Video: Faith Based Long Term Residency Program Transforms Men’s Lives

[syndicaster id=’5770875′]

PONTOTOC CO. , MISS. (WCBI) – It is the season for graduations and this past Sunday, a local church hosted a special ceremony for a group of men, who have graduated out of an intensive, recovery program.

As WCBI’s Allie Martin reports,  it is the first graduating class for “Transformation Ranch” and its leaders and participants say the results are life changing.

For the past nine months, Robbie Gillespie has lived at this Pontotoc County property on Kings Highway.  He came here after his family went through an unthinkable tragedy.

“My ex wife sat on my six week old son and smothered him to death.  I was in a mental hospital four times, over a period of a year, I was on a bunch of psych meds,” Gillespie said.

Robbie heard about a new recovery program called “Transformation Ranch.”

“I didn’t understand how much Jesus loved me, I was baptized seven years ago and I came here and I just got real with God,” he said.

David Ball is pastor of “The Anchor Church” and says he felt the need to open a residential Christian discipleship program for men with life controlling issues.

“We want to minister and provide help , hope and healing to the hurting people who are surrounding us,” Pastor Ball said.

This 40 acre property was made available to the church and it has a main residence, a bunk house and a pond.  Both structures were in disrepair, but hard work from “Transformation Ranch” residents ,  volunteers and staff members made a huge difference.

Transformation Ranch Resident Director Warren Seavey describes his job as the toughest he’s ever had, but also the most rewarding.

“I get to watch young men come in here, desperate and hopeless , and as time goes on, I watch the transformation of them into something miraculous,” Seavey said.

The program is intense and difficult.

“We make the decisions for them, they’re very restricted in their life and over three different phases they learn how to make those decisions in a Godly way,” Pastor Ball said.

On Sunday,  a celebration was held for the first graduates of Transformation Ranch.  Four men , including Robbie Gillespie, completed the course.

“This is an awesome place and it can change people’s lives,” Gillespie said.

A solitary cross sits outside the gates of “Transformation Ranch”  As Pastor Ball explains, the cross was placed in quikrete, because a storm had knocked it over.  Now, there are signs of life on the limbs.

“There’s little green sprigs coming out of the cross, it’s been cut down, severed, separated from its roots, cemented in ground, yet it is still sprouting roots.   A lot like these guys, they ‘ve been cut down, separated from life. All of a sudden you’re seeing green life come in these guys and smiles come to their faces and joy return to their heart.”  That cross out there, with its sprigs, a miracle as it is is a demonstration of what’s going on at the Transformation Ranch. Guys that are broken, and bruised and dead are being made alive through the power of the cross,” Pastor Ball said.

The “Transformation Ranch” is always looking for volunteers.  For more information, go to, or

Categories: Local News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *