On February 12, 2010, the very same day I celebrate my 76th birthday, Hallelujah Acres will celebrate its 18th 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. 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!
Then in January 1976, amidst all that blessing, I started experiencing rectal bleeding and a baseball sized tumor was discovering under my left rib cage. Then came the news – “Colon Cancer.” Just prior to that devastating news, I had lost my mother, a registered nurse, to colon cancer after going the medical route. At the time of mother’s death I was convinced she died not from the cancer, but rather 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 in Texas by the name of Lester Roloff. At the time, many in the Christian Community considered Brother Roloff a “Health Nut,” and were severely critical of his Biblically based health message. 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 Diet (SAD), 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, including lots of fresh vegetable juices. Overnight I made the diet change and within less than one year, my tumor as well as all symptoms of cancer were gone 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 3 John 2:1, where God 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.
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 that seminar. 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. She got on The Hallelujah Diet, and within less than a year 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, a Christian Ministry! It was established for the purpose of teaching Health from a Biblical perspective, and 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 even though most of the prayer requests in our churches were for healing.
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 little restaurant in those early days – that is until I started offering a free “How to Eliminate Sickness” seminar Saturday mornings. As people started listening and applying what was being taught, testimonies of miraculous healings started to be shared by those who had been healed of a myriad of physical problems.
One man, after only six months on the 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 they have recovered from over 170 different physical problems after adopting what we call today “The Hallelujah Diet,” including even terminal cancers.
It wasn’t long before pastors from across the country were asking me to hold seminars in their churches. In the mid-1990’s, 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. Later, appearances on Trinity Broadcasting, ABC Nightline, NBC, CBS, along with numerous appearances on FOX News and The Food Network, introduced The Hallelujah Diet to millions.
In 1993, Hallelujah Acres began publishing a free paper publication that has a current readership of over a half-million. In 1997 we established a wonderful website at www.hacres.com which 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 approximately 40,000 homes around the world. You are reading consecutive issue #638.
Today, Hallelujah Acres sits on 20 beautifully landscaped acres of land on the outskirts of Shelby, North Carolina (population 21,000), located between Charlotte and the gorgeous mountains of North Carolina an hour to the west. Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina and only 45 minutes to the east. 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.
With a current staff of 50 people, our Biblical Health Message is bringing hope and healing to millions around the world, and we have trained over 9,000 Health Ministers to help us take this Health Message to the world. Included in those 9,000 plus Health Ministers are 63 medical doctors, over 300 registered nurses and over 900 pastors who are sharing this information in their churches. These trained Health Ministers are currently located in every state in the United States as well as in 45 foreign countries.
Our Call Center handles some 500 incoming calls a day and our shipping department mails sometimes over 500 parcels a day, not only to addresses in America, but last year to 69 foreign countries. The profits derived from the sale of products are how we support the ministry. Thus every time someone purchases something from Hallelujah Acres they are helping us reach more people with God’s Health Message, “You don’t have to be sick!”
In 1998 we established “Hallelujah Acres Canada” and currently have a lovely store and shipping center located in Toronto, and have hundreds of trained Health Ministers scattered across all of the Canadian provinces. And we mail a special Canadian issue of our paper publication to thousands across Canada bi-monthly.
In 2003 we opened our first Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Center in Lake Lure, North Carolina, then a second in Plant City, Florida, and another in southern California, and our most recent in Branson, Missouri. These lifestyle centers are in the homes of trained Health Ministers who take people into their homes for a week or two. There they 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.
By 2006, Hallelujah Acres was running out of room. We did not want to relocate, so where to go was a huge question. But just like God has done time and again before, when the need arose, God answered by making available to us over 150 acres of cow pasture located directly across the road from Hallelujah Acres. We purchased the land and were just about to start construction of a 72-room Hotel and 250 seat Hallelujah Acres Restaurant when the economy went south. As soon as the economy improves we will move forward with this project.
In the mean time, we have moved ahead with developing most of the land into “The Villages of Hallelujah Acres” – A Christian Community that will emphasize “healthy living.” Ground breaking for “The Villages” took place on February 29, 2008 and infrastructure was completed in the fall of 2009. All utilities, including sewer, water, electric, natural gas, telephone and cable are underground and available.
Two homes have already been built in the Villages, one being the residence of this editor and Rhonda, which we moved into on November 3, 2009, and the other is Dr. Beam’s home. The Villages will eventually have some 600 residences including 190 (one, two, and three bedroom) Condominiums. A number of home sites have been sold or reserved while several families have moved to the area awaiting the completion of our first condominium. We have had over 2,000 express interest in living in the Villages and we receive new inquiries daily. Learn more about the Villages of 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 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 had not as yet begun 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)”
I close by repeating those words I wrote over 20 years ago: “Will you help me? The job is staggering but the potential rewards can be fabulously exciting.”
Will you join us here at Hallelujah Acres and help us take God’s Health Message to multitudes of Christians around the world, as well as to anyone else who will listen? “Universal Health Care” is not the solution to our current health care crisis – but we here at Hallelujah Acres do have the solution. Please join us, because together and with God’s help, we can bring health and healing to a society that is sick and dying needlessly.