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Our history

First Generation Leadership: Deep Roots and Humble Beginnings

Founded by Mike Harden, a military veteran, No Longer Bound has humble beginnings. In 1990, the ministry borrowed a three-bedroom house in Cumming, Georgia. Mike went to the slums, looked under bridges, and visited drug houses to find addicts to rescue. 

As more men started to show up, it took on the name “New Freedom Lodge.” Just one year later, it officially became a 501(c)(3) and started moving toward a structured drug and alcohol program.

As the world became more aware of mental health and the war on addiction, the program shifted to a long-term approach to treatment. It progressed from a six-month program to the twelve-month regeneration process that it is today.

First Generation Leadership: Deep Roots and Humble Beginnings

Founded by Mike Harden, a military veteran, No Longer Bound has humble beginnings. In 1990, the ministry borrowed a three-bedroom house in Cumming, Georgia. Mike went to the slums, looked under bridges, and visited drug houses to find addicts to rescue. 

As more men started to show up, it took on the name “New Freedom Lodge.” Just one year later, it officially became a 501(c)(3) and started moving toward a structured drug and alcohol program.

As the world became more aware of mental health and the war on addiction, the program shifted to a long-term approach to treatment. It progressed from a six-month program to the twelve-month regeneration process that it is today.

“Every time someone visits our campus, they feel something different. What they feel is the spiritual aspect of decades of life change. You can just feel the history here, and we wanted to build on top of that,” he said. “If we started a regeneration program from scratch, it just wouldn’t be the same.” 

Second Generation Leadership: Brain of a Business, Heart of a Ministry

It’s 2005, and Edward Bailey has just graduated from No Longer Bound under Mike Harden’s leadership. Undoubtedly, this program set him free and changed his life. 

During his stay, he learned who God was (and wasn’t), and how to listen for His voice. It was shortly after graduation that Edward heard God tell him, “stay here”. At the time, he didn’t know what God had in store, but he listened and stayed. God put it on his heart to give others the same freedom that this program gave him.

After working his way up from a resident to a counselor to an internal business strategist, Edward became the new Executive Director in 2014. He heard God telling him to take the richness of the spiritual ministry and take this program to the next level as a licensed, clinical treatment center

Edward and his leadership team wanted to leverage all of the incredible aspects already in place – the location, long-term approach, and faith-based program – and take it to the next level. 

Second Generation Leadership: Brain of a Business, Heart of a Ministry

It’s 2005, and Edward Bailey has just graduated from No Longer Bound under Mike Harden’s leadership. Undoubtedly, this program set him free and changed his life. 

During his stay, he learned who God was (and wasn’t), and how to listen for His voice. It was shortly after graduation that Edward heard God tell him, “stay here”. At the time, he didn’t know what God had in store, but he listened and stayed. God put it on his heart to give others the same freedom that this program gave him.

After working his way up from a resident to a counselor to an internal business strategist, Edward became the new Executive Director in 2014. He heard God telling him to take the richness of the spiritual ministry and take this program to the next level as a licensed, clinical treatment center

Edward and his leadership team wanted to leverage all of the incredible aspects already in place – the location, long-term approach, and faith-based program – and take it to the next level. 

“Every time someone visits our campus, they feel something different. What they feel is the spiritual aspect of decades of life change. You can just feel the history here, and we wanted to build on top of that,” he said. “If we started a regeneration program from scratch, it just wouldn’t be the same.” 

Casting a Vision of Freedom

Edward took the program’s new leaders to the North Georgia mountains for a retreat to cast a vision for No Longer Bound’s future. While brainstorming in the cabin, they noticed the painting over the mantle was that of an eagle. 

They soon realized this bird would be the symbol of their new vision. It represented freedom, and No Longer Bound would be a place that set people free. After all, the program’s original name was “New Freedom Lodge.”

Throughout the weekend, God continued to show them signs that the eagle was significant, with the final message from Him being a bald eagle landing in a tree above them on their last day. Standing in amazement looking at the perched eagle looking back at them, they knew this would be the vision that would elevate the program to new heights.

Casting a Vision of Freedom

Edward took the program’s new leaders to the North Georgia mountains for a retreat to cast a vision for No Longer Bound’s future. While brainstorming in the cabin, they noticed the painting over the mantle was that of an eagle. 

They soon realized this bird would be the symbol of their new vision. It represented freedom, and No Longer Bound would be a place that set people free. After all, the program’s original name was “New Freedom Lodge.”

Throughout the weekend, God continued to show them signs that the eagle was significant, with the final message from Him being a bald eagle landing in a tree above them on their last day. Standing in amazement looking at the perched eagle looking back at them, they knew this would be the vision that would elevate the program to new heights.

Building an Effective Recovery Model

As No Longer Bound looked toward the future and took on a new approach to treatment, it was time to disrupt the addiction industry that is notoriously broken. 

Today, insurance companies decide how long a person in addiction should stay in treatment, with most suggesting 14-21 days. But research shows, unequivocally, that long-term sobriety depends on length of treatment.  

This video explains the problem with traditional addiction treatment centers and the industry itself, and how No Longer Bound is different.

Building an Effective Recovery Model

As No Longer Bound looked toward the future and took on a new approach to treatment, it was time to disrupt the addiction industry that is notoriously broken. 

Today, insurance companies decide how long a person in addiction should stay in treatment, with most suggesting 14-21 days. But research shows, unequivocally, that long-term sobriety depends on length of treatment.  

This video explains the problem with traditional addiction treatment centers and the industry itself, and how No Longer Bound is different.

Our Program Today 

No Longer Bound may look a little different than it did in 1990, but our heart remains the same: we are relentless for real transformation. We know that there is more than one way to treat a man in addiction, and we genuinely care about getting to the root cause of the illness.

For over thirty years, No Longer Bound graduates have left our program with reconciled, intimate relationships with God, themselves, and others.

Our Program Today 

No Longer Bound may look a little different than it did in 1990, but our heart remains the same: we are relentless for real transformation. We know that there is more than one way to treat a man in addiction, and we genuinely care about getting to the root cause of the illness.

For over thirty years, No Longer Bound graduates have left our program with reconciled, intimate relationships with God, themselves, and others.

Want to know more about our history?

Our founder, Mike, has quite an inspiring story. Watch the video below to learn more about his unique past. This mini-documentary was created by No Longer Bound residents and staff as a collaborative effort.