Charles and Sharon Burton, established the Overcomers Recovery Support Program in 1985 and co-authored the recovery workbook A Daily Choice, Overcoming Life-controlling Problems in 1989. Their lives illustrate God’s principles of restoration through victories over alcoholism, abuse, bitterness and a broken marriage.
From 1993 to 1995, the Burtons served as missionaries in the former communist country of Estonia, where they trained prison chaplains, established the first Christian ministry in the history of the prison system and taught Christian volunteers to mentor recovering alcoholics.
Emotional distress caused by childhood sexual abuse led Sharon to hide in alcoholism, but her personal road of recovery became lessons of victory to support groups around the world. Ordained to the ministry in 1987, Sharon traveled in prison ministry throughout the U.S., served on the Board of Directors of the Coalition of Prison Evangelists, and as Executive Director of the Overcomers Recovery Support program for 29 years. She developed the certification process for volunteers to facilitate Overcomers 12-step support groups and organized the filming of the 12-Step Classes and Leadership Training Program, which led to national and international growth of the program. She retired as Executive Director in July, 2015, but continues in ministry, counseling, teaching and promoting the program. Sharon is a gifted motivational speaker who inspires people to remain strong through adversity and rise from defeat to victory.
Charles Burton’s own struggle with alcoholism until age thirty supplied painful clarity of how addictions negatively affect families, and prompted him to earn his Master of Arts in addictive disease counseling. His 35 years of counseling experience include positions as associate and senior pastor, executive director of a 150-bed rehabilitation center for convicted felons, and personal mentoring of recovering addicts and alcoholics. He is a sensitive, discerning counselor, and skilled teacher.
Years of front-line experience with alcoholics, addicts, and their families led Charles to the conclusion that the best way to combat addiction is to imprint children’s minds with the dangers of addictive substances during their formative years. His new book Not Me! It’s a Trap is an exceptional presentation of colorful images and characters that will give young readers a clear advantage to respond appropriately when they are tempted to experiment with drugs.
The Burtons facilitate a weekly Overcomers group at their home church, Life United in Shreveport, LA, where they serve as counselors for families and individuals affected by addictions or incarceration.