Why We Love MMS

Read the endorsements below about why we have such a strong foundation of support for the kids of Mountain Mission School.


The plans that most people make for their retirement years might include traveling, enjoying hobbies or spending more time with grandchildren. But as Garth and Elaine John approached retirement, they began to seek a ministry in which they could become actively involved. We are grateful that the Lord led them to Mountain Mission School. They had never visited MMS, but after learning of it through their church, they decided to make the seven-hour trip from their home in Greenfield, IN, to see if this was where God wanted them to serve. It was!

As Garth explains, “When we visited MMS over ten years ago, we fell in love with the children and staff. We wanted to help in some way and to know more about the mission. It didn’t take long to really appreciate what was happening for the children both educationally and—more importantly—their opportunity to know Jesus.” Ten years and eighty-eight trips later, they are still a valuable part of the ministry here!

They have used their talents, passions and resources over the years to contribute in many ways. Garth has repaired furniture, installed coat hooks and baseboards, and handled countless other projects and repairs. Elaine has used her sewing skills to hem and repair clothing for children, make curtains, and teach girls sewing. She has used her cooking talents to prepare breakfasts at Toddler Hall, bake her famous banana bread, and host faculty at her homemade suppers.

Garth and Elaine helped set up and organize a “birthday room” (a storage room for donated birthday gifts), contributed their time and money to make sure each child’s birthday is celebrated, and regularly help prepare gifts for Christmas mornings.

The Johns continue to bless us even when they are not on campus! They have worked on projects at home in Indiana to bring on their next trip…opened their home to traveling staff and graduates…and introduced their neighbors to MMS.

For more than a decade, Garth and Elaine have been servants, Christian role models, mentors, encouragers, contributors and friends to MMS. We believe God had a great retirement plan for them!

Garth and Elaine John
Faithfully Serving MMS in their Retirement Years
Greenfield, IN

“Symphony of the Mountains is very proud of our continued partnership with the outstanding Mountain Mission School choir. The faculty and students are not only dedicated, warm and genuine, but they also have an incredibly high level of artistry and musicality. Making music with them is always a joy and an inspiration!”

Cornelia Laemmli Orth
Music Director/Conductor/Chief Operating Officer
Symphony of the Mountains
Kingsport, Tennessee

“I recently visited Mountain Mission School for the first time and was moved by the incredible work God is doing. He has brought together a staff of competent and compassionate individuals committed to serving “the least of these” by providing disadvantaged kids a supportive living environment saturated with God’s love, an outstanding education, and a real opportunity to ultimately become a productive member of society, helping advance God’s Kingdom in the surrounding culture. MMS offers a clear illustration of how God can multiply our five loaves and two fish and miraculously feed five thousand — and beyond.”

Jonathan Wakefield
Damascus, VA

“During my day long visit to the Mountain Mission School, I was struck by how happy the students were. All of them walked around with a smile on their face. I described it as a light. It is an inspiring place.”

Samantha Kozsey
Bristol, VA

“Mountain Mission School is the 1st Century Church in the 21st Century. When Jesus said “go into all the world,” Pentecost brought the world to Jerusalem, bringing ‘Jews from every nation.’  We are given the same responsibility, and Mountain Mission School is certainly fulfilling that mission by reaching so many people from so many nations. It truly is Pentecost in the 21st century.”

Mike Rife, Sr. Minister
Vansant Church of Christ
Buchanan County, Virginia

“The Mountain Mission School provides a remarkable academic and life experience for their students. We are proud to have many MMS graduates attending Quinnipiac University. In addition to being outstanding students, they are truly inspirational young men and women that add substance and richness to our community.”

John L. Lahey, President
Quinnipiac University

Mountain Mission School is a unique and valuable organization that provides a first-class education, enrichment opportunities, and a caring “home away from home” environment to at-risk children from all over the world.  Alpha is grateful for the opportunity to partner with and support Mountain Mission as it fills a special need in our local community and benefits countless others across the globe through the contributions of its graduates.       

Kevin Crutchfield, Chairman and CEO
Alpha Natural Resources

We have been bringing our young people to the MMS for over twenty-five years.  We come to serve and bless the MMS kids, but end up with the greater blessings instead.  Through your ministry, our young people have learned unselfish attitudes, felt love in tragedy, and come closer to Christ.

Ron Vance
Western Hills Church of Christ
Cincinnati, Ohio

There are so many reasons why Mt. Orab Church of Christ supports the mission of Mountain Mission School, but if we were to narrow it down just to one it would be the deep commitment they have for kids.  The commitment they show in every area and level of a child’s life, is truly Christ like.   It is so wonderful to partner with an organization that has the heart of Christ and the unending commitment toward those they serve.  This is one of the many reasons we support Mountain Mission School.

Joe Strunk
Mt. Orab Church of Christ
Mt. Orab, Ohio

Giving to Mountain Mission School is one of the best uses of our outreach dollars. It is a place that will grab your heart. Kids come from all over the world to find a home and Mountain Mission School provides one with such loving care. The campus is beautiful and secure.  We are thankful for the ministry of Mountain Mission School.

Tom Whitaker
Mission Chairman
North Side Christian Church, Xenia, OH

Mountain Mission School specializes in Caring. The Institution has been a Home, a Church, and a School providing love, guidance and an education for at-risk-youth for decades.   I appreciate the dedication and admire the success of Mountain Mission.

James Keen
Town Manager
Grundy, Virginia

“Mountain Mission School has been an asset to our community here in Buchanan County.  It has been a pleasure to support the work that MMS does each year for children in need.  Over a year ago, I toured the school for the first time after having it in my backyard all of my life. It was encouraging to see the differences made in the lives of the children there.”

Joe Street, Co-Owner West River Conveyors, Lifelong resident of Buchanan County

“Our group from Oklahoma spends 51 weeks each year looking forward to the week we get to spend with our MMS family. We love the kids! We love the staff! We love the campus! It is our piece of heaven on earth.”

Lonnie Portenier
Christian Student Fellowship
Miami, Oklahoma

“We started looking for a place to help during our retirement. When we visited MMS over ten years ago, we fell in love with the children and staff. We were so overwhelmed with the opportunity the children have to know Jesus and the education they receive that we have continued with trip 89 coming up in November. MMS is a great place to visit, but even a better place to volunteer.”

Garth and Elaine John
Greenfield, Indiana

“Every time I visit Mountain Mission School I see such wonderful things happening. The staff provides a safe, nurturing environment where students are given love, understanding, education and spiritual guidance. It is a marvelous place to see people being the hands and feet of Jesus for many young people who would not have had that choice in their lives.”

Janice Chezem
Frankfort, Indiana

“Shively Christian Church supports Mountain Mission School because we believe in the ministry there. As the school provides this ministry, the children and young people who attend there are receiving a Christ-centered education and an experience they will remember all their life. I know that MMS wants to make a difference in the lives of those they teach, and that’s what I love about the school, because when they leave to go out into the world, they can make a difference in the lives of those with whom they minister.”

Mark Johnson
Pastoral Care Minister
Shively Christian Church
Louisville, Kentucky

“Over the past 20 or more years, our people have had a special interest in MMS. We have seen firsthand the good work that is being done through the school and have hosted the choir on several occasions. We have always been impressed with the politeness and spirit of the kids from MMS. We are happy to be a part of this great ministry!”

Dan Nichols
First Christian Church of Hessville
Hammond, Indiana

“Mountain Mission provides what a child needs in life. That would be love, faith and an education. The structure of MMS is such that all three things are a part of its ministry. Our ties to MMS go back 50 years, and we still love its ministry as much as the first time we both stepped foot on the campus.”

John and Mariellen Ward
Raphine, Virginia

“The reason why we at South Fork Christian Church love and support MMS is simple … it is the embodiment of faith being lived out. They are sure of what they hope for and certain of what they do not see (yet). The love of God is evident in the lives of not only the students, but also in the example of the adults that serve there. Who could not love a place that offers so much hope to so many children, based on One Man’s Love, Jesus Christ! May God continue to bless MMS.”

Bob Hightchew
Senior Minister
South Fork Christian Church
Verona, Kentucky

“We love coming down to Grundy. The kids and staff are amazing. The campus is beautiful, and you can feel God’s presence all over the campus.”

Janis Surenkamp
Seymour, Indiana

“Mountain Mission School plays a vital role in the lives of children and teens. These students are allowed to grow and mature in an environment that teaches them the values of Christ while educating them to meet the challenges of our present world. We cannot express the value this ministry has and is just part of the reason we support MMS on a regular basis. Mountain Mission School has been teaching ministry and touching lives for years, and we are glad to be a small partner in their ministry.”

Glenn Van Meter
King, North Carolina

“Our church has supported MMS for decades. We have been and continue to be impressed by this ministry:
* whose teachers are faithful to God’s Word
* whose staff sacrifices 24/7/365 with unselfish service
* whose beautiful children model gratitude, hard work and respect.

God bless you all for transforming lives with the Gospel!”

Beverly Nichols
Hammond, Indiana