Told by the Executive Director Steve Finn:
I am from WV, but moved to GA when I was young after my father passed. I grew up in Atlanta, and when I was 21 I became a police officer. For 11 years I worked as a Christian in uniform. I loved my work, but God began to stir my wife's heart and mine for something more. A few years later we left our careers and became Houseparents in one of the boys' homes at Eagle Ranch, just north of Atlanta. We committed to 3 years there, and during that time we saw a ministry program that worked. Lives were being changed. Families restored. Young men were coming to know Christ in a real way. The vision grew. We felt God calling us to replicate this ministry in a state where the need was the highest. We conducted state by state research, developed business plans, and prayed for over a year before even speaking of this to anyone.
Everything pointed to West Virginia. Back in 2004, my wife, Dawn, and I started speaking to others about the vision of Chestnut Mountain Ranch. We were living and working at Eagle Ranch in Georgia at the time. Eagle Ranch staff helped us prepare for this "journey" we were about to set out on. The preparation was key. The vision was made clear, the plan checked by many, and after much prayer we moved to West Virginia with the hope that God would make His presence known in the vision and help build the place of hope and healing
Since landing here, we essentially burned our ships, and hunkered down to see this through. Many storms have come, and fund raising in West Virginia in the middle of tough national economic times has been nothing short of challenging.
I am proud to tell you that we have started taking in our first boys! We started with the day program utilizing the Ranch School. Our phones are ringing for additional children.
Having the first group of boys here has been special. We have a great group of young men, and we have more enrolling this summer. The past several weeks have been a sweet season of life for me, my family, the Ranch staff, Board Members, Volunteers, and the families and boys that are being helped through the Ranch program, We have all worked hard to see this day come.
Many of the boys applying for the Ranch live too far away for the families to be able to drive in each day. We need to get the homes up so we can begin helping these families. The homes will enable us to provide a safe place for the boys to experience a healthy home, and be able to remain at the Ranch throughout the week while attending school.
After seven years of preparing, we are witnessing the fruit of our labor. I welcome you to come and meet the boys and the staff, and see first hand what you have invested in.