To liberate people from the enslavement and idolatry of addiction by radical transformation of the heart through a redemptive fellowship with Christ for His glory and our joy. 

The vision for Redemption House grew out the frustration that Christians were under served in the addiction treatment, sober living and recovery landscape. “Finding gospel-centered programs was a challenge.” says founder John Leonard. “We saw the need and created one. The program was built on my own personal experience of worshiping my way out of addiction. Once I discovered that there was an opportunity to honor and worship God in everything I did, and that repentance was the engine for joy and fruit in my life, everything changed. I was so full of gratitude that I was compelled share this profound truth with the world!”



Disciple of Jesus, redeemed opiate addict.  John is a graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson, MS and was the Director of Marketing and Intake at The Retreat in Wayzata, MN for over eleven years. He helped grow the organization from a 20 bed experiment to a 145 bed continuum of services. Prior to joining The Retreat, John spent ten years in sales and marketing in the telecommunications and real estate industries.

John, his wife Lesley and their two boys are members of Redeemer Bible Church in Minnetonka, Minnesota. His personal experience with addiction and passion for sharing the hope and promise of the gospel are the driving forces behind the Redemption House vision.

Justin Lakemacher – PROGRAM Manager

Justin has tremendous passion for the gospel and recovery and an infectious love for the Lord.  As a former heroin addict for seven years, he has personal experience with addiction.  He found freedom through Christ and since 2011 has worked in the Christian recovery field shepherding men and helping them worship their way out of addiction.   

He is currently in the accelerated Master’s Program at Crown College and pursuing certification through the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation (CCEF).  He has a pastor’s heart and has completed a pastoral training curriculum through Sovereign Grace Church in Bloomington, Minnesota where he is actively involved and pursuing ordination.  Justin is married to his lovely wife Megan who is also pursuing a master’s degree in music therapy.


Oscar and his wife, Cathi, planted churches among Muslims in Central Asia from 1996 - 2005. They worked with national missionaries to establish a small network of house churches in central Uzbekistan. Since 2005 he has worked as a technology manager at a large financial institution in downtown Minneapolis and has been involved in leadership with small urban church plants in the Twin Cities. He is an Elder at Redeemer Bible Church in Minnetonka, MN and serves on a board to equip Eastern European and Central Asian church leaders with theological literature and training.

Oscar received a Masters in Divinity from Bethel Theological Seminary in 1995 and a Bachelors in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin in 1985. Oscar and Cathi live in Edina, Minnesota. They have two sons and three daughters, two of which are recently married.

EDWARD T. WELCH - Advisory Board member

M.Div., Ph.D. is a counselor and faculty member at CCEF. He earned a Ph.D. in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over 30 years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions. His books include: When People Are Big and God is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Blame it on the Brain; Depression—A Stubborn Darkness; Running Scared; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away From Addiction; and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety.