A Christ-Centered Community committed to supporting people with mental health and substance use challenges in their recovery and wellness journeys through:

H ope,
O pportunity,
M ercy, and
E ncouragement

Serving Montgomery County, Illinois & the surrounding area

Vision, Mission, and Core Values

“The Lord your God Himself will cross over ahead of you.” Deuteronomy 31:3

“The Lord your God Himself will cross over ahead of you.” Deuteronomy 31:3

eight persons sit in circle holding hands with careful smiles

Vision Statement

Cross Over Ministries is a Christ centered community committed to supporting people in their mental health and substance use recovery and wellness journeys.

Cross Over Ministries is funded through events and donations from people like you. We are a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Mission Statement

We promote individual recovery and wellness through Hope, Opportunity, Mercy and Encouragement.

Core Values

Cross Over Ministries’ core values are Bible-based and provide the essence of who we are in Christ Jesus. He is our HOPE (confident expectation), and He gave us the OPPORTUNITY to live abundant lives through the MERCY He showed to us by dying on the cross for our sins. Our ENCOURAGEMENT through His Holy Spirit enables us to partner with Him in Kingdom purposes. Therefore as a Christ-Centered Community, we as members of Cross Over Ministries, will Cultivate Mental Health Opportunities by promoting individual recovery and wellness through:

Hope — Beginning the journey of recovery by accepting who you are and discovering who God created you to be.

May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope in the power of the Spirit. Romans 15:13

Opportunity — Fostering your optimal wellness by focusing on your spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, relational and educational need.

Be careful, then how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity. Ephesians 5:15-16a

Mercy — Building your self-esteem and respect by providing a haven of honesty, trust and forgiveness.

When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. Titus 3:4-5a

Encouragement — Continuing to help you actively pursue your God-given gifts and abilities so that you can inspire others to live a life of purpose.

Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. I Thessalonians 5:11


Our Beginnings

by Linda Liebscher, Past President

In October of 2017, I was privileged to meet 3 women whom, I did not know at the time, would be the encouraging force behind what would later become, “Cross Over Ministries”. AJ French, sole proprietor of Gift of Voice, introduced me to Nanette Larson, Director of Recovery Support Services, IDHS/Division of Mental Health who in turn, introduced me to Trenda Hedges, Wellness and Recovery Program Manager for the Illinois Mental Health Collaboration. I am not exactly sure how I met AJ although it is obvious, looking back, that the Lord had His hand of grace and influence on our relationship.

I had told AJ about my desire to have a Mental Health Seminar in Hillsboro, Illinois. It would be open to everyone in Montgomery County and beyond. She recommended I attend a similar event in the Metro East at the Shrine of our Lady of the Snows. It was there that we 4 ladies talked about my heart’s desire to bring hope to this community ravaged by suicide deaths, substance use, and lack of services and support for people with mental health conditions. They shared their thoughts, their expertise and their hearts and from that point on, work began on this Seminar later titled, “Embracing Hope.”

Not only did they continue to give me advice and refer me to people who should be presenters at the Seminar, they themselves attended and AJ and Nanette presented. There were almost 150 people in attendance on February 3, 2018, at the Embracing Hope Seminar. The Journal was kind enough to cover the event (see article below). It was a fulfilling day, and yet I knew it was just the start of what God wanted.

As a few months past, I felt a bit defeated and frustrated that the number of people who attended meetings after the Seminar to begin work on developing a Christ-Centered Mental Health Ministry dwindled. In June of 2018, I put a “Letter to the Editor” in the paper letting people know that if this community wanted a Christ-Centered Mental Health Ministry, then people needed to attend a meeting on June 26th at Calvary Baptist Church or this “vision” would not become a reality. That was a hard letter to write and it was even harder for me not to put several more articles and letters in the paper to stimulate awareness of the meeting. Yet, I knew that if this was going to be, it would take the Lord to make it happen and not Linda.

On June 26, 2018, ten people came to the meeting—and Cross Over Ministries was birthed! It has been a slow and persevering process, sometimes two steps forward and three steps back. But here we are—with several Board Members and volunteers who attended that first meeting in June and several more added Board Members and volunteers whom we are grateful have joined this Team. And there is more—much more—going on that you can read about right here on our website or on our Facebook Page.

Our beginnings were not dramatic, but they were filled with the power and grace of Jesus Christ. Moving forward, we do not know all that He has in store for this Ministry. This one thing we do know: it always has been and will be the Lord’s power and grace we depend upon and His Honor that we seek.

Seminar Embraces Hope In Mental Health Recovery

originally published by Hillsboro Journal-News, Sunday, February 4, 2018

“People like me get better,” Nanette Larson said, kicking off “Embracing Hope,” a seminar targeting mental health and addiction recovery Saturday morning and afternoon, Feb. 3, at Calvary Baptist Church in Hillsboro.

Larson, deputy director/ambassador for wellness and recovery for the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health, was the morning keynote speaker and AJ French, president and chief executive officer at Gift of Voice in Alton, was the afternoon keynote speaker.

Nanette Larson, deputy director/ambassador for wellness and recovery for the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health, spoke on spirituality and mental health recovery.

Using a definition of “recovery” developed by the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health in 2003, Larson said that often “the system doesn’t know the people in it can get better.”

That definition? “Recovery is the process by which people are able to live, work, learn and participate fully in their communities. For some individuals, recovery is the ability to live a fulfilling and productive life despite a disability. For others, recovery implies the reduction or remission of symptoms. Science has shown that having hope plays an integral role in an individual’s recovery.”

Larson emphasized “participate fully in their communities” and “hope,” linking recovery principles to those found in faith.

Pastor Randy Sands of Hillsboro Free Methodist Church was master of ceremonies, and before introducing Larson, introduced Trenda Hedges and “Warm Line Team” members who were available throughout the seminar for one-on-one conversations.

In addition to Larson and French, those at the seminar heard from Brent Miller, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1998 and in recovery since 2001. Pastor Jeff Hemken of Calvary Baptist Church in Hillsboro sang two songs he had written for the event and played a video from his daughter, Beth Hemken, on substance use disorder recovery. Marcia Liebscher, who teaches groups and individuals at Graham Correctional Center, described factors contributing to wellness, and prison counselor Lori Bergbower talked about prevention.

Pastor Hemken gave his perspective as a caregiver before three panel breakout sessions, and Linda Liebscher closed with a discussion about recovery moving forward.

Lunch was provided by volunteers from Calvary Baptist, Hillsboro Free Methodist, and Hillsboro United Methodist.

Pastor Sands thanked those who organized, spoke, and provided resource tables at the seminar, including Calvary Baptist Church for their hospitality and Linda Liebscher, who “has done the lion’s share of work” in preparation for the event.