On February 12, 2011, the very same day I celebrate my 77th birthday, Hallelujah Acres will celebrate its 19th 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.
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 discovered under my left rib cage. Then came the news – “colon cancer.”
Just prior to those devastating words I had lost my mother, a registered nurse, to colon cancer after she had chosen the medical route for her treatment. At the time of mother’s death I was convinced she died not from the cancer, but rather the treatments given her. Because of mother’s bad experience, 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 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. 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. I made the diet change overnight and it wasn’t long before the rectal bleeding had stopped.
Within one year of making the diet change, my tumor (as well as all symptoms of cancer) was gone – without any medical intervention. During that first year, not only did my cancer go away, but so did all other physical problems I was experiencing prior to making the diet change.
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. I was looking for 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 we read: “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 the Scripture verses I had 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 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 hit by a freight train in 1981. As a result of that accident, 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 my arthritic condition doctors had been unable to help in the previous ten years.” 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, a Christian ministry! It was established for the purpose of teaching health from a Biblical perspective. Hallelujah Acres 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 Saturday mornings.
As people started listening and applying what was being taught, there came testimonies of miraculous healings from myriad physical problems – everything from cancers to diabetes to incredible reports of weight loss.
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 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 and 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 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 has a current readership of over a half-million. In 1997 we established a wonderful website 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 over 40,000 homes around the world. You are reading consecutive issue #690.
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 less than an hour to the west. Mountain views are common in this 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 46 people, our Biblical health message is bringing hope and healing to millions around the world, and we have trained over 10,000 Health Ministers to help us take this message to the world.
Included in those 10,000-plus Health Ministers are 63 medical doctors, 75 chiropractors, 300 plus 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 some 139 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.
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. We even mail a Canadian version of our paper publication to thousands across Canada at no cost.
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 Branson, Missouri. These lifestyle centers are in the homes of trained Health Ministers who take people into their homes for a week or two to teach them how to implement The Hallelujah Diet at home. Several other Lifestyle Centers are in the plans.
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.
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 had done time and time again before, when the need arose, He answered by availing us to 300 acres of land located directly across the road from Hallelujah Acres.
While we keep an eye on the economy to implement the plan for 72-room hotel and 250 seat Hallelujah Acres Restaurant on that land, we have moved ahead with developing “The Villages of Hallelujah Acres,” the nation’s first healthy lifestyle community. Ground breaking for “The Villages” took place on February 29, 2008 and infrastructure was completed by 2010. All utilities, including sewer, water, electric, natural gas, telephone, cable, and high speed internet, are underground and available.
Three homes have already been built in the Villages, one being the residence of this editor and Rhonda, to which we moved on November 3, 2009. We were very excited to be The Villages’ first residents.
The Villages will eventually have some 600 residences including 190 (one, two, and three bedroom) condominiums. A number of homesites have been sold or reserved while several families have moved to the area awaiting the completion of our first condominium.
The internet has become more and more important to our growth in recent years, and this past year we have totally revamped our www.hacres.com web site, our Villages website, and our new Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Center website is due to go online any day now. Also our product website has been totally revamped and ordering on the internet improved dramatically.
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)”
I close by repeating a few additional 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 who are sick and dying needlessly, as well as to anyone else who will listen?
“Universal Health Care” is not the solution to our current health care crisis because it forces everyone into a system that has already proven to be a failure. However, we here at Hallelujah Acres do have the solution, it is God’s solution, and is articulated in the Word of God.
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. My dream is to see churches that no longer spend most of prayer time praying for the sick, but rather praying for the souls of those that know not Jesus, and where our monies no longer go for sick care.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and BE IN HEALTH, even as thy soul prospereth.”
III John 2