Salem4Youth Ranch was founded as a Christ centered institution. In 1896, the King family gave this hallowed ground to be used as a ministry to the needs of orphaned youth, serving them physically, educationally, and spiritually.
The founders believed and modeled that if Christ was the key – if Christ was the center of all things – then Salem4Youth Ranch would be able to serve and always meet the needs of the children placed in its care.
Salem4Youth Ranch continues to provide those beginning core values and foster those beliefs. Our mission statement: “Salem4Youth Ranch is to provide a safe and nurturing, Christ-centered, environment where young men between the ages of 12-17 can learn life skills that will better prepare them to function successfully in society. We minister to them on the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual level, with emphasis on the spiritual.”
Being “Christ centered” is the guiding principle as to how The Ranch is operated. As a staff and board we must never lose sight of that core principle. As the Apostle Peter learned when he stepped out of the boat and began to walk on the water (Matt 14), we must keep our eyes on Christ, or else we will sink.
Christ-centeredness is critical to The Ranch’s very existence. If Salem4Youth Ranch staff, supporters, or board members lose sight of a Christ-centered vision and Christ-centered practices then Salem4Youth Ranch will become ineffective, worldly, and will cease to exist.
This document will lay the foundation as to the purpose and direction that any and all who serve at Salem4Youth Ranch must uphold, both publicly and privately.
Salem4Youth Ranch doctrinal statement is the foundation upon which we stand. Our doctrinal statement reads as follows:
We believe the Bible to be the Word of God; inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in its original manuscripts. It is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
(I Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:20, 21; Jn. 8:31,32)
We believe that there is one God eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
(Gen 1:1, 26; Jn. 1:1,3; Matt. 28:19; Rom 1:19, 20)
We believe God the Father to be an infinite, personal spirit who is perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, and love. As the eternally existent one He knows infallibly all that shall come to pass yet mercifully concerns Himself with the affairs of men. He hears and answers prayer and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
(Lk. 10:21,22; Jn. 3:16, 6:27; 1Tim. 1:1,2; 2:5,6; 1Pet. 1:3)
We believe in the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father, His perpetual intercession for His people, and His personal return in power and glory.
(Mt. 1:18-25; Lk. 1:26-38; Jn. 1:1; Rom. 8:32, 9:5; 2Cor. 5:21; 1Pet. 2:21-23; Jn. 20:30,31; Mt. 20:28; Acts 1:11; Rom. 5:6-8, 6:9,10; Heb. 7:25, 9:28)
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a Godly life. The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and Son in deity; He convicts the world of sin and works to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe on Jesus Christ.
(Jn. 14:16,17,26; 15:26,27; 16:9-14; Rom. 8:9-11; 1Cor. 3:16, 6:19; Gal. 5:22-26)
We believe that man was created in the image of God. Through sin man experienced both physical and spiritual death and separation from God. All humans are born with a sin nature and are sinful by choice and under the just condemnation of God. Those that repent of their sin and put their faith for salvation entirely upon Jesus Christ are regenerated by the Spirit and become new creatures. They are delivered from condemnation and receive eternal life.
(Gen. 1:26; 3; 5:1,2; Jn. 3:14,15; 5:24; 8:12; 10:26-28; Rom. 9:22; 2Thes. 1:9; Rev. 20: 14,15; Ps. 51:7; Jer. 17:9; Ja. 1:13-15; Rom. 3:19, 5:19, Prov. 28:13; 1Jn. 1:9; Jn. 3:16; Jn. 1:12,13; 2Cor. 5:17; Rom. 8:1)
We believe in the personal and visible return of Christ Jesus to earth and the establishment of His kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body and the final judgment – the righteous to eternal life and the wicked to eternal punishment.
(Mt. 16:27; Mk. 14:62; Jn. 14:3; Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; 1Cor. 4:13-18; 2Tim. 4:1; 1Thess. 4:16; Titus 2:13; 1Cor. 4:5, 15:50-56; 2Thes. 1:7-10; Rev. 20:11-15)
For a more detailed explanation of the doctrinal positions of Salem4Youth Ranch, please see our Statement of Faith – available as a separate document.
Salem4Youth Ranch is convinced that the only way to change outward behavior is through an inward change of the heart. Our further conviction is that, though we can attempt to change minds and behaviors through our human efforts, only a relationship with Jesus Christ can change the heart.
Every young man and family who comes to Salem4Youth Ranch arrives with a unique set of challenges that need to be addressed. The Biblical counselors and staff at Salem4Youth Ranch believe that virtually every challenge and solution has a spiritual foundation. Our primary goal is that every student is open to discovering that, through Christ, there is forgiveness. Christ will supply the power and desire to change, and the comfort, healing, and hope that only His presence in their lives can bring. (Note: It is not a requirement that the young men or their families accept Christ in order to graduate from the program, or for that matter, to be accepted into the program. We do, however, expect that all young men and their families who are a part of our program be respectful of the ministry’s core beliefs and that they will be open to learning about how it can impact their lives.)
Salem4Youth Ranch staff believe we are at all times doing one of two things: we are either evangelizing (sharing the gospel) to the unbeliever or we are making disciples (teaching and encouraging) the born again believer and Christ follower.
It shall be the goal of every Salem4Youth Ranch staff member, whether in formal or informal counseling, with a student or his parents, to keep in mind the above stated core convictions and philosophy. Each staff member shall be familiar with the doctrinal statements and be able to apply them to their private lives and in ministry with students and families. Each staff member shall continually pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to know how best to minister to our students, their families and to one another.