Our Story

I am from West Virginia, but our family moved to Georgia when I was young after my father passed.  I grew up in Atlanta, and when I was 21 I became a police officer.  For 12 years I worked as a Christian in uniform.  I loved my work, but God began to stir my wife’s heart and mind for something more.  A few years later we left our careers and became Houseparents in one of the boys’ homes at Eagle Ranch Children’s Home, just north of Atlanta.  We committed to 3 years there, and during that time we saw a ministry program that worked.  Lives were being changed.  Families restored.  Young men were coming to know Christ in a real way.  The vision grew.  We felt God calling us to replicate this ministry in a state where the need was the highest.  We conducted state-by-state research, developed business plans, and prayed for over a year before even speaking of this to anyone.

Everything pointed to West Virginia. Back in 2004, my wife, Dawn, and I started speaking to others about the vision of Chestnut Mountain Ranch. We were living and working at Eagle Ranch in Georgia at the time. Eagle Ranch staff helped us prepare for this “journey” we were about to set out on. The preparation was key. The vision was made clear, the plan checked by many, and after much prayer, we moved to West Virginia with the hope that God would make His presence known in the vision and help build a place of hope and healing

Since landing here, we essentially burned our ships and hunkered down to see this through. Many storms have come, and fundraising in West Virginia has been nothing short of challenging.

We have committed to building this ministry in a debt-free posture, only advancing building and staffing goals when the funds are secured.  We have had children on-site now for 10 years. Chestnut Mountain Ranch moved from vision to reality in a unique and wonderful way. The Ranch School has achieved national accreditation. We have three homes for children completed, and plans for at least four more. A beautiful chapel has been built, and we are pursuing more children in need of forever homes through a new foster initiative.  Our 300-acre campus is just 6 miles from downtown Morgantown, and we love to have guests.

After years of preparing, planning, and praying, we are witnessing the fruit of our labor. I welcome you to come and meet the boys and the staff and see firsthand what you have invested in.

Steve Finn

Founder and Executive Director