New Life Ranch an­nounces pur­chase of sec­ond camp fa­cil­ity

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - From Staff Re­ports

COL­CORD, Okla. — New Life Ranch of Col­cord, Okla., an­nounced last week the pur­chase of a 230-acre camp fa­cil­ity on Ok­la­homa’s Lake Hud­son.

The sum­mer camp pur­chased the fa­cil­ity, for­merly known as Dry Gulch, U.S.A., from Church on the Move of Tulsa, Okla., on Aug. 22, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease. New Life Ranch will own and op­er­ate the fa­cil­ity un­der the new name: New Life Ranch — Fron­tier Cove.

With this trans­ac­tion, New Life Ranch will dou­ble its ser­vice ca­pac­ity to serve campers and re­treat guests for the near fu­ture.

Due to the im­pec­ca­ble con­di­tion of the prop­erty, New Life Ranch — Fron­tier Cove will be­gin serv­ing re­treat groups im­me­di­ately for the fall 2018 and spring 2019 sea­sons. Regis­tra­tion for both se­nior camp at the orig­i­nal Col­cord lo­ca­tion, now re­ferred to as New Life Ranch — Flint Val­ley and ju­nior camp at the newly ac­quired, New Life Ranch — Fron­tier Cove, is now open for sum­mer 2019.

With more than 90 years of Chris­tian camp­ing min­istry between the two or­ga­ni­za­tions, the sale is an ex­cit­ing ex­change for both or­ga­ni­za­tions, the press re­lease states. The two or­ga­ni­za­tions have an un­der­stand­ing that much of the orig­i­nal in­tent and mis­sion of the orig­i­nal founder, Wil­lie Ge­orge Min­istries, will con­tinue un­der the new stew­ard­ship of New Life Ranch.

Dry Gulch, U.S.A. was founded by Wil­lie Ge­orge in 1986, as a sum­mer camp and re­treat fa­cil­ity, as well as an Old West movie set for The Gospel Bill Show. For more than 30 years, Dry Gulch was a cor­ner­stone min­istry for Church on the Move, based in Tulsa.

It was widely rec­og­nized for the Christ­mas Train at­trac­tion that was staged each De­cem­ber and at­tended by more than 50,000 guests from the broader five-state area. The heart of Dry Gulch was al­ways out­reach and min­istry. In re­cent years, Church on the Move to­gether with founder and pas­tor Wil­lie Ge­orge de­ter­mined to liq­ui­date Dry Gulch and re­de­ploy fo­cus and funds to­ward the ex­pan­sion of the lo­cal church.

“We are thrilled that New Life Ranch is build­ing on the foun­da­tion of the min­istry that my dad started so many years ago,” said Whit Ge­orge, lead pas­tor of Church on the Move. “They re­ally have a vi­sion to im­pact campers for gen­er­a­tions to come, and we love that. It’s such a win-win for both min­istries because we both get to fo­cus on what we do best; New Life Ranch with their camp pro­grams and Church on the Move with our lo­cal churches.”

In ad­di­tion to the sale of Dry Gulch, Church on the Move is pre­par­ing to sell Christ­mas Train to a group in an­other state.

“To all of you who have served over the years to build Dry Gulch and Christ­mas Train, we want to say thank you, thank you so much,” said Wil­lie Ge­orge, founder of Church on the Move and Dry Gulch. “It’s amaz­ing that both of these min­istries are go­ing to con­tinue be­yond what we have built to­gether.”

Con­cur­rently, New Life Ranch in Col­cord has been look­ing to ex­pand.

New Life Ranch, orig­i­nally estab­lished in 1958 by for­mer Tulsa Bi­ble Church founder, the Rev. Wil­lard Heck and part­ner Tom Hull, has served as a Chris­tian camp­ing and re­treat fa­cil­ity to churches and youth from Ok­la­homa City, Tulsa, North­west Arkansas and the sur­round­ing fives­tate area for more than 60 years.

Now, see­ing more than 4,000 campers each sum­mer and 16,000 guests through­out the bal­ance of the year, in re­cent years it had reached the growth im­passe of ca­pac­ity. Not­ing that Dry Gulch was for sale, the two or­ga­ni­za­tions had first en­tered into dis­cus­sions about two years ago, but fi­nally reached an agree­ment in March of this year. It is no­table that in sub­se­quent months fol­low­ing the con­tract sign­ing, New Life Ranch has been gifted the funds re­quired to ac­quire the camp and will as­sume own­er­ship with no debt on the fa­cil­ity.

“We are over­flow­ing with thank­ful­ness to­ward Hobby Lobby, The Jasco Giv­ing Hope Foun­da­tion, and two other fam­i­lies for their gifts,” said Tom Graney, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of New Life Ranch. “It has been an ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble jour­ney over these past cou­ple of years. As we have sought the Lord’s lead­ing, he has made our path clear. It hasn’t al­ways been easy, but he has abun­dantly met our needs, as we’ve tried to be faith­ful to fol­low. To have four dif­fer­ent fam­i­lies meet this fi­nan­cial need is in­cred­i­ble. We are so thank­ful to gain some much-needed ca­pac­ity, to be able to ac­com­plish our mis­sion of pro­claim­ing the Gospel of Je­sus Christ and equip­ping be­liev­ers for min­istry, in the lives of more peo­ple. We are thrilled to build on the legacy of Dry Gulch being a prop­erty that has a min­istry fo­cus of mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in the lives of kids and adults.”

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