More than 50 guests, from 16 different states toured the RHM (Ron Hutchcraft Ministries) building in Harrison on Friday, Oct. 18.
Hutchcraft was hosting a “Beyond the Status Quo” retreat at Big Cedar Lodge for board members and supporters of the ministry. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ministry’s move to the Ozarks, they rented a tour bus and had lunch at the headquarters.
Layne Ragsdale was the Chamber president at the time when the ministry leaders visited the Ozarks to consider the possibility of relocating the ministry.
Ragsdale addressed the group in the parking lot as they took in the view of the headquarters on a gorgeous fall day. “I remember how excited Karen Hutchcraft was about the possibility of moving her family and life’s work back home to Harrison. It was her heart’s desire and icing on her cake.”
“We have no way of knowing the impact this ministry has had on our community — from an eternal perspective,” Ragsdale said. “We do know jobs were created here, and families moved to our community, so it has helped our economy.”
“We know the #howtolife ministry started right here and benefited our high school students first. Now, it’s a world-wide ministry. And your influence and ministry with the Native Americans made an impact on our community, too. We are very glad to have you here, and Happy Anniversary,” Ragsdale said.
Gerald Matheson with PrayHarrison spoke next. “We didn’t intend to move to Harrison. But we stopped by to visit our grandkids, and when it was time to leave, we felt like we were leaving home. So we ended up retiring here and have met some great people who love the Lord. We have a relational type of religion. You get hooked up with God, and He hooks you up with great people. I’m looking forward to RHM hosting one of the monthly unity prayer meetings, so people can learn your heart.”
Boone County Sheriff Mike Moore prayed over the ministry and thanked God for the blessing the ministry was to the County.
Hutchcraft told the group, “When my wife, Karen, inherited some family land, we came to explore the possibility of leaving a floor of an expensive, 100-year-old factory building in New Jersey for the Ozarks. We felt like we could make ministry dollars go further here, and it felt like there was a pillar of cloud and fire came to rest over this property.”
He then introduced “his pastor,” Rob Davis. “Rob, it’s no bargain to have me in your church. I’m traveling so much, I’m hardly ever there. But thank you for being my pastor.”
Davis told the group he had heard Ron on the radio before he moved to Harrison. “That man can say more in five minutes and I wasn’t sure I wanted my church members to know that. I could imagine them thinking, ‘let’s have Ron speak today.’ When I know Ron is going to be there, I think it’s tough to preach. I took off my WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelet and replaced it with WWRP (What would Ron preach?). To be called your pastor is very humbling for me. I think God moved me here 20 years ago, too, so I could get to know this man.”
Hutchcraft shared stories of the miracles God provided as they looked for property and funds to build. The current property had a dilapidated pole barn which worked as ministry headquarters until construction on the building was completed.
“Karen put old quilts on the wall of the barn to create our makeshift radio studio and we had an extension cord running out the window to the construction trailer, so we could borrow his electricity and record our programs,” Hutchcraft said. “We laughed so much over those early days and what our listeners would think ‘if they could see me now.’”
“When times were tough, we had the attitude, ‘Just another day to trust God.’”
Visit hutchcraft.com to learn more about the ministries headquartered locally. Also read a weekly column authored by Ron on Friday’s, Faith for Life page in the Harrison Daily Times.