Our houseparents are the frontline warriors who show our children the way from fear and suffering to hope and promise.

Without question, it’s a calling. Houseparents serve in a full-time role, providing a healthy, Christ-centered home with the support of a like-minded community. We provide our houseparents the opportunity to parent the way they are led, within the framework of Big Oak’s core values and beliefs.

Each home at the Ranch is led by a godly husband and wife, and operates as close to ‘normal’ as possible, with children participating in school, in extracurricular and church-related activities. Our parents invest in the lives of their children so that they can heal from past hurts and grow into their purpose.



The need is great, but so is the opportunity

There are so many children suffering from abuse, neglect and abandonment. Our purpose is to give as many of those children a chance as possible. We need houseparents called to full-time ministry, called to be the change that helps transform our children’s lives. If you are a lover of Christ, are committed to be the kind of change we want to see in this world — let’s talk about joining our team.


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A Christian Home for Children Needing a Chance

It’s life. It’s all so normal. And yet, life at Big Oak Ranch is also extraordinary.
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Finding our why, our God-ordained purpose, is one of the greatest blessings this side of eternity

Frequently Asked Questions

Children listen with their eyes, and our spiritual emphasis is on witnessing by example.

What are the typical traits of a successful houseparent couple?

The houseparenting role at Big Oak is the backbone of our ministry and within the lives of our children. They are role models, teaching our children what a mom and dad look like, and they invest life lessons and core values which our children carry into their future families. Our houseparent couples are first and foremost lovers of Christ. But they all have unique personalities and skills. They come from different career and financial backgrounds, are different ages and represent many walks of life. But what they have in common is a positive attitude, a curious spirit always willing to learn, patience, strong moral character, compassion, dedication, determination and, most importantly, a desire to parent hurting children.

What is the schedule for houseparents?

Our houseparents are full-time Mom and Dad to the children in their home. We place great emphasis on equipping parents for meaningful time in the home, while ensuring they also have time off-Ranch for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. Our houseparent couples get 1 weekend per month from Friday until Sunday to do just that.

What are the living arrangements?

Up to six children live in a two-story brick home, with a dedicated Christian couple serving as mom and dad. All of our newly renovated homes provide our children their own bedroom as well as a common safe room, allowing us to continue the promise of safety and long-suffering along the road to healing. Each home also includes a houseparent suite which provides a space to relax, restore and spend quality time in an effort to support longevity.

What if I don’t have experience in ministry or working with kids?

Our houseparents come from a variety of backgrounds. Some had established careers working in a completely different field. However, we are more interested in the heart of our incoming houseparents than the specific field in which they have received training. We look for houseparents who come with one mission in mind: to serve Christ by ministering to the needs of hurting kids.

How many kids would I care for?

In most cases you should expect to care for 6 children in your home in addition to your biological children.

Where do the kids go to school?

All of our children attend Westbrook Christian School in Rainbow City, Alabama providing our children with an excellent private, Christian education.

How do meals work?

Our homes have kitchens and dining rooms and as parents you will be responsible for providing meals for your family just as you normally would.

What is a typical day like?

Houseparents help their children prepare for their day by ensuring they receive a nutritious breakfast, making sure they are ready for school and seeing them off for the day.

During school hours, houseparents often go to home meetings, staff gatherings/retreats, training sessions, make preparations within the home and may have free time in the afternoon to enjoy many of the amenities on Ranch, including our fitness center, swimming pools and activity centers.

When the school day is over, houseparents coordinate getting the children to their selected activities, prepare the home meal, help with homework assignments and mentor through household chores.

Weekend schedules are less structured, allowing our families to enjoy recreational activities, whether that is enjoying local events, taking weekend trips, attending extracurricular activity events, or enjoying quiet time at home. On Sundays, each of our families attends a church of their choosing.

In Ways We Never Imagined

“We arrived at Big Oak seeking and longing for something more. The former chaos we found in the world made us long for a like-minded community of people we could serve alongside. It made us long to usher in goodness where there was brokenness, to be a part of something greater than ourselves. We sought and were unable to find…until Big Oak.

Now we live within a community, within a family, that shares the same understanding and longing for this life. A family of people who stand beside us, as we were never made to do it alone. Even in the midst of the toughest seasons, there is unexplainable peace. In this place, in this ministry, in this band of believers working with us, we find strength. Together, we get to do pressing but rewarding work.

Each home on the Ranch represents not just a family that lives in each home, but OUR family that lives in each home. And together, we live this life of service, this life of helping children navigate their own trials. Yes, our faith is challenged and our patience tested. But within this testing, we experience the Love of the Father in ways we never imagined.”

Zach & BJ

Houseparents at Big Oak Ranch
Big Oak Ranch, a Christian home for children needing a chance


God Was Calling Us To Expand Our Family

“In the midst of careers in hospital administration and teaching, we enjoyed where we were in life, but grew more and more confident God was calling us to expand our family, specifically by way of children who needed a stable, loving home. Though we may have not known it at the time, Big Oak would become the answer to the burden that the Lord had given us for His people.

The more we researched Big Oak, we saw that it is a place full of community and support both for the children and for the houseparents. We knew we would be equipped to help any child that God gave to us. As we now near two years as houseparents at Big Oak, we cling to the truth we find in Joshua 1 as Joshua was commissioned and the Lord said, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” It is visibly clear that God is the One who brought us here, and even now, He is the same One who is working in the hearts of the children.

Our children work really hard to let us in, though it is a constant battle to let go of the reigns that they have held so tight. We have to constantly remember that God loves these boys way more than we ever could, and it is only when we follow the Lord’s leading that He is the One who is working the change. Thus, our job is to keep looking to the Lord and letting Him use us in the meantime. To offer our boys a love that is not conditional, a love not based on circumstances, performance, or good behavior.

The mission work here is, at times, hard! Yet, the lifestyle and culture of Big Oak is such a perfect picture of God’s unconditional love for all of us. And time after time, His love gives us the strength we need and allows us to be a part of His beautiful work.”

Jim & Tara

Houseparents at Big Oak Ranch
Big Oak Ranch, a Christian home for children needing a chance


It’s The Honor Of Our Lives

“We have found it takes great faith, a great reliance on the Lord, to step into the role of houseparenting. The former knowledge of faith and reliance we had on Him before we came to Big Oak Ranch does not compare to the experience we gained here.

Entering this mission field didn’t always make logical sense, and challenges are still present. But for every moment we have had a need, God has graciously met each and every one. It’s one thing to know this; a completely separate thing to experience.

For a short time, we felt the burden of being the perfect mom and dad. However, in the release of these burdens, God filled the gap between our imperfection and His perfection. We realized we needed to simply own our mistakes, teach our children how to repent, how to come to the Cross and live for Him. We needed to live out the Gospel in action and in word. For He calls us to be hearers and doers of the Word.

To experience His faithfulness, to learn to rely on Him completely, to point hurting children to the Cross – it’s the honor of our lives.”

Mike & Suzanne

Houseparents at Big Oak Ranch
Big Oak Ranch, a Christian home for children needing a chance

Mike & Suzanne

We are Family

“We are always so humbled that God would trust us with His precious children. At the end of the day, even when it’s a hard day, we are family. Being houseparents has shown us more than anything else just how much God loves us; just what it means to truly be adopted into the family of Christ.”

Corey & Tracee

Houseparents at Big Oak Ranch
Big Oak Ranch, a Christian home for children needing a chance

Corey & Tracee

Volunteer Resource Parenting

Each month, our houseparents get one weekend away. During the weekend, we pair each child with a Resource Family which serves as an extended family for our children. The relationships built and enjoyed through this valuable part of our mission are life-changing for our children and our resource families alike.

Volunteer Resource Parenting