Gary Browning is an author, counselor, speaker, and pastor serving in ministry since 1970. He has made it his life mission to serve God by helping people recover from addictive, compulsive, and dysfunctional behaviors that keep them from being all that God intends them to be.
Gary answered God’s call and was ordained as a Southern Baptist minister in 1970. He was instrumental in the planting of Atlanta Covenant Church in 1972, were he served until 1986. Charles Simpson, Gary’s pastor once said, “Your character can tear down in a day what has taken a lifetime of talent to build up.” This happened to Gary when he was introduced to alcohol. After hurting many people in his life, he finally admitted he was an alcoholic. This is where recovery started. Broken, and knowing that self-modification alone would not suffice Gary surrendered to God. He was restored through the 12-step process and submitted to the counsel of his pastor and church.
After beginning his recovery from alcoholism in 1991, Gary began Discovery Groups - a support ministry for rehabilitation and spiritual healing. The name is derived from an impression made upon him that “Recovery is really a Discovery”. He also served as the resident manager/chaplain for The Shoulder Alcohol Drug and Treatment Center until 1994. It was there under the mentorship of Phillip Drane and others that Gary envisioned launching the Discovery Group Inc. to support his growing ministry of helping other recovering people and their families in Mobile and Baldwin Counties, Alabama.
In the late 1990’s after bringing together a Board of Directors, Discovery Group Inc. was birthed and recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation. Under the name Discovery Family Ministries this ministry has continued to experience God’s favor.
In 2005, after working for 13 years with those in recovery, Gary realized three things: First, relapse and recidivism was rampant. Secondly, over half of the clients he ministered to had already completed one or more treatment programs. Thirdly, there is enough head knowledge in them to start their own treatment programs. What was missing? He recognized that many clients knew the Twelve Steps were of God, but often they had not discovered an intimate relationship with the God of the Twelve Steps. He knew it was a personal relationship with God the clients were missing. He was led to write, Beyond Recovery - A fresh look at the 12 steps from a Biblical, Christ Centered Perspective.
Today Gary presents Biblical recovery messages at Home of Grace for Woman, Wings of Life, and The Shoulder. He also leads the "Hooked on Helping" Seminar, addressing co-dependency and continues to speak weekly in various ministry venues. He says, “When we surrender to God, the latter end is better than the former”!
Gary lives in Daphne, AL with his wife Linda, whom he refers to as God’s “redemptive gift.” She is a vital part of his ministry, participating with him, especially at the Home of Grace for Women. He has also seen God restore his relationship with his five children.
Gary has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling from Cornerstone University with an emphasis in Addictionology, and is a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor by the National Christian Counselors Association.