Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Walnut Creek, California awarded $267,000 to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. The generously granted funds will be used as part of a rejuvenation project on the Ranch’s Minot, ND campus, specifically making necessary improvements to the Bremer building, one of the original buildings on that campus.
For nearly 50 years, the Bremer building has met the needs of at-risk kids—first as their home, then as a school, and now as a dining center and clinic where they receive therapy services. The Ranch helps the most complicated and amazing kids by providing best-in-class psychiatric and trauma-informed care, all in the name of Christ.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, a Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod congregation, was founded in 1946 and for 75 years held teaching children, Bible study, Worship, Word, and Sacraments, and serving one’s neighbor at its heart. As the church got older and the congregants fewer, the board of trustees decided to take a proactive approach and use their remaining resources for good.
Byron Nelson, Chair of the Legacy of Trinity Committee, said, “There are a lot of souls who went before us, sacrificing their time and talents to build this up. We didn’t want to just let it fizzle away. We wanted to have a real directed legacy.”
After selling the church property in April 2020, the Legacy of Trinity committee had $4.5 million after expenses to donate to worthy charities. Gordon Mewes, a member of the congregation, suggested they consider donating a portion of the proceeds to the Ranch—his father-in-law was on the board of directors in the 50s. After learning more from Mewes and staff at the Ranch, Nelson agreed.
Nelson said, “We are very excited about our gift to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. This is what the Lord wants us to do with our stewardship. Giving to the Ranch will impact lives. By meeting physical and spiritual needs of the children, we are leaving a legacy that will live on.”
This legacy gift from Trinity will allow Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch to continue to provide best-in-class services to at-risk kids and their families in a safe, secure, and welcoming environment.
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is a Christ-centered residential treatment and education center for children and their families. The Ranch helps the most troubled, complicated, and amazing kids by providing best-in-class psychiatric therapy and trauma-informed care, where staff look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves. In addition to Residential Treatment Facilities in Fargo, Bismarck, and Minot, the Ranch provides Outpatient Psychiatric and Psychological Services, and Spiritual Life Programs. The Ranch’s on-campus school, Dakota Memorial School (DMS), provides a personalized education for kids who have psychiatric, behavioral, and trauma issues.