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franklin county times

Place of Grace receives land donation for women’s rehabilitation center

For Jocelynn James Edmonds, the desire to open a faith-based rehab center for women who want help to break free of addiction is a personal one. All she has needed was a building in which to house her ministry.

Now she is one step closer, thanks to a donation of land from the Community Church at Hackleburg.

Edmonds fell into drug addiction after taking legally-prescribed pain medication given to her over the course of several surgeries. She turned herself in after seeing her mugshot on the Alabama’s Most Wanted list on television. By that point, she had accumulated 17 felonies and nine misdemeanors over the course of five years.

She was incarcerated and in rehab for a year. “I surrendered my life to God,” said Edmonds. “When I came home, I knew my calling was to help other women like me. I have been free from addiction since Nov. 5, 2012.”

Her personal ministry, The Place of Grace has operated as a nonprofit since 2018. The lack of a building has not stopped her from doing everything she can to help as many as possible. She said she has now helped more than 1,000 women.

“All we are missing now is a building,” said Edmonds. “I’m so thankful that the church we attend, Community Church at Hackleburg, wants to partner with us and get other churches to as well. They’re donating the land for us to build the Place of Grace Center in Hackleburg.”

The Place of Grace and the Community Church at Hackleburg made the partnership official Sunday with a special announcement and presentation at the church.

“We are excited to team up with The Place of Grace to take the next steps toward fully realizing Jocelynn’s God-given vision to rescue souls from the clutches of addiction,” said Joshua Lynn, pastor of Community Church at Hackleburg.

“This is God’s doing,” added Edmonds. “We have monthly donors, and we have applied for a million-dollar grant that is in review. By the end of August, we’ll learn whether we will receive the grant.”

In 2020 Edmonds donated a kidney to save the life of Terrell Potter, a retired Phil Campbell police officer who had arrested her more than once while she was battling an opioid addiction and dealing with related charges.

“Since the donation, the story has been covered all over the world,” said Edmonds, “and people have donated because of that. What’s so amazing is that the Lord arranged for an ex-con to save the life of a cop. I’m a testament to what can happen when someone allows God to work in their life.”

It was also in 2020 that she married Greg Edmonds, who is also in recovery. “He supports me in all God allows me to do,” Edmonds said. He works with family friend Daniel Greene to help men who are seeking to break free of addiction.

“The Place of Grace has made such a big impact in my life,” said Whitney Pickett Lindsey. “I actually went to rehab twice. Jocelynn wanted me to go to an eighth-month program in Birmingham, but I just wanted to go to a 30-day program and be done with it.

“I was only clean for a year and a half, and then I relapsed, but she was right. I ended up going to a faith-based rehab in Birmingham. Within three days, I re-dedicated my life to the Lord. I’ve now been clean over two years.”

Each woman who has been helped by Edmonds and The Place of Grace has her own story of redemption.

“It took me a long time to even realize I had a problem,” said Mindy Woodard. “Jocelynn is the one who drove me to the Lovelady Center in Birmingham.

“There’s so much more to life than just seeking your next high. I got my kids back, and I have a good job. I don’t think any of that would have been possible if God hadn’t put Jocelynn in my life when I needed her.”

Edmonds is a Franklin County resident, and The Place of Grace helps women in Hackleburg as well as Franklin County and other areas. If the grant is awarded, the focus will be on Franklin, Marion and Winston counties – but that doesn’t mean The Place of Grace will not help others in need.

Edmonds said the grant would provide needed funds for operating costs and would allow both her and her husband to quit their jobs to work there full time.

She said even without the grant, she will be working in The Place of Grace center full time upon its completion.

“I have faith, and I believe,” said Edmonds. “I have said since 2014 that I will not have to pay for a building. It’s all God’s timing. He cleared the way.

“Our main focus is to get churches and people involved. There’s not an all-women’s facility within a 100-mile radius that’s faith-based.

“I know many lives will be changed through The Place of Grace and through Christ.”

Edmonds said she gets calls every single day from people looking to get the help they need to finally break free from addiction.

“I know it’s my calling in life,” Edmonds said. “That’s why my faith is so strong. I believe with everything in me that this is the calling God has for my life.

“In the beginning, I was a single mom straight out of rehab, without a job or car or even a license. I lived with mom, and I only had a phone and Facebook to get started, but God still put this calling before me.”

She said everywhere she goes, God puts a broken soul before her, and she is committed to doing everything she can to help as many as possible. She has even worked three and four jobs to be able to pay for others to go to rehab.

“The Place of Grace and Community Church at Hackleburg are of a united heart in our desire to see the broken restored, the hopeless become hope-filled and the spiritually lost to become found,” Lynn said. “We believe The Place of Grace to be doing the work of Jesus, and we are excited to team up to make Jocelynn’s vision for The Place of Grace become a reality.”

For more information about The Place of Grace, call 256-668-5390 or visit placeofgracecenter.com.

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