Freddie Coile is the President of Focus Evangelistic Ministries. Traveling extensively and preaching in many settings, he has always paid special attention to the spiritual needs of our youth. Although Freddie loves speaking in church and Bible conference settings, he also speaks in camps and youth events all over America. After researching trends in America’s youth culture, Freddie and his wife, Janet, began praying seriously about doing more for kids. They realized that today’s students will be the leaders of the future. Those students would need serious training. It was obvious to Freddie, in his experience, that the most powerful ministry setting in the world was camp.
A strategic ministry decision was made to add another facet to what Freddie’s ministry could offer. The idea of building a camp and training center gained momentum as Freddie began sharing the project with his wonderful family of supporters. Two things were obvious from the beginning: The importance of raising a ministry place to train students how to advance the truth to future generations was astounding, and there was no budget to build such a place.
Freddie knew it would take a miracle. The dream could only live by the working of God through the giving hands of the Body of Christ. He began showing the dream to the churches and trusted in the Lord to raise up a special place where kids could come and meet with the Lord in the backwoods of rural north Georgia.
The dream was stirred to life when an abandoned property on the banks of Beaverdam Creek became available. Cherokee and Creek Indians had once roamed the woods and bottom-lands of the area. After the Indian Removal Act, the property became a cotton plantation where its fields grew the “white gold” of the prosperous South. Over time, the boll weevil broke the prosperity of plantation life and the fields grew into tall timber. About 50 years ago, the timber was harvested and the woods were abandoned except for occasional hunting. In 2004, the property was auctioned. We believe that this special property was always meant to be Grace Farm, where we are now growing leaders to advance the gospel. A colorful story is told from the hills and valleys of this special land. But the best story is yet to be told.
14 kids and leaders from Missouri and Georgia were the first of hundreds to come to build something beautiful from the kudzu and briars that had overgrown the front eight acres. The group camped and sweated and took cold showers – and built an outhouse and the first cabin. The following year, the Georgia Missions Project hosted 53 people camping in tents and the development of Grace Farm spread all over the place. One of the student Missionaries trusted Christ as His Savior, another was called to preach. And the dream looked so real.
For 10 years we have been busy building on the Grace Farm property. Thousands of people from all walks of life have been involved. Saws have buzzed and hammers have pounded to shape the dream. Many have donated funds and materials. Children from a V.B.S. brought us $1200 in coins! A couple of years after the project began, a bus rolled to a stop and 21 kids from St. Petersburg, Florida walked onto Grace Farm to be a part of the first “Camp Grace at Grace Farm.” Inside our Barn, a volunteer twirled his screwdriver and flipped on the lights for the first time. God had answered our prayers.