Our goal is to restore lives that are being destroyed by alcohol and drug addiction. This transformation will begin with the establishment of a healthy relationship, first, with Jesus Christ, and then with society at large. We believe that only as a person is set free of their destructive addictions can they break negative habits and relationships. This work is accomplished in cooperation with the power of God and is an ongoing process. We expect that after a year at Mountain Ministries Ranch, residents will be able to return to society as productive, healthy citizens.
History of Mountain Ministries
by Gary Miller
My grandfather came to Cowlitz County in the 1920's. In 1930, he bought 160 acres in Rose Valley from the railroad. He was in his sixties when he and my father cleared the land for a sheep and cattle ranch. This was the first time that he stayed in one place for over a year or two.
My father died of heart problems when my mother was still in her 20's. She was unable to take care of the cattle ranch, so she moved to Seattle and went to college at the University of Washington. Rather than sell the ranch, she worked nights to support us kids and pay for her schooling. She signed the property over to my wife and I when I was 20 years old.
When I was 25, my wife and I started working with people on a live-in basis at our home. Over the next ten years, we had people living with us on a continual basis. At one point, there were 17 people living in our home. During this time, we sold parcels of land to help support God's work. I had planned to keep the original homestead acreage of 35 acres to build on some day. In 1975, the Lord spoke to me and said to set the 35 acre property aside as Holy to Him for His work. That year, I felt impressed to donate the land to Teen Challenge to be used for working with people similar to those we had living with us. I put a covenant on the land, so that if Teen Challenge Longview dissolved, they would have to sign the property over to Columbia Heights Assembly of God Church to be held by them until it was put to use for that purpose. For the next 23 years, the property sat vacant in the hands of Columbia Heights Church. During those 23 years, they had plans of building a retreat and also considered other options for the acreage.
My wife wanted to contact them and remind them of God's plan for the property, but instead God told her to go to the river and take a rock and bury it on the mountain property as a testimony of His faithfulness and what He was going to do. Five years later, when God's plan unfolded, He told her to dig up the rock and place it in the church as a memorial to what He had done. That was almost 23 years after we donated the property. That rock is still beside the cross in the church. In 1998, they were in the process of sub-dividing and selling it to help pay off church bills, and construct a retirement center next to their church in Longview.
That same year, I was attending River City Assembly Church in Vancouver and involved in an inpatient treatment center they were operating. The church was looking for property with a country setting to relocate their program. River City Assembly negotiated with Columbia Heights and settled on a $70,000 price for the Rose Valley acreage, which it reimbursed them for the taxes and insurance paid on the property while they held it.
River City put me in charge of logging and developing the property. The property was logged, a 36' x 60' pole building was put up, and a double-wide mobile home was set on the property. In the fall of 2000, we started a church service in a large white and red tent. Later, we moved into the pole building, and in 2006 we moved our church services to the Victory Center in South Kelso. By the fall of 2001, River City Assembly was having financial difficulties and decided to sell the property to pay off their debts. I mortgaged my home and bought the property back.
God has kept His hands on the property all these years. My grandfather wasn't the type to stay in one place, but God saw to it that he settled down on this piece of property. My mother could have sold the property instead of working to pay for schooling and supporting our family. Columbia Heights had many plans for using this property, but it didn't fit into God's plans. River City Assembly put the property up for sale and God had put me in the position to buy it. Now God has placed Mountain Ministries Church on the property and what God has prophesied through many people over the past 30 years has taken place—A Christian "live-in" program to reach the lost community of drug and alcohol users. God's timing is always the right timing.
From the day Mountain Ministries Church opened, and Mountain Ministries Ranch started receiving men, God has paid every bill. God has a sense of humor. I donated the property, then, had to buy it back. The good part is that it gave us a $1700.00 a month property payment with no real income. We prayed and without soliciting, God laid it on hearts of individuals to send small checks that, from the first month on, have continued to come and pay every bill. When people ask where our finances come from we say, God. Then they laugh and say, "yes, but where?" We answer, "It really is God; it's a miracle." The men at Mountain Ministries know if God leaves, we will all know it, because we will have no money to pay the bills. Our gas bill alone was about $10,000 a month when the price for gas was at it highest. The men know that they get to see a miracle every month and that builds their faith.
Mountain Ministries is a non-denominational church that God has planted on His property. It is to be used to minister to those who come into the program. We are not trying to compete with other churches; we are here to support the people who are being delivered from their addictions. The property will have covenants on it, so it can never be mortgaged, sold or be used for any other purpose than what God has planned. God has already placed this ministry on the hearts of faithful men and women who support this work in prayer, labor, money, and material. I would only ask that you pray earnestly to see if God has called you to support this in some way. I am not looking for people who support ministries out of emotions, but those who know that God is speaking to them about this ministry.
If you are attending another church, please do not send your tithe money to Mountain Ministries. Your tithe belongs to the church that you are attending. Money is never a problem in a ministry. God's bank account is never short. As long as we walk in His will, He will provide. After all, this isn't our ministry, it's God's and He is faithful.
One day, God spoke to one of our board members and told him to count the number of meals we feed on the mountain each month. Then he was told to count the number of meals we provide to the people at the Victory Center and to add up the two. It came to 5000 meals a month. He then was told, I duplicate the feeding of 5000 each month. By the end of 2008 we were feeding 7200 meals a month. What a miracle we get to see!
Between the five residences we have approximately 80 people. 16 of these are children under the age of 14 years old. Getting custody of there children is just another reward in family restoration. Many of them would still be living in drug houses if God hadn't delivered their fathers and mothers from their addiction. Our God is a God of restoration. What a mighty God we serve!