentoring for women and children.

Philippians 4:19

...and my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

LIFE SKILLS CLASSES & MENTORING

Financial Planning
Career Planning
Social Skills
Interpersonal Skills
Household Setup

PARENTING

CLASSES

Active Parenting Certified Trainers

TRANSITIONAL

HOME

Supporting women exiting prison & rehab by:

  • Teaching women to live independently of government and dependently on God.

  • Assisting with employment identification & money management.

OUR TEAM

RUSS & MISTY BLACKWELL

Ministry Directors

Russ is the Executive Director of First Step and he owns his own construction business and is a minister. Misty worked for the Chattooga County Board of Education as Director of Finance, and left her job in 2016 to devote full-time to the ministry.  Misty is the Director of Women’s Minsitry . They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren and have lived in Chattooga County all their lives.  Misty has a heart for people with addictions.  Her own mother was addicted to drugs most of her life.  Her mother was saved by the grace of Jesus Christ and delivered from drugs including meth.  She has been drug free for 14 years.  Her mother is also involved in the ministry.  They are members of New Generations Church in Summerville, GA where they work with the Youth and Russ is the Assistant Pastor.

PHILIP & BECKY LAWRENCE

Life Skills & Facilities Directors

Philip and Becky are our Life Skills and Facilities Director.  Philip worked for a Perdue as a maintenance technician, and retired in April 2016 to ministry full-time.  Becky retired from a Kansas based company, Huhtamaki as Director of Customer Service after 30 years.  They moved to Georgia, from Kansas, after a call on their lives to work with at risk youth.  They were foster parents in Kansas and had the privilege of working with the entire family to bring about restoration.  Becky served as President of the Foster Parent Advisory Board in Kansas and they became  a SAFE Family in 2015.  They have 4 children, and 6 grandchildren.  Although they moved here from Kansas their roots are southern and lived most of the lives in neighboring DeKalb County Alabama.  They are members of Subligna Baptist Church, Gore-Subligna where they serve on the Discipleship Leadership Team and SS Teachers to the Young Couples Class.