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Peniel Ministries of Johnstown Celebrates Lives at Graduation Ceremony

Chris Moody delivers the keynote address during Peniel Ministries recent graduation ceremonies.

Late last month, Peniel Ministries of Johnstown, Pa., a residential drug and alcohol treatment ministry with ties to the Church of God, held their annual graduation weekend.

“This year’s festivities proved to be one of the most exciting and life-changing events of our 30 year history,” stated Durean Coleman, public relations director for Peniel.”The Peniel Board of Directors, staff, alumni, current clients and faithful supporters that were in attendance experienced a jam-packed weekend highlighted by some of the most influential and anointed speakers of the day. A capacity crowd celebrated with forty men and women who have successfully completed our rigorous thirteen month drug/alcohol treatment program. These individuals proudly walked down the Peniel aisle to receive their well earned diplomas. Graduates and their families testified to a captivated audience about the miraculous transformation and restoration power that was present during their treatment stay at Peniel.”

This year Peniel introduced a new component to the celebration weekend, The Peniel Community Champion’s Award. The honor is designed to recognize men and women who have made significant contributions and ground-breaking advancements toward the progress and development of their local community. Inaugural recipients were two judges who, according to Coleman, were “Men who have made an incredible impact in various states within the criminal justice system.” Recipients were The Honorable Gerard Long, Senior Judge of Cambria County and The Honorable Timothy Creany, President Judge, of Cambria County.

Peniel Chairman Mike Baker opened the Friday night service. The Peniel Board of Directors were in attendance, lending their support to the weekend’s events. WJAC-TV News Anchorman Marty Ronovanic served as Master of Ceremony. A piano duo concert by Henry Davis, Assistant Pastor and Minister of Music at Peniel Praise Community Church and Mark Payne, Minister of Music of The Church Without Walls inTampa, Florida, was a highlight of the evening. Mark Williams, Church of God General Overseer, defined the name “PENIEL” and ended his remarks by sanctioning the positive relationship formed with the Cambria County Court System.

Bishop Chris Moody, Senior Pastor of the South Cleveland Church of God in Cleveland, Tenn., was the keynote speaker for the Saturday commencement service. His challenging message was entitled Your Setback, Is A Setup, For A Comeback.

The graduation weekend concluded with an anointed word from Bill Isaacs, State Overseer of Ohio. According to Coleman, Isaacs’, “transparency and earnestness in delivering his message (Our Desires) struck a familiar chord within the hearts of the congregation. He spoke frankly about the struggles we face as a result of devoting ourselves to a committed life. He also carefully painted a ‘word portrait’ of the rewards and benefits of a life that has sold out to Christ.” Altars were filled and even extended down the aisles of the sanctuary following the message.

According to Coleman, “Words cannot accurately explain the atmosphere or the experience of a Peniel graduation. You just have to attend one for yourself. As the graduates are setting out on a new course in life, the staff are reminded that the last thirteen months were not in vain. Graduation is everyone’s payday.”

Peniel is a licensed intensive, residential rehabilitation program with the primary purpose of professionally and effectively treating men and women eighteen years of age or older, who struggle with chronic substance abuse. The overall goal of Peniel is to see men and women’s broken lives restored and truly delivered. Peniel’s aim is to send clients back into their communities prepared to live sober lives of integrity and purpose.

To learn more about Peniel, or if you know of a prospective client, call 814-536-2111 or visit the website,

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