On February 12, 2014, the very same day I celebrate my 80th birthday, Hallelujah Acres will celebrate its 22nd birthday. Following is a brief review, telling of Hallelujah Acres beginning, growth, and current status, along with our vision for the future.
In 1976, I was 42 years old and pastor of The Greater Glens Falls Bible Baptist Church in Hudson Falls, New York, 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 church – a Bible believing church.
By 1976 the church had a membership of over 600, a Christian school with over 100 students 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 in school preparing for the ministry. God’s blessing was surely on that ministry!
In January of that same year, 38 years ago, amidst all that blessing, I started experiencing rectal bleeding and a baseball-sized tumor was discovered under my left rib cage. Then came the devastating news – “colon cancer.”
Just prior to those devastating words, I had lost my mother (a registered nurse) to colon cancer despite her attempts to get well through modern medicine. At the time of mother’s death, I was convinced she died not from the cancer itself, but rather from the medical treatments.
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, rather than the way Mom had gone with such devastating results.
In my search, I reached out to an evangelist friend in Texas by the name of Lester Roloff. At the time, many in the Christian community considered Brother Roloff a “health nut.”
Why? Because he for years had been trying to get preachers to change their diets. For this he was severely criticized by his preacher friends.
But that criticism didn’t stop me from listening to and heeding his advice when he discouraged me from going the medical route and encouraged me to stop eating the world’s meat-based, sugar laden, Standard American (SAD) Diet, which Brother Roloff 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 of making the diet change, my tumor and all symptoms of cancer were gone, and without any medical intervention. During that first year, not only did my cancer go away, but all other physical problems I was experiencing prior to making the diet change also went away.
That experience caused me as a pastor and student of the Bible, to search the Scriptures to see if I could find more counsel from God pertaining to diet, health, nutrition, lifestyle, etc., information that could possibly shed additional light on what appeared to be an almost miraculous recovery.
That Biblical search led me to numerous verses in addition to the Genesis 1:29 verse Brother Roloff had turned me on to; verses like the second verse of third John, which says:
“Beloved, I wish above all things that though mayest prosper and BE IN HEALTH, even as thy soul prospereth.”
In 1988, my miraculous cancer recovery, along with the numerous Bible verses I had found, inspired the writing of my first book, Why Christians Get Sick. This book was originally self-published and then picked up by Destiny Image, a Christian publisher.
Over a million copies of this book are now in print and the book has been translated into several languages. The book contains over 100 of those Scripture verses I had previously found 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 founding, 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 hit by a freight train in 1981, and as a result, arthritis had settled into almost every joint in her body and she could hardly move.
Rhonda adopted the Hallelujah Diet (She says: “to prove it could not help her arthritic condition doctors had been unable to help in the previous ten years”), and within a year of making the diet change, her arthritis was gone and she had lost 85 pounds. I love to tell folks that “After I rebuilt her body I married her!”
On February 12, 1992, because of all that was being learned and personally experienced, Rhonda and I established Hallelujah Acres, as 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 abundant prayer.
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. 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 healing started to be shared by those who had applied our teachings and been healed of myriad physical problems – from cancers to diabetes to incredible reports of weight loss.
One man, after only six months on what we called 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 then, tens-of-thousands have written to tell me that after adopting the Hallelujah Diet they have recovered from over 170 different physical problems, including even terminal cancers.
It wasn’t long before pastors from across the country were asking me to hold seminars in their churches and in the mid-1990s. Pat Robertson also asked me to appear on the 700 Club with Graeme Coad, Chaplain of the 700 Club for 12 years, who had seen his terminal prostate cancer go away on the Hallelujah Diet.
That nine-minute interview with Pat Robertson generated more response than anything the 700 Club had ever experienced at the time.
Since then, appearances on Trinity Broadcasting, the Jim Bakker Show, ABC Nightline, NBC, CBS, along with numerous appearances on FOX News and The Food Network, have introduced the Hallelujah Diet to millions.
In 1993, Hallelujah Acres began publishing a free paper publication that reached a readership of over a half-million before ceasing its publication in 2012. In 1997 we established a wonderful website at www.hacres.com which contains hundreds of pages 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 over 40,000 homes around the world. You are reading consecutive issue #846.
Today, Hallelujah Acres International Headquarters is housed in a beautiful building in Gastonia, North Carolina. (Gastonia is a suburb of Charlotte, and only 20 minutes from the Charlotte International Airport).
Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina, only 15-minutes to the east of Gastonia. Charlotte boasts an international airport. Mountain views are common in an area of mostly rolling hills, and the climate is the best – mild winters, incredible spring and fall, and summers not as hot as I experienced in New York where I was raised.
With a current staff of nearly 40 people, our biblical health message is still bringing hope and healing to millions around the world, and we have trained over 10,000 Health Ministers to help us take this health message to the world.
Among our Health Ministers are 64 medical doctors, 75 chiropractors, more than 300 registered nurses and over 900 pastors who are sharing this information in their churches.
These Hallelujah Acres-trained Health Ministers are currently located in every state in the United States as well as in 49 foreign countries.
Our call center fields some 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 foreign countries.
The proceeds derived from the sale of products is how we support the ministry — every time you purchase something from Hallelujah Acres, you help us reach more people with God’s health message. Thank you!
In 1998 we established “Hallelujah Acres Canada” and currently have a wonderful store and shipping center located in Toronto, and have hundreds of trained Health Ministers scattered across all of the Canadian provinces.
In 2003 we opened our first Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Center in Lake Lure, North Carolina. These lifestyle centers are in the homes of trained Health Ministers who take people into their homes for a week or two.
In these Lifestyle Centers 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. These Lifestyle Centers are incredibly popular and so helpful in introducing people to the ease with which they can make the Hallelujah Diet a part of their everyday life.
In 2012 we established “Hallelujah Acres Nigeria” and currently have stores in three of Nigeria’s largest cities and over 500 Nigerians have completed our Health Minister Training.
Hallelujah Acres Hong Kong, which will also minister to mainland China, Taiwan and Malaysia is scheduled to open in 2014. Already the book “Why Christians Get Sick” has been translated into Chinese and many other writings are in the process of being translated.
The internet has become more and more important to our growth in recent years, and we are currently in the process of revamping our www.hacres.com web site.
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 which I shared in the last chapter of my first book “Why Christians Get Sick.” Following are the words I wrote over 20 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)”
Will you join us here at Hallelujah Acres and 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?
Next week, the good Lord willing and if the creeks don’t rise too high we will return with another exciting issue of the Hallelujah Health Tip. Trust you will join us and that you will share these Health Tips with friends and loved ones.