The Des Moines Register reports…
“The pastor of a Spencer church has resigned amid questions about a faith-based addiction treatment program he helped run.
Kevin Grimes, 51, was pastor of DaySpring Assembly of God and helped found the Spencer Dream Center, which opened last year. Tom Morse, who is on the boards of the church and the center, said Thursday that Grimes resigned from both organizations Wednesday evening.
“At this moment, that is all I can say,” Morse said, declining comment about Grimes’ reasons for quitting.
Earlier this month, a Des Moines Register story recounted how Dream Center participant Alex Jacobsen tried to commit suicide in January by slashing his throat 10 days after counselors told him to quit taking psychiatric medications prescribed by medical professionals. The story noted the center is unregulated because it is a faith-based program.
Grimes could not be reached for comment Thursday. He told the Register a few weeks ago that Jacobsen’s suicide attempt showed the small program wasn’t equipped to treat mental illness.
He said at the time the program has since changed its rules, so a doctor would have to assure counselors any potential participant had been off mood-altering medications for at least a year. He said he was saddened by Jacobsen’s suicide attempt and grateful that another pastor was able to save the 26-year-old’s life.
Some Iowa psychiatrists and mental health advocates told the Register that programs marketing themselves as drug treatment should at least be prohibited from requiring cessation of psychiatric medications. But Gov. Terry Branstad expressed skepticism about adding regulations on faith-based programs, noting that people have a choice about which programs to attend.
Jacobsen was not immediately available for comment about the pastor’s resignation. The young man’s family recently told the Register he went through treatment at a Sioux City program and has returned home.
Dream Center lawyer Don Hemphill confirmed Grimes had quit the church and the center, but he declined other comment.”