Former Bethel Village Director Starts New Ministry

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PANAMA CITY- Cathy Byrd says panama city rescue mission board management put her on administrative leave with no warning.

She claims the mission has decided to discontinue Bethel village's women's discipleship and mentoring program, which she ran for more than 5-years.

So Byrd decided to leave.

She's opening her own program called Titus-2 Partnership.

"We are moving forward. It's a new day. It's a new ministry. We are going to be much more compressed in our focus. Broader in the types of the woman we outreach to," said Cathy Byrd, Titus 2 Partnership Manager.

Dozens of people showed-up at the parker united methodist church Thursday night to support Byrd as she announced the Titus 2 partnership.

Titus-2 is a supervised and structured recovery program, designed to equip women with life skills as they overcome difficult challenges including chemical addition and other problem behaviors.

Byrd is basing the program on her experiences at Bethel village.

"We will be able to do in six months what other programs might take 12 months or longer to do," said Byrd.

"Amazing it has taught me life skills, I have been able to get my self esteem, self respect back," said Cheryl Budding, Bethel Village Client.

Rescue mission officials don't seem to be concerned about Byrd's plans.

"I think you know if the calling's strong, if there's changes in the program that they don't feel they can comply with then maybe the best thing to do is would start their own ministry," said Thurman Chambers, Panama City Rescue Mission President.

The rescue mission has hired a new director for Bethel Village and says the program will be changing in the next few weeks.

Byrd says she hopes to start taking women into the titus-2 program by may 1st.