Scott Reall was a Senior Wellness Director at the Green Hills Family YMCA in Nashville Tennessee in 1988. Over several years, Scott saw that people were coming to the Y looking for a fitness routine and trying to make physical changes in their lives, but that no wellness plan in the world would work if their underlying spiritual and mental baggage was not addressed. In 1994, Scott began offering 12-Steps groups in the basement of the YMCA. These groups were incredibly successful, and around the year 2000, Scott won the YMCA of the USA’s Armstrong Award for his work, which allowed him to attend Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis to study theological studies. With the success of the 12-Step groups, Scott saw a need for this type of spiritual development to be a permanent part of his YMCAs offerings, and in the year 2000, Restore Ministries of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee was formed.

In 2005, Thomas Nelson, a renowned Christian publisher, approached Scott about writing his own set of books. A year later, Journey to Freedom was published as the first of 5 books in the Journey series. This book became the cornerstone for Restore Ministries’ small groups. In 2007, the other four books – Journey to a Life of Significance, Journey to Living with Courage, Journey to Healthy Living, and Journey to a New Beginning after a Loss – were published. 

Journey to Freedom is now available in Spanish, Russian, and soon French. It’s also been adapted for youth, as well as inmates at various jails and prisons.  With the growing national and international popularity of the Journey Series and the small group process that accompanies it, Restore Ministries branched out in 2015 to form its own Non-Profit, focusing on enabling partners to launch this life-changing curriculum for themselves.  Thus, ‘RESTORE SMALL GROUPS’ was formed!