BRAZIL, IND. (March 16, 2018) — Indiana sheriffs’ prayers for an interdenominational peace chapel at their new Youth Ranch have been answered. They say a generous and unexpected donor, often called an “angel” by not-for-profits, has funded a house of worship for future law enforcement officers and at-risk kids.
“Religion and spirituality may already be a big part of the lives of our young campers or may be exactly what they are looking for,” said Scott Minier, interim executive director of the Youth Ranch. “Adding a peace chapel will provide our teens a place to go to for quiet and voluntary worship. We do not foresee a lot of organized services – mostly a place for private prayer.”
Minier said ISYR leaders are in their final stages of Youth Ranch planning and are negotiating naming-rights sponsorships for cabins and other vital camp facilities, which included the peace chapel.
“Our two-story chapel will be slightly larger than the cabins that will surround it,” Minier said. “Picture a small western town with a little white church at the end of the street. Our primitive inside furnishings will include a pulpit, altar and about 50 white wooden chairs, which will allow us layout flexibility for small-group discussions and counseling. In years to come, I can envision the peace chapel being used for deputies’ weddings and sheriffs renewing vows.”
Minier said sheriffs had been in discussion with an Indiana foundation when one of the community leaders decided to step forward and personally donate the money for the peace chapel. For now, the donor’s identity will be kept confidential in accordance with their wishes.
“What a blessing this person’s gift is to the teenagers and law enforcement officers across our state,” Minier said.
Youth Ranch volunteers were also reaching out to donors for help to fund needed songbooks, chairs, a sound system, pulpit and altar:
- $50 will sponsor four non-denominational song books;
- $100 will sponsor one of 50 white wooden chairs;
- $250 will sponsor the chapel pulpit;
- $500 will sponsor a sound system; and
- $1,000 will sponsor the altar.
Minier said having the peace chapel construction funded and under development will hopefully result in other contributions to furnish and equip it.
“No tax dollars are being used for the purchase or construction of the not-for-profit Youth Ranch,” he said. “We rely solely on the kindness and generosity of Hoosiers – parents, grandparents, educators, farmers, attorneys, doctors, civic clubs, unions, manufacturers and other business owners.”
Naming rights on several cabins, a horse stable, dining hall, first aid station, computer lab, pool and other recreation areas are also available, Minier said.
“For 38 years, sheriffs and deputies have hosted youth leadership camps for future deputies, police officers and state troopers. During the 1990s, at-risk kids also became a focus for the camps,” Minier said. “The new Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch, now being developed in Clay County, will serve as the permanent home for the camps. Owning rather than renting facilities will allow sheriffs to expand their camps to more days per week and more weeks per summer – effectively quadrupling the number of teens reached. In addition, sheriffs hope to someday offer weekend retreats for young witnesses and victims – including sons and daughters of fallen officers, firefighters and military.”
Minier said personal or business checks may be dropped off at a local sheriff’s office or mailed to the Indiana Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch, 5401 S. East St., Suite 117, Indianapolis IN 46227.