Monroe County resident Ann Johnson has a special place in her heart for a ministry for at-risk youth begun 30 years ago in rural Scott County by her grandparents, Glen and Helen Wilson. Her heart recently broke when she saw the dire need for repair at the camp and is asking for volunteers to lend skilled labor to get it back to its prime.

The Wilsons took 191 acres of donated land to create Sunbelt Christian Youth Ranch in central Mississippi. The ranch has beef and dairy cattle, horses, pigs, chickens and rabbits, and each household of 10 residents previously raised and cared for its own livestock and grew its own produce.

“We need this ministry to help at-risk youth before they develop issues that contribute to delinquency,” Johnson said.

The years of service have taken their toll on the facilities, however.

“Sunbelt is unable to operate at the present time until a campus rehabilitation can be completed,” Johnson said. “The ranch needs volunteers for general construction, as well as manual labor and mechanical skills to repair equipment.”

According to Johnson, much of the construction and physical improvement work at Sunbelt is done by volunteers, either individually or in groups. Bunkhouse accommodations are available on campus for guests.

“We’re hoping to be operational again by January 2020,” she said.

More information about Sunbelt Christian Youth Ranch and volunteering may be accessed at or by calling (601) 775-3498.

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