Darryl Love had a dream. He wanted to do something to help pastors in distress.
“I’ve had a passion to minister to pastors for about 15 years,” said Love, 48.
Love, pastor of Crossover Community Church in High Point, wanted a place of respite for pastors and their spouses. It would be a place of tranquility, one where pastors would find encouragement and renewal.
“The dropout rate among pastors in all denominations is at an all-time high. We need to be there for them,” Love said.
“Pastors are on call 24-7, and it’s their families that pay the price. Pastors devote their lives to ministering to others but seldom do they have anyone minister to them.”
Darryl and Rhonda Love, inset, have created Healing Place Ministries, a two-story home with a wrap-around porch to provide a place for pastors to retreat with their wives.
Love’s wife, Rhonda, shared her husband’s dream. She first suggested that the big yellow house, a former bed and breakfast on Archdale Road, might be “just the place” for their shared dream.
Their dream grew bigger when they noticed a “for sale” sign on the lawn of that big house in October 2010.
Could this be an answer to their prayers for a place where they could establish Healing Place Ministries?
The two-story, foursquare home, with its wrap-around porch, was built at the turn of the 20th century when that style was popular. The place was filled with “warmness,” Love said after inspecting the house.
The first time they inquired about the house “They wanted $800,000 for the place, and there was no way we could afford to buy it,” he said. The Bouldin family had lived there for many years but the house had been sold at least a couple of times before the Loves became interested in buying it.
The Bouldin House seemed to be the impossible dream. However, the Loves refused to quit dreaming.
“We really believe a place of retreat for pastors is needed. We wanted to be instruments of that help. Pastors are there to help other people but there needs to be someone to help pastors when they have challenges.
“It might be a challenge that they created or something that was caused by others. But they still need a place for refreshing and sometimes restoration,” Love said.
Darryl and Rhonda never lost interest in the 100-year-old house, with its sprawling 3 1/2 acres of land with towering shade trees mixed with apple, peach, pear, plum, fig and nectarine trees.
Four months after the Loves first were unable to buy the house, what had appeared to be impossible became possible, Love said. The mortgage went into default, and the day that the house went back on the market just happened to be the same day the Loves inquired about the house the second time. This time they negotiated a purchase price – as they said – “was astronomically below” the earlier sale price.
A board of directors for Healing Place Ministries was formed and a non-profit (501c3) status was established. The Loves were then able to begin their new ministry in the roomy 4,500 square feet of floor space. Two weeks later they sold their upscale house that had been on the market for two years.
By July 2011, the Loves were ready to begin their ministry of – as they call it – “refreshing, refueling and restoring pastors to life long ministry.” He also continues his duties at his church.
Several pastors and former pastors have since sought out the place for “renewal.” The pastors traditionally stay three to five days and receive counseling, encouragement and have quiet time.
Located on the first floor of the house is a library of ministry materials available to guests.
Included in the retreat experience are assessments of pastors made through use of materials from the Gallup group to help them determine their spiritual strengths.
Through this assessment “we have been finding pastors spending more time on things they are less passionate and gifted for, rather than on what they are best fit for,” Love said, “When I took this assessment, I felt like somebody gave me my life back. I knew then how to better spend my time.
“It is our desire at Healing Place to be a ministry partner to all who shepherd God’s people. When we began this journey we realized that the cost of most facilities would hinder pastors from taking a retreat,” Love said. They have set a recommended price of $125 per night, with scholarships available to those who can’t pay the full price or even pay at all.
Pastors are finding restoration and refreshment at the ministry, and all have had positive things to say about their experience at Healing Place Ministries. One of the favorite places for pastors’ tranquility has been sitting on that big front porch. “One pastor said he felt like that the porch was anointed,” Love said.