Rehoboth Ranch: a vision becoming a reality

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Sometimes destruction must precede renovation. This photo pictures two men who were a part of the demolition crew preparing work for those who would begin the rebuilding process. REHOBOTH RANCH/Special
Sometimes destruction must precede renovation. This photo pictures two men who were a part of the demolition crew preparing work for those who would begin the rebuilding process. REHOBOTH RANCH/Special

EDISON – Rehoboth Ranch is a 90-acre rehabilitation center located in Calhoun Country where those struggling with substance abuse can get started on the road to recovery and get reconnected with their Creator. It is a ministry that was birthed in the heart of Rob Morgan.

Craig O. Layton, pastor of Leary Baptist Church, is excited about the creation of Rehoboth Ranch; and he recently expressed gratitude for Rob and his wife, Selina, who are vibrant members of his church.

Don Morgan, the man with the vision for a rehabilitation center, left, and Leary Baptist Church Pastor Craig Layton, right, have become partners in laying the foundation for Rehoboth Ranch. REHOBOTH RANCH/Special
Don Morgan, the man with the vision for a rehabilitation center, left, and Leary Baptist Church Pastor Craig Layton, right, have become partners in laying the foundation for Rehoboth Ranch. REHOBOTH RANCH/Special

Layton explained, “Rob is an adult Sunday School teacher and a member of our Missions Team here at Leary. Selina is our Women’s Bible Study leader and the leader of our Missions Team.”

Rob Morgan has not always been as committed to the Lord and the church as he is at the present time. In fact, he was once an addict in need of rehabilitation himself.

The Albany Herald reported him saying, “The Lord changed me. When I went to rehab, I realized there was a difference between going to church and realizing who Jesus is, Jesus being the Lord.

Birds in the air, flowers in the field “don’t worry about anything”

“He tells a story about the birds in the (air) and the flowers in the field and they don’t worry about anything, because He made them. It was His design to care about everything He made and mankind is the same way.”

That realization was the beginning of Rob’s vision for a rehabilitation center. He told The Herald, “At its simplest, Rehoboth Ranch will be a working farm, one where alcoholics and addicts can stay for from four months to a year and begin the healing process. While there, the men will help tend the farm in an effort to rehabilitate their bodies, minds and souls.

There is work for everyone at Rehoboth Ranch. These two women are becoming experts at using a claw hammer. REHOBOTH RANCH/Special
There is work for everyone at Rehoboth Ranch. These two women are becoming experts at using a claw hammer. REHOBOTH RANCH/Special

“We’ll have 50 cows here, goats, sheep, chickens, pigs, Chihuahuas, rats, rat terriers, whatever (will help us produce an income) while giving people a kind of responsibility.”

Layton stated, “Rob and Selina publically accepted the call to the mission’s field in 2012. Our church has hosted Jabulani Mudende, a pastor from Zimbabwe; and the Morgans have been gracious enough to lodge him in their home. Consequently, they grew close to him. Mudenda has an incredible ministry in Africa that hosts mission teams from the United States.

“Because of their love for Mudenda and his ministry, the Morgans assumed God would lead them to Zimbabwe to serve alongside Mudenda. However, through a series of encounters with the Lord, Rob began to realize that he was to begin preparing to serve the Lord right here in Calhoun County.

“When Rob announced his vision of Rehoboth Ranch to the church, the people embraced it and decided to get involved, so Rob’s vision became the vision of the church.”

When the concept of Rehoboth Ranch was presented to James Holloway, the associational missionary of

One of the early meetings when the core values and establishment of Rehoboth Ranch was discussed by those committed to establishing a refuge and rehabilitation mission for those suffering from substance abuse. REHOBOTH RANCH/Special
One of the early meetings when the core values and establishment of Rehoboth Ranch was discussed by those committed to establishing a refuge and rehabilitation mission for those suffering from substance abuse. REHOBOTH RANCH/Special

Bethel Baptist Association, he wanted to share the opportunity with the association’s missions team. The team was immediately drawn to the ministry and at its fall meeting the Association unanimously voted to create a new designated fund that could be used for contributions going directly to the ranch. It has now become an official ministry supported at the associational level.

Layton, who is president of the Ranch’s 501©3 Board of Directors as well as a working partner in the day-to-day operations of the ranch, added, “We have board members from various churches who are lending their support to our ministry.

“The Board includes: Associational Missionary Holloway Gary Hadden; retired pastor and ACBC certified Biblical counselor with Albany Counseling (a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church) Ann Huggins, wife of retired pastor Joel Huggins (both of whom are completing their ACBC training); and Ray Griffin, Men’s Group leader and Sunday School leader at Gillionville Baptist in Albany. The ministry is not just a one church operation, but is gaining a broader spectrum of support. We are anticipating other churches getting on board.

“None other than a move of God”

“This is none other than a move of God. It is more than a rehabilitation center for addicts; it is becoming a Christ-honoring hub of this community. Likeminded believers, from all over are espousing the vision and being compelled to get involved in what God is doing here.

“I could elaborate about all the divine encounters, divine provisions and divine illuminations that have come through this ministry already, but the point is that we are just simple, country folks who are resolved to hear from God and then act on what He gives us by way of instruction.”

The old ranch house was in much need of repair before the renovation work began. The building is being renewed, refurbished and expanded to accommodate the anticipated needs of those who need a place to recover from the throes of addiction. REHOBOTH RANCH/Special
The old ranch house was in much need of repair before the renovation work began. The building is being renewed, refurbished and expanded to accommodate the anticipated needs of those who need a place to recover from the throes of addiction. REHOBOTH RANCH/Special

Rehoboth does not plan to use the commonly employed 12-step program in its rehabilitation process, but has decided to use a recovery plan similar to several faith-based rehabilitation ministries the leadership has observed.

The Albany Herald quoted Morgan as saying, “What we did was, instead of inventing a wheel, we’ve taken the spokes of wheels we like. . . . (but) this program is based on trust in Jesus only, not Jesus plus. So there is one step and that’s trust in Christ. We believe faith and trust in Christ can cause transformation in any life, which is why Rehoboth is presented as a center for refuge and healing and not a typical rehab facility.

“(What we are doing is) like putting boards on a ship that’s going to carry people out of addiction into a new life. . . I have never been a part of anything like this, but I’m telling you this is the plan the Lord has laid on my heart. There’s something inherent in people investing in the hearts of other people. Like I said, ‘I was looking for a pasture and God was looking for a shepherd.’”

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