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A church for the broken and hurting (reporting from Fort Worth, Texas): In urban Fort Worth, a 123-year-old congregation enjoys a spiritual revival as it ministers to wounded souls. 

FORT WORTH, Texas — Some in the group have been sober for years. Others measure recovery in days, not weeks.

A few still smell like alcohol.

To measure the heartbeat of the Southside Church of Christ, go to the HOPE class.

HOPE — which stands for Heavenly Options for Pain and Emptiness — meets right after the Sunday morning worship assembly.

Part adult Bible study, part 12-step Christian recovery group, the class draws a ragtag collection of addicts, ex-convicts and street people — all focused on the healing power of Jesus Christ.

“When you go to the hospital, you don’t have to confess you have a disease, do you?” group leader Dan Leaf asks the more than 60 struggling souls. “The church is a hospital for sinners.”

His words inspire an enthusiastic round of clapping and amens.

“Falling down is not as bad as not getting up,” Leaf assures the group. “It doesn’t matter how many times we fall down — God is walking us home.”

This story appears in the May 2015 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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