Rock Bottom Ranch is inviting the community to celebrate the graduation of three women at 5 p.m. Saturday at Evangelistic Temple in Palestine. The public is invited to attend the ceremony, which includes entertainment by the Band Reeves, testimonies from the graduates and a dinner.
Amber Corrigan, of Athens, Marlana Riddles and Kamie King, both of Palestine, are graduating Saturday after being enrolled in the ranch’s program for one year. The first graduation occurred in December 2020 for Jessica Morris, who works as House Mom for the ranch’s eight residents.
RBR started its nonprofit ministry in 2018 with the goal of helping formerly incarcerated women recover from drug and alcohol addiction and opened its doors to residents in 2019.
The ranch’s programs focus on breaking the cycle of addiction, poverty and criminal charges some fall into when they do not have good support systems. The ranch’s vocational programs also provide assistance with employment. Both King and Riddles, for example, work at Eilenberger’s Bakery.
Director Kelly Tinley said the ranch provides a faith-based curriculum that offers counseling, life skills and social support.
“As a Christian ministry, our goal is to ultimately restore lives that have been broken by addiction,” Tinley said. “The change that has taken place in a year’s time, it’s amazing.”
Tinley said the ranch is looking into providing an aftercare program to support graduates’ needs.
“We’re busier than we thought we’d be,” Tinley said. “The ministry is so needed. Addiction is so prevalent.”
In addition to graduating, all three women have been able to re-establish relationships with their children and families, and two have plans to marry.
Corrigan said her time at the ranch has strengthened her spiritually and she looks forward to rejoining her children and is planning to marry her fiancé, who recently graduated from a program in Madisonville.
“In November of 2020, I asked Jesus into my heart and found my way to Rock Bottom Ranch where I have gained a very intimate relationship with God,” she said. “In this time of drawing closer to God, He has restored me as well as my relationship with my children and my fiancé, Bobby Jo.”
“We’re doing graduations and then boom, boom, two weddings,” Tinley said. “These girls have done so well.”
For information about programs and events at Rock Bottom Ranch visit www.rockbottomranch.org or call 903-727-2550.