Women & Work
Work Done Well: Brittany Seachrist
Managing Director of Humble House Ministries
Brittany Seachrist serves as Director of Humble House Ministries in Tallahassee, Florida which is a twelve month faith based recovery program for women. Previous to working at Humble House, Brittany worked as a Case Manager at Bethel Village, a Recovery Program in Panama City, Florida for five years. Brittany has been involved in addiction ministry for six years after God delivered her from a ten year drug addiction in her own life. She holds a certification as a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist through the Florida Board and also a certified counselor for Genesis Process: A Relapse Prevention Counseling tool. Brittany also ministers at Gadsden Correctional Facility and has ministered at the Bay County Jail through a ministry called Most Excellent Way. Brittany has been married to her husband Kyle since August 2020 and they both have children, Kayden who is nine and Kiley who is seven. In her spare time, she likes to be outdoors, reading, and spending time with her family.
Brittany, thank you so much for being with us today. Please share with us a bit of your story and how God is transforming lives through Humble House in Tallahassee, Florida.
God has just been so faithful to use every bad thing that I’ve ever experienced or gone through, even to my own demise to turn it around and use it for his glory and for the good of others. Just a little bit about me first. I came from a background of church and a good home life, but kind of got lost along the way, trying to just fit in. As I grew up and was in middle school and high school I was trying to find the right crowd who would accept me while in the meantime my parents were getting divorced and having to work all the time. I was just trying to find what I was missing. That led to a lifestyle of drug abuse. It wasn’t abuse at first, it was partying and then later in my life, as I was a senior in high school in 2007, that’s really when my drug abuse started. I was in full-fledged addiction by the age of 19 years old.
But I knew the Lord and I felt that tug on my heart. I knew that he had better plans for my life. That tug was just perpetual throughout my whole entire addiction. It wasn’t until in 2015 that he took everything away from me and I faced homelessness. I wasn’t cut out for that so I quickly got into a program, but, I faced a lot of really desolate places and can use that to relate to what God has me doing now with Humble House. I think it’s powerful when you talk to somebody who doesn’t look like they’ve been through what you’re going through but they can speak into that with a passion and with a hope and a belief that you are able to overcome it. I’m just so grateful that I get to minister to others with all that I’ve been through.
Humble House was started in September of 2020. It was born after another program that I went into in 2015. I served under the leadership of Rachel Duvall who is now our CEO and founder of Humble House. When I went through a recovery program, I had known Rachel for a long time. God used her and has been using her as a leader for me to look up to and she has been someone who has mentored me. Once I got clean and fully surrendered my whole life to the Lord, Rachel and I worked together at the Panama City Rescue Mission, which had a faith based women’s recovery program. She was the Director of the Women’s campus-Bethel Village. I worked for her from 2017 to 2020. When COVID hit we had a new CEO and it was evident that he was going in a different direction than where our heart’s desire was to follow the Lord. We had started praying about our own program and meanwhile, I began dating my husband who lived in Tallahassee, Florida. We didn’t know when or how or what, but we knew we had that desire in our hearts to have our own program. I went on to marry my husband and moved to Tallahassee shortly after I lost my job at the Rescue Mission. Rachel continued to pursue the 501C3 status for Humble House and it was finally launched in September of 2020 in Panama City. It was an awesome thing but I was so sad because I couldn’t be a part of it because geographically I lived somewhere else.
I just started to pray and had the idea of having a Humble House in Tallahassee. In May of 2021 I was presented with an opportunity to have the house we are currently in. The pastor of Tallahassee Heights United Methodist Church called me and said, “Hey, I know you have a heart for women and I have this house coming available. Do you want it?” I went on to present all the information to Rachel who then presented it to her board and they approved it. We opened as a transitional recovery house in June of 2021 and since then we have seen a need to be able to provide a full care residential program. I had many women that came my way that couldn’t survive doing a transitional recovery. They weren’t at that place. It became evident to us that we needed to shift some things around and so we started a twelve month faith-based residential program in October of last year.
What are some challenges that you have experienced in starting Humble House and how have you seen God at work around you despite them? How has God used the relationships that you have developed in challenging times for his glory?
Oh, challenges! They create so much character in us. I would say the biggest challenge, which also is sort of in a way, a relief is that God has set it up to where I literally am so dependent upon him for everything. I’ve only lived in the Tallahassee area for two years. My network of people and support was literally non-existent. I see now that while I was dating my husband I was able to meet different people at different places and how God has woven those relationships to come back around. God was always setting those things up which proves that Ephesians 3:20 is so true. “ Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
I really have the most solid volunteer group. And that was one of the insurmountable tasks. It’s like, how do you get really solid Christians to serve the most vulnerable. I serve as a protector over these ladies’ souls. God holds me accountable. It’s very important to bring the right people to our program that I know are going to shepherd my ladies in the right direction. I’m very grateful for that.
However, the biggest challenge has been finding little places for our ladies to do work therapy. We have started cleaning some churches but I’m still trying to determine how to bridge that gap so that we have some sustainable income where we’re not solely putting our hand out to the community. We have to continue to get our name and our ministry out there so that people know we are a resource for this community and even to the surrounding areas.
As someone who has been brought along and discipled by someone else, how do you develop future leaders yourself?
It really takes somebody that wants to be willing and available. Not everybody that goes through our program wants to work in ministry or do this kind of thing, although there are a handful of women who really do. They desire to help other people who’ve been through what they’ve been through. I try to spot who those women are early on and develop them for the future. Regardless of what direction they want to go in, I do try and instill leadership qualities in them.
I also give them the tools and the things that they need and show them the ropes of ministry. I ask myself, who is making themselves available for leadership? Right now I have a woman who does anything that I need because she wants to be involved. She knows I’m going to put her to work and she wants responsibility. I am showing her that she has value and that that value comes from Christ.
When Rachel took me under her wing she believed in me. She saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. I’ll never forget when I first met her, about 11 years or so ago. She looked at me and said, “There’s something special about you.” The biggest thing in my life is that she believed in me and showed me that my life was worth more than what I was doing. She just gave me an opportunity to thrive and learn how to be a leader. I would not be here without her guidance and leadership. We actually have identical styles of leadership and ways of doing things which is kind of expected when you’ve been up underneath somebody. I just want to raise up more women that will rise to the occasion. It takes time and it takes some testing and you have to be ready for it but that’s how I see growth happening.
How do you see the role of discipleship being one of the key factors in making Humble House successful?
Discipleship is literally the foundation of everything we do. Yes, we do a lot of relapse prevention and we do counseling but everything is founded in the Word. I always say that if you are living your life to glorify God in everything that you do, sobriety is just a by-product of that. I think that’s what makes it so dynamic. I have not lived my life, white knuckled, gripping, trying to abstain from substance. I just haven’t; I’m free from that. We want to get people to that place. I believe that discipleship is the key to get people to that place because they’re living for something higher than themselves. Discipleship really is everything. I can’t picture our program without it. As a matter of fact, I have a girl that said, “Brittany, I don’t think of this as a rehab, I think of this as like I’m in Bible school.” Amen girl. That’s a good way to think about that.
How do you keep yourself encouraged that the work you’re doing is valuable and worthwhile when the world tempts women who believe otherwise? And are there any scriptures God has given you to keep you present in the work to which he has called you?
Just recently I was in a place of asking God for direction. I needed to know the next steps because I do have several challenges or roadblocks in front of me that keep getting in the way of where I’m envisioning the ministry to go. Out of my crying to the Lord he spoke to me and told me that I need to have people surrounding me in prayer on a regular basis just like in the early church. Prayer was the foundation of the revival that took place and the birth of the early church. I think it’s really important to build the foundation of our ministry on that. I have started to meet with a group of ladies once a month to really seek the Lord together and for them to help lift me up because it is easy to get discouraged. People often ask how many girls are in the house and when it’s less than the last time they asked it can be very difficult and people just don’t understand. Some may question why I dismiss someone from the program or why I’m doing things a certain way. Addiction ministry is a very tough realm. Luckily, I have a huge support system of people that come alongside me and pray with me, encourage me and remind me to have healthy boundaries. I have a couple of people in my life that make sure that I am making time for family, my husband, and for myself to be recharged.
God has given me so many scriptures for encouragement, one of which is Isaiah 60. This chapter is talking about the people coming out of bondage from Babylon. Isaiah 60 verses one through five says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.”
I believe that the glory of the Lord is dwelling on our home and something that was prophesied over me before we opened was that they just saw that this place was like a beacon of light. It’s funny because we are kind of up on a hill which is what I envisioned. I just have such a heart for prodigal women that have come back because that’s my story. The passage describes the people being drawn to the glory of the Lord and that’s the scripture I go back to and am reminded that it’s his glory that draws us near. I believe that Humble House is a place that is filled with the glory of the Lord and that he will draw the women who are supposed to be here. I pray that the spiritual standard will be set in the midst of other darkness of this world. Every woman who comes in belongs to the Lord and I know he will sustain it. I have to trust that He’s in control of the whole thing. He started it. He’s going to finish it. He’s going to sustain it and that doesn’t matter what it looks like.
Is there one last piece of encouragement that you would like to share with anyone reading this who also has a heart to help those who are hurting and lost?
If there’s anyone who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction or any addiction, there’s hope in Jesus Christ. God is a mighty, powerful, loving Father who cares about you and with Him, freedom is possible. If you open yourself up to him and allow him to work through your life, allow him to confront you on things that are not pleasing to him and yield to his will he can take you to places that you never thought you would be able to go. The biggest step is taking that first step of admitting you need help and going to detox. That’s usually the hardest and people just dance around that decision. I know I did for the longest time until God had to force me to take that step. But you don’t have to be forced, you can take that step of faith and God will meet you in it. He empowers you in that step of faith. I never dreamed in a million years that I’d be a Director of a recovery program nor working in one so if I can do it, anybody can do it.
How can women continue to follow the story of Humble House and contact you if they want to get involved?
Our website is https://www.humblehouseministries.org/. You can see a promotional video on our website as well as a page for our Panama City location and our recovery program. There are also location applications online as well. Our Facebook page is Humble House Ministries: Tallahassee. If anybody wants to call or if they have more questions about our ministry or just need advice our phone number is (850) 999-2490. I’d be happy to help anyone in need!
Work Done Well: Joanna Dennstaedt Joanna Dennstaedt Executive Director of Radiant Hope Connect with Joanna Dennstaedt Instagram Facebook Link Joanna is the founder and Executive