On February 12, 2013, the very same day I celebrate as my 79th birthday, Hallelujah Acres will celebrate its 21st year! What follows is a brief history of Hallelujah Acres — its beginning, growth, and current status — along with our vision for the future.
In 1976, I was 42 years old and pastor in Hudson Falls, New York. The Greater Glens Falls Bible Baptist Church was a church I had established in 1970, with just my family of six and an advertisement in the local paper that we were starting a new Bible-believing church.
By 1976, the church had a membership of over 600. We had a Christian school with over 100 students enrolled in grades K-12, a Bible Institute program, a weekly radio broadcast titled “America Needs Christ” on several radio stations, and over a dozen young people were in school preparing for the ministry.
How It Began
God’s blessing was surely on that ministry! Then in January 1976, amidst all that blessing, I started experiencing rectal bleeding and a baseball-sized tumor was discovered under my left rib cage. Then came the bad news…
…“It’s colon cancer.”
Not long before hearing those devastating words, I had lost my mother (a registered nurse) to colon cancer. She had gone the medical route to cure her disease and it failed her. At the time of Mother’s death, I was convinced she died not from the cancer, but from the treatments given her by medical doctors.
Because of mother’s bad experience going the medical route with her cancer, I went searching for an alternative way of dealing with my cancer. In my search, I reached out to an evangelist friend in Texas by the name of Lester Roloff. At the time, many preachers considered Brother Roloff a “health nut” and were severely critical of the biblically-based health message he was trying to get other preachers to adopt.
But that criticism didn’t stop me from listening to and heeding his advice. Brother Roloff discouraged me from going the medical route to achieve healing. Instead, he encouraged me to stop eating the world’s meat-based, sugar-laden, Standard American Diet (SAD), which he said was the cause of my cancer.
In place of the world’s SAD diet, Brother Roloff encouraged me to eat only the foods God told Adam and Eve to eat in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1:29, along with lots of fresh vegetable juices. Overnight, I made the diet change and it wasn’t long before the rectal bleeding had stopped.
Within one year, that baseball-sized tumor, as well as all other symptoms of my cancer were gone — without any medical intervention. During that first year on a 100% plant-based diet, not only did my cancer go away, but so also did all other physical problems I was experiencing prior to making the diet change.
Searching Scripture for Answers
That experience caused me, as a pastor and student of the Bible, to begin an intensive search the Scriptures to see if I could find more counsel from God pertaining to diet, health, nutrition, lifestyle, etc. I was seeking any information that could possibly shed additional light on what appeared to be an almost miraculous recovery from cancer.
That biblical search led me to numerous verses in addition to the Genesis 1:29 verse Brother Roloff had turned me on to. One illuminating pass is found in the third book of John. Through the apostle John, God says:
“Beloved, I wish above all things that though mayest prosper and BE IN HEALTH, even as thy soul prospereth.”
~ 3 John 1:2
In this verse I learned that God wants us to be as well in our physical bodies as we are in our spiritual soul. WOW!
But if it is God’s wish for believers to “be in health” why is it that Christians are just as sick and non-Christians? This challenging question started me on a mission to find answers.
In 1988, my miraculous recovery from cancer, along with numerous other Bible verses I had found, inspired the writing of my first book, Why Christians Get Sick.
Over a million copies of this book are now in print and the book has been translated into several languages. It contains over 100 of the Scripture verses I had found previously that related to diet, health, nutrition, lifestyle, etc. This book still produces more positive feedback than any of the five books I have written.
In 1991, before Hallelujah Acres had its official beginning, I held a seminar in Rogersville, Tennessee, attended by only a few people. A young lady by the name of Rhonda was in attendance. Her car had been struck by a freight train in 1981. As a result, arthritis had settled into almost every joint in her body and she could hardly move.
Rhonda adopted The Hallelujah Diet, and today she often says it was “to prove to George that the diet couldn’t help the arthritic condition doctors had been unable to help in the previous ten years.” Within a year of making the diet change, Rhonda’s arthritis was gone, she was power walking four miles in less than an hour, and she had lost 85 pounds.
I love to tell folks: “After I rebuilt her body, I married her!”
On February 12, 1992, two months before we were married, because of all that was being learned and personally experienced, Rhonda and I established Hallelujah Acres, a Christian ministry!
Hallelujah Acres was established for the purpose of teaching health from a biblical perspective. It was our humble effort to restore health to a very sick Christian community — a community that was just as sick as the non-Christian community in spite of all the prayers for healing by Christians.
The ministry began in a tiny 11-foot-wide, 16-seat vegetarian restaurant and health food store on Main Street in the little town of Rogersville, Tennessee (population 5,000). Few frequented our restaurant in those early days… that is, until I started offering a free “How to Eliminate Sickness” seminar on Saturday mornings.
As people started listening and applying what was being taught, testimonies of miraculous healings started to come from those who had been healed of a myriad of physical problems – from cancers to diabetes, high blood pressure to arthritis, to reports of incredible weight loss, and so much more.
One man, after only six months on The Hallelujah Diet, reported a 60-pound weight loss as well as the disappearance of 28 different physical problems. But that was just the beginning. Since 1992, tens-of-thousands have written to tell me that after adopting The Hallelujah Diet they have recovered from over 170 different physical problems, including terminal cancers.
It wasn’t long before pastors from across the country were asking me to hold seminars in their churches. Then, in the mid-1990s, Pat Robertson asked me to appear on the 700 Club. That 9-minute interview generated more response than anything the 700 Club had ever previously experienced.
Since then, appearances on Trinity Broadcasting, the Jimmy Bakker Show, ABC Nightline, NBC, CBS, along with numerous appearances on FOX News and The Food Network, has introduced The Hallelujah Diet to millions.
In 1993, Hallelujah Acres began publishing a free printed newsletter (now a 32-page magazine) that is read by countless thousands around the world in print and online. Then in 1997 we established a website that contains hundreds of hours of nutritional information from a biblical perspective.
In addition, since 1997, I have personally written a FREE electronic Hallelujah Health Tip, currently being mailed weekly to nearly 100,000 homes around the world. You can access our archive health tips by clicking on the “clock” icon in the left-hand panel of the Health Tip homepage.
In 1997 Hallelujah Acres moved from Tennessee to 20 beautifully landscaped acres of land on the outskirts of Shelby, North Carolina (population 21,000). We’re nestled in-between Charlotte (an hour to the east) and the gorgeous mountains of North Carolina (less than an hour to the west). It has been our “happy home” for 16 years.
Now, Hallelujah Acres is moving to brand new headquarters to Gastonia, North Carolina. This new location is gorgeous, and will have a greatly expanded health food store. Plus, we’ll be only a short distance from Charlotte, the largest city in North Carolina. In fact, we’ll only be 15 minutes from the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, which will make travel easier for the many people who fly to Hallelujah Acres from around the world.
With a current staff of 50 people, our biblical health message is now bringing hope and healing to millions around the world, and we have trained over 10,000 Health Ministers to help us take God’s Health Message to the world. These Health Ministers include:
- 63 medical doctors
- 75 chiropractors
- Over 300 registered nurses
- Over 900 pastors
All of them are sharing this information in their churches. These Health Ministers are currently located in every state in the United States as well as in 50 foreign countries.
We recently trained nearly 300 Health Ministers in Nigeria, Africa, and have been invited to Hong Kong and Taiwan later this year to take the health message not only to those countries but mainland China as well.
We have recently added Online Health Minister Training as well! Now, even if you live on other side of the globe, you can take Health Minister Training on your schedule, with no airfare or hotel costs. Plus, it’s a 6-week course so that you can study on your time, day or night.
In our call center, we field up to 500 incoming calls a day and our shipping department mails sometimes over 500 parcels a day, not only to addresses in America, but to over 139 other countries. The profits derived from the sale of these products are how we fund the ministry.
Every time you buy something from Hallelujah Acres, you help us reach more people with God’s health message!
In 1998, we established “Hallelujah Acres Canada” including an education and shipping center in Toronto, as well as hundreds of trained Health Ministers scattered across the Canadian provinces.
In 2003, we opened our first Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Center in Lake Lure, North Carolina. Our lifestyle centers are in the homes of trained Health Ministers who take people into their home for a week or two where they actually experience The Hallelujah Diet and Lifestyle. People learn about the diet and receive hands-on instructions into the how-to of our program as well as helping prepare and then taste the delicious foods of The Hallelujah Diet.
The first Lifestyle Center was incredibly popular. It was so helpful in introducing people to the ease with which they can make The Hallelujah Diet a part of their everyday life that we created a second center in Plant City, Florida, then another in Branson, Missouri, and last year we opened our newest center in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
What the Future Holds for Hallelujah Acres
What does the future hold for Hallelujah Acres? Only God knows! But it is thrilling to see how far Hallelujah Acres has already come since God gave me a vision back in 1988. I shared that vision in the last chapter of my first book “Why Christians Get Sick.” Following are the words I wrote 25 years ago concerning the future of a ministry that was only a dream at the time of the writing:
“My goal is to make Hallelujah Acres into a modern Garden of Eden, from which God’s natural ways of health and healing will flow to Christians around the world. I envision Hallelujah Acres as being a place where Christians can come to seminars where they will learn how to grow, prepare, and serve foods as God intended. Nutrition and proper care of the body will be taught and then these Christians can go back to their respective areas of influence to share this knowledge with others. I personally believe that the American people, and especially Christians, are thoroughly disenchanted with the present means available for dealing with sickness, and are just waiting for someone to show them a better way. I want to and am willing and ready to do all I can to make this happen. Will you help me? The job is staggering, but the potential rewards can be fabulously exciting.”
“As for the future, I envision Christian churches worldwide as being places were prayer requests for sickness are a thing of the past, and God’s people exude the wellness God designed for His human creation. If Jesus tarries and with your help, I believe this is an attainable goal. Dear reader, will you join us as we continue our efforts to reach ever more fellow Christians, and anyone else who will listen, with the Biblical health message God has entrusted us with? With stronger and healthier bodies, we will be better equipped to fulfill that Great Commission Jesus entrusted us with – Which is:
“Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)”
Traditional medicine and government-funded insurance are not the solution to our current health care crisis. However, we here at Hallelujah Acres do have the solution, it is a solution articulated in the Word of God.
Will you help us take God’s health message to multitudes of Christians around the world who are sick and dying needlessly, as well as to anyone else who will listen?
Together, and with God’s help, we can bring health and healing to a church and society that is sick and dying needlessly. I dream of a time when churches no longer spend most of prayer time praying for the sick, but rather praying for the souls of those that don’t know Jesus, and when our monies no longer go for sick care but rather for the advancement of the Gospel.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and BE IN HEALTH, even as thy soul prospereth.”
~ 3 John 1:2
That’s it for this time. Next week, the good Lord willing and if the creeks don’t rise too high we will return with another issue of the Hallelujah Acres Health Tip. Trust you will join us and that you will share these Health Tips with friends and loved ones.