Dear Friends & Supporters,                                                                           December 2015

As we write this newsletter, the Christmas season is upon us. God has been faithful and has blessed us in many ways this past year. We greatly appreciate your friendship, prayers, and support. We are thankful for the 25 young men currently in the program. We thought that this newsletter would be a good opportunity for the fellows to share a few words of what has been going on in their lives. We look forward to God’s blessings in 2016. If you know of a young man between the ages of 16 – 24 that needs help, please give us a
call. Thanks again for your continued friendship and support.

Dennis McElwrath


“Over the last couple years, the Anchor has helped me to understand and practice my life with Christ. It has helped me to find real drive and purpose to go into my adult life.”
~Alex, 18

“When I came to Anchor in June, my life was very hard. The Lord has helped me with my problems. At Camp Calvary, I got saved. A pastor was very helpful at that time in my life. Anchor has shown me that God loves me and forgave me of my sins.” ~Sasha, 17

“The Anchor has taught me the value of hard work. It has taught me that no matter how difficult or monotonous the task to press on. If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
~Kyle, 19

“Before I came to the Anchor, I was pretty satisfied with how good a person I thought I was. The Anchor drastically changed that view. The preaching, teaching, interaction with other guys, and the staff, etc. brought all my flaws and problems to the surface. With the power of God, I have been able to slowly overcome these bumps in the road. I’m so glad God directed me in making the decision to enroll in the Anchor Academy. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” ~Christian, 19

“I think the Lord has helped me with my anger but he’s still working on me. I think and know everything happens for a reason, if you understand or not.” ~David, 17

“I’ve been to another program before this and it was $30,000 to stay five months. That program was not based on God so it didn’t do much to help me. The anchor is a place where I can be myself and learn about myself to where I can fix the things I need to work on. Since I’ve been here, God has done a lot of work in my life and I am very thankful to come to Anchor Academy because I know all of the Staff here care about us.”
~Drew, 16

“The Lord has helped me each day through my struggles and has helped keep me keep a good attitude at life.” ~Ryan, 18

“Anchor Academy helped me to realize my need for Christ and His free salvation. I am thankful for the staff who labor and serve every day faithfully.” ~Kona, 19

“The Anchor has helped me a lot to work well with others and most important, to develop a spiritual walk with God.” ~Andrew, 19

“Well, I’ve been here at the Anchor for almost 11 months. I’ve been blessed with a second chance at life and hope for the future. Thanks to the staff who have taught and led us to Jesus. I got saved on June 25 th at a church camp in Campbell, MO. I praise God for all his blessings.”
~Zack, 17

“The Anchor has really helped me further my walk with God. It has also helped me to better control my anger.” ~Danny, 18

“The Anchor has made me realize how much my situations are my fault. I’ve grown respect for authority and appreciation for my family. Most importantly, I have grown closer to God, something that would not have happened on my own.” ~Spencer, 17

“I like staying at the Anchor. It is only by God’s grace that I’m here and not somewhere else. I’m very thankful that I have friends here who love and care about me. I am very thankful for all the people who support this ministry and may God bless you all. Thank you!” ~Victor, 16

“I really enjoy it here at the Anchor. I enjoy all the staff here who helped me in different ways. I like the different activities we do and the things we build and all the work that is done to do them.” ~Anthony, 18

“The Anchor has helped me in many ways. I’m really glad God has prepared a place for me here, so I can step back into His will for my life, and serve and glorify Him in whatsoever I do.” ~Lawrence, 18

“The Anchor has been instrumental in changing my life. It has added structure, education, a new way of thinking, but most of all, it got me to a place where I could renew a right standing before God.” ~Josiah, 18

“I’ve seen a lot of guys come through the Anchor but I’ve never seen one leave here unchanged in some way, shape, or form. The sacrifice that the staff give is only a picture of what Christ did for us. And it’s because of their sacrifice that God can use them to minister to us. I thank God that He sent me here, because if He didn’t, I don’t know where I’d be.”
~Chase, 17

“My name is Caleb Conger. I’m currently 25. I came to the Anchor at 23 and now, almost two years later, here I am. A short summary about me. I’m from Albuquerque, NM. I grew up in a Christian home all my life but put on a mark most of my life, made bad choices, surrounded myself with careless people and never truly accepted Christ till 2010. Yet I was very backslidden doing things out of my own strength and in the last two years, God has done an amazing work in my life and I am continuing to grow. I have been blessed! Can’t wait till next year!” ~Caleb, 25

“The thing that has changed while I’ve been at Anchor is my attitude towards work. I’ve learned that when things get hard not to give up but to keep trying because I will have these moments in my life.With the Lord’s help, anything is possible and you appreciate things a lot more when you’ve worked for it.” ~Ryan, 18

“The Anchor has helped me learn how to control my anger. I’ve learned more in these nine months about God, self-discipline, and how to be a good testimony for people around me, than everything I have learned my whole life.” ~Jack, 16

“Anchor has taught me a lot about life skills and of God, most importantly. Through Anchor, I have also been able to get my driver’s license and high school diploma.”    ~James, 18

“The Anchor has helped me to better associate with people, it has helped me to renew my
relationship with God, and it has provided an opportunity for me to learn and experience different work projects. When I look back, it is a lot of stuff that God has helped me thru that I probably would not have been able to unless I was here.” ~Will, 17

“When I came to the Anchor, I was trapped in a darkness of sin, shame, disappointment, and guilt. Upon coming here, I believed there was a God but I did not trust or accept Him. As I adjusted to the program and church, I began to believe. On September 15 th , 2015, I accepted Jesus in to my heart. This place has and will always have a cleansing, healing, and purifying effect on me and I thank God and the Anchor staff for that.” ~Titus, 16

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
From all the staff and students of Anchor Academy


Dear Friends,                                                                                                                           February 2013

Greetings from the Anchor Academy.  We have taken in seven new students since our last newsletter.  Please pray for Darian from MO, Jonah from MO, Jonathan from ND, Mark from CA, Jordan from WI, Sam from OH, and Juan from NY, that they will allow the Lord to effect real transformation in their lives.

Over the Christmas break Dennis took the staff and students to Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO.  The staff worked hard to make Christmas a special time here at the Anchor.  We even had six inches of snow on Christmas Day –that took a lot of effort!

It is exciting to see many of the young men interested in reading through the Bible this year.  Some are reading it for the first time.  Meanwhile, our church is going verse by verse through the Book of Galatians, learning how we are justified in Christ.  We have made expository preaching a centerpiece of our worship services.  The Lord has blessed, and new families were added to the church last year.

The Vanduser Church of God  disbanded and gifted their facilities to our ministry.  The building includes a gym, auditorium, and classroom spaces.  The gym is used for class reunions, benefit dinners, and a weekly community meal.  We are humbled by the generosity of the Vanduser Church of God, and we will make sure these facilities continue to serve the people in our community.

Our construction crew continues to stay busy.  We have completed various jobs from roof repair to major building projects in the last few years.  Isaiah Ueland oversees our construction and does a tremendous job mentoring the young men.  We are proud of these fellows and the great work they do.

We were blessed to have a really smooth gin season in 2012.  The cotton gin provides a great opportunity to build practical work experience for our students.  Although it can be rigorous and challenging, it is a once in a lifetime experience that builds teamwork and satisfaction.  God has used the Vanduser Gin to provide a significant amount of funding for the ministry.

In the months ahead we hope to grow the academy enrollment to 25 students.  We will also think of new ways to better equip and train the young men spiritually, socially, and academically.  Thank you for your prayers and support.