Christian home

A Christian home for children needing a chance

Since 1974, the Ranch has been called to meet the needs of more than 2,000 children by giving them a solid, Christian home and a chance to fulfill God’s plan for their lives. We’ve grown from a single farmhouse serving five boys to seven ministry teams dedicated to continually improving the standard of care for children who need a chance. As a result, Big Oak has been given an opportunity to advance the mission of loving, long-term, Christian homes nationwide.

We make four promises to every child who comes to Big Oak Ranch:

We love you.
We will never lie to you.
We will stick with you until you are grown.
There are boundaries.

In those four promises, each child finds love and emotional support. They find truth and honesty. They find security, and they find discipline.

But mostly, they find hope and the chance to discover God’s true purpose for their lives.



Big Oak Ranch exists to meet the needs of abused, neglected and abandoned children by giving them a solid, Christian home and a chance to realize and fulfill God’s plan for their lives.

The Big Oak ministry grew out of the desire to give hurting children a chance. John Croyle founded Big Oak Boys’ Ranch in 1974 after working a summer camp and meeting a little boy from the streets of New Orleans. The boy’s mother was a prostitute, and he was the banker and timekeeper for his mother. John shared with him how he could become a Christian, and the boy returned to the same camp the following summer and shared how Jesus had changed his life. This moment led to a clear calling to relieve the suffering of children.

John Croyle

The vision to start the Girls’ Ranch evolved from a court case involving “Shelley,” a 12-year-old girl who had been physically and sexually abused by her father. Big Oak pleaded with the judge to let Shelley live at the Boys’ Ranch, but the judge refused and placed Shelley back with her parents. Shelley was beaten to death by her parents three months later. The Girls’ Ranch was built in 1988 in Shelley’s memory and rests on the promise of Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

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.
Take a Virtual Tour

Big Oak Ranch has remained rooted in Isaiah 61:3, “They shall be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

 Ranch Inc

Big Oak Ranch Inc. received Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating. Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, provides free ratings of the financial health, accountability and transparency of thousands of charities.

Ways to Help

With your help, we can make sure that every child gets the right support to succeed in school, in work and in life.