Adcock Family Foundation gifts Renewal Ranch $300,000

By Donna Lampkin Stephens

The largest gift in the history of the Adcock Family Foundation will help Renewal Ranch Restoration Center continue its “radical intervention” in the lives of men suffering from addiction for years to come.

About 20 supporters gathered at the 116-acre ranch in Perry County near Conway on July 7 for the announcement of the $300,000 donation, part of the quiet phase of a $10 million comprehensive capital campaign that will go toward a new 42-bed apartment complex to house men in Phase 2 of the program. The nonprofit has raised $2.1 million in nine months of fundraising.

Front Row: David House (from left), Dr. Larry White, Matt Barnhardt, James A. Loy, Robert H. “Bunny” Adcock Jr. and Miles Smith. Back Row: J.D. Gray (from left), Arthur Reid, Jack Engelkes and Bryce McGhee at the site of the future 42-bed apartment complex. Photos by Donna Evans.

The gift followed a $750,000 donation for the apartments by BancorpSouth in the spring.

“As we look around the community, we try to find things that will make a difference and benefit the community, and we feel like [Renewal Ranch] does that,” said Matthew Barnhardt, president of the board of the Adcock Family Foundation. “That’s why we made the commitment. We see how important it is to the community and the lives of the people in the community.” 

Renewal Ranch is faith-based residential addiction recovery program for men 21 and over. The year-long program includes counseling, 600 hours of classroom instruction, Bible study, work opportunities, and community service.

Phase 1 is a six-month, on-site program that includes classes and community service. After a Transition Phase, Phase 2 includes full-time work or ministry.

The new apartments will replace a rented complex in Conway that has been used for Phase 2.

Executive Director James A. Loy called the gift “a historic landmark” in the ranch’s 11-year ministry.

“Two buildings will go up on the ridge and allow us to centralize all phases of our program in one location,” he said. “It will allow us to provide new state-of-the-art facilities. This gift is critical to what we’re trying to accomplish as we move forward in the ministry.

“I promise it’s going to impact our community for years to come.”

Current capacity is for 66 men, but Loy said the organization was on its way to a target of 100.

“We’re in a front-line battle for the souls of these men, and we’re very excited about our successes,” he said. “Over the last 11 years, we have touched 600 men and their families, with over 400 graduates, and more than 60% staying clean and sober.”

Matt Barnhardt, President of the Adcock Family Foundation Board of Directors (from left); Miles Smith, Adcock Family Foundation Board of Directors; David House. Chairman of the Renewal Ranch Board of Directors; Robert H. “Bunny” Adcock Jr., Adcock Family Board Foundation; Jack Engelkes, Renewal Ranch Board of Directors; James A. Loy, Executive Director of Renewal Ranch; Dr. Larry White, Renewal Ranch Board of Directors; Arthur Reid, Renewal Ranch Board of Directors and J.D. Gray, Adcock Family Board of Directors.

One of those graduates is Sam Welborn, now the ranch’s Phase 2 Supervisor. He entered the program in 2018 “broken and lost.”

“Through six months of being here, I got tore down, lost everything, and God gave me a new life and a new heart,” he said. “This vessel of Renewal Ranch radically changed my life through radical intervention from our Lord and savior.”

His older brother also went through the program. “By the mercy and grace of God through this program, we are walking free,” Welborn said.

The Adcock Family Foundation was founded in 2014 by Bunny Adcock, a Conway businessman, and his wife, Carol. Barnhardt said Adcock had “a tremendous heart for people and his community” and set up the foundation to focus mainly on Faulkner County entities.

“Most non-profits can find the funds for day-to-day operations, but a lot of times, they don’t have the funds for capital improvements,” Barnhardt said.

An earlier $50,000 gift from the foundation went toward the ranch’s Restoration Center, completed in 2020, which included a multi-purpose center, chapel, commercial kitchen, conference room, classrooms, and housing for 22 men in the Phase 1 program. Adcock said he became a supporter of Renewal Ranch about 10 years ago after being asked to come to the campus to tell his life story — and realizing that the men in the program were largely from the 501 area.

“They knew my kids,” he said. “I left here pretty much shaken up. They’re not strangers from far, far away.”

The master plan’s facilities vision includes the addition of staff housing, a picnic shelter, basketball court, softball field, walking trail, amphitheater, workout facility and Phase 1 bunk houses. Loy said he expected construction on the Phase 2 apartments to begin in mid-July, with a planned completion date by October 2023.

David House, chair of the Renewal Ranch Board of Directors, said in his retirement he decided to shift his attention to eternal things.

“The ranch is an eternal investment,” House said. “We can either spend money trying to help people recover and heal here, or we can spend more money on more jails, more social services, more broken families. I believe the Adcock Family Foundation is making an investment. The work is not done.”

Donna Stephens