In this week’s Health Tip I want to cover the history of Hallelujah Acres from 1992 until 1997, the year we moved the ministry from Tennessee to its current facility in Shelby, North Carolina.
To God Be The Glory
As I reflect on what has transpired during the past 20 years, the words of that great Christian hymn come to mind: “To God be the glory, great things He has done.”
I want to say that without God’s leading and help, Hallelujah Acres would not have become a reality. Man can only do so much, but when God is in it, all things are possible.
Reflecting on those challenges, and final triumph, reminds me of the words of another great gospel song, written by Kittie Suffield in 1924 titled:
Little Is Much When God Is In It
In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark the voice of God is calling,
To the harvest calling you.
Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame,
There’s a crown and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ Name!
1992 – Hallelujah Acres Has Its Beginning
Shortly after Christmas 1991, Rhonda came into the antique mall I was managing all excited to tell me of a tiny restaurant that was closing its doors down the street. She said if we could rent the space I would have a place to sell my health products and hold my seminars.
It sounded like a great idea… but neither of us had any money.
So I went to the president of the local bank with (whom I had developed a friendship because he too had an interest in health and healthy living) and I asked to borrow $1,000. Using my 1986 Mazda pick-up truck as security I was able to obtain a loan.
With that $1,000 we paid the first month’s rent of $50, purchased some tables, 16 chairs, some used kitchen equipment, some produce for the dining room and product for the shelves. We opened “Hallelujah Acres” in that storefront on February 12, 1992 selling carrot juice by the glass and offering a limited vegetarian menu.
DID YOU KNOW?
In those early days we lived on our tips of about $25.00 per week, while putting all profits back into paying off the loan and building inventory. To this day, we have never taken a salary, received a bonus, or been paid for a seminar or culinary class, yet God has met our needs and blessed us financially above anything we could ask or think.
In those early days few frequented our restaurant in that little town of Rogersville, Tennessee. The town had a population of only 5,000 people and there was little nutritional awareness. We were getting quite discouraged until we started holding a free “How to Eliminate Sickness” seminar on Saturday mornings in the restaurant.
People began coming to hear the health message, staying for lunch, and buying product. As people started applying what was being taught, testimonies started being shared with others and it wasn’t long before we had standing room only in the seminars!
Our restaurant was being frequented by local businesspersons, judges from the next door courthouse, and the president of the bank had a standing order for daily carrot juice.
Within a year of opening the doors of Hallelujah Acres we couldn’t contain everyone in that 16-seat restaurant. Plus, the basement of the restaurant was becoming too small to warehouse and ship the products we were now shipping across the country.
DID YOU KNOW?
In those early days our customer names and contact information were handwritten on 3×5 index cards and kept in a shoebox.
1993 – Hallelujah Acres Moves And Publishes A Magazine
In the spring of 1993 we moved down the street three doors to a 56-seat restaurant; the day we opened we had to turn people away! Soon our seminars filled the restaurant with people coming from across America and sometimes even another country.
During 1993 we also published the first issue our paper publication, “Back to the Garden“. The first issue was two colors, eight pages, and we had 3,000 copies printed. Today, this publication is called the “Hallelujah Acres Health News,” has 48 full color pages and is read by a half-million people bi-monthly.
This magazine has been a free publication ever since we started publishing it in 1993 — and it is still free to read online today from anywhere in the world! The paper version is also available to US and Canadian residents through an annual subscription.
1994 – Hallelujah Acres Moves Again
After two years ministering in Rogersville, we felt that closing the restaurant and going on the road would enable us to reach many more people with the message “You Don’t Have to be Sick!” So we moved Hallelujah Acres to our 50-acre farm where we were living on Clinch Mountain in Eidson, Tennessee.
There we built a building to house the ministry and I started doing seminars across America. No sooner had that first ministry building been completed then it was too small! We immediately started construction of a much larger second ministry building where we held our first Saturday-of-the-month “You Don’t Have to be Sick” seminars.
I was gone a great part of the time. Meanwhile, Rhonda was overseeing the ministry operation in Tennessee, which was growing in leaps and bounds necessitating hiring others to help handle the rapidly growing interest in the Health Message we were proclaiming.
Our Motto – That the Whole World Might Know – You Don’t Have to be Sick!
1994 – First Health Minister Training
People were adopting The Hallelujah Diet and becoming well from all kinds of physical problems. These people began asking us to teach them how to share God’s health message with others. As a result, in August 1994 we held our first Health Minister Training with 25 in attendance.
Our new ministry building was not completed as yet and not having sufficient finances to purchase chairs, that first group of Health Ministers sat on 2×10 wood planks resting on concrete blocks. We had no windows yet and the floor wasn’t even finished.
Attending that first training was Olin Idol (PHOTO: upper left corner in plaid shirt) who joined me in 1995 as my personal assistant, and has been with Hallelujah Acres ever since.
Bev and Chet Cook (PHOTO: middle row, far right – Chet is wearing a black shirt) were also in that training. They later opened the first Hallelujah Acres first Lifestyle Center in Lake Lure, North Carolina and currently direct all four of our Lifestyle Centers. Dr. Rowen Pfeifer was also in that first training.
1995 – Rev. Malkmus Appears On 700 Club
By this time, Graeme Coad, who at the time was Chaplin of the 700 Club, had reversed his terminal prostate cancer on The Hallelujah Diet. Graeme was instrumental in getting me on the 700 Club for a nine-minute interview with Pat Robertson. That nine-minute interview generated more response than the 700 Club had ever had.
That television exposure caused a tremendous increase in interest in The Hallelujah Diet. Since then I have had opportunity to appear on ABC Nightline, all major TV networks, Trinity Broadcasting, The Food Network, Fox News (3 times) and the Jim Baker show.
1995 – “God’s Way To Ultimate Health” Published
My second book, “God’s Way to Ultimate Health” has everything a person needs to know about how to return to God’s original plan for nourishing the human body. The book contains 279 pages of vital information and real-life testimonies – a book that many people say saved their lives. (Over a quarter million copies of this book are now in print.)
Also in 1995, Destiny Image took over the printing and distribution of my first book “Why Christians Get Sick.” Over a million copies of this book are now in print and are available in several languages.
1996 – Rev. Malkmus Holds Seminars Across America
By 1996, so many churches across America were wanting the hear God’s health message that I traveled across America holding “How to Eliminate Sickness” seminars. Some of these seminars had attendances of over 1,000 people.
These seminars took me from Florida to Texas, up the west coast, across the fruited plains, the northern states from Wisconsin to New England, and down the eastern seaboard. I remember doing 17 seminars in 18 days in Texas on one of those speaking tours.
1997 – Hallelujah Acres Goes Online
Not many people had access to the internet as yet, but we realized it provided the potential for us to reach people around the world with the message “You Don’t Have to be Sick.”
What should our URL be? We thought of “HallelujahAcres.com” but knew if they had to spell “Hallelujah” they would never gain access. So we just used the letter “H” for “Hallelujah” and ended up with www.hacres.com. Today, this site averages over 90,000 hits per month.
1997 – The Very First Health Tip
About the same time we went on the internet, we began publishing a FREE weekly electronic Health Tip. There were not many subscribers in those early days, but as more and more people gained access to the internet subscriptions have steadily increased. Today this electronic Health Tip goes out to nearly 100,000 subscribers weekly.
I personally write these weekly electronic Health Tips between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m. most mornings. This issue is consecutive issue #740, and all previous issues are available in the archives (look for the “wall clock” icon on the right hand side).
1997 – Hallelujah Acres Moves To North Carolina
The location of our ministry — on a mountaintop in Tennessee, located on a dirt road, very difficult to find and far from an interstate or airport — was by now running out of room and there was no more buildable land on that mountaintop. So we started a search for a new location.
A businessman from Shelby, North Carolina attended one of my seminars in Tennessee and shared that he had a building in Shelby that he owned that would be perfect for our ministry. It had been built for a Christian school, which had closed its doors and become the campus of Ambassador College.
Ambassador College had outgrown the facility and it was available. Bud Mims, the owner, knew that we didn’t have much financially to purchase the building so he allowed us to move into the building while he held the mortgage and allowed us to pay off the mortgage as finances allowed.
The location was ideal! It was only 45 minutes from the Charlotte international airport and within an hour or less drive of four interstate highways. Shelby was small enough to have the small town appeal without a lot of traffic, but large enough to provide all basic needs and less than an hour away from Charlotte, the largest city in North Carolina.
We turned the gym into a 400-seat auditorium, the classrooms into offices for our rapidly expanding staff, the basement into warehousing of product and shipping, two of the offices into our call center, and the library into our store. We moved into our new facility on November 1, 1997.
On February 4, 2012, at my first-Saturday-of-the-month “God’s Way to Ultimate Health” seminar here at Hallelujah Acres, we will celebrate the ministry’s 20th Anniversary! In addition to the seminar, many special things are planned for that day including a healthy birthday cake for the enjoyment of all those at the seminar. Y’all come!
Next week, the good Lord willing and if the creeks don’t rise too high, we will pick up where we have left off here with our move to Shelby, North Carolina. We will share how Hallelujah Acres has grown in this new location (now 58 full time employees) and how we are building a village. I trust you will join us next week as we continue to share the rest of the story.