Good News For Children Across Big Bend

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By: Emily Johnson
October 12, 2013

Madison County, FL - Folks in Madison County enjoyed some good food and great music at the 'Good News Music Festival' earlier today. They came out to support the Madison Youth Ranch, a children's refuge center, being built by the Florida United Methodist Children's Home.

Many churches and musicians in the area were involved in putting on the festival today and all of the proceeds will go to building a chapel at the ranch site.
"The district superintendent's goal in this area, which is over a 100 churches to fund the chapel," Barbra Faircloth, Event Coordinator.

The ranch will serve the needs of children in the Big Bend, but also the rest of North Florida. " The youth need people who care. I have been a licensed foster parent myself and have seen kids that really needed some extra special loving," said Faircloth.

The Madison Youth Ranch is being modeled after the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in Orlando, but with a western twist. "We want to have horses, a ranch setting. A place where when they get home from school at the end of the day they have a place to go where they know that they're safe and their loved and their cared for," said Merrilu Bennett, Florida United Methodist Children's Home Communications Coordinator.

The next phase for the ranch is to finish the director's home and the cottages where the children will stay. After that is complete the group will start the work on the equestrian facility and the chapel. "Building the horse stable area and the paddock, which will be a big part of our therapeutic program for the kids. And eventually we'll be building a chapel and that's what today is all about, is supporting the spiritual side of the campus," said Mark Nelson, Florida United Methodist Children's Home Vice President of Development.

The 'Good News Music Festival' wanted to raise $5,000 for the chapel today. The Madison Youth Ranch is set to be completed by the fall of next year.