Gary Randle, Co-founder and Executive Director of HOPE Farm, retired from the Fort Worth Police Department as a Juvenile Investigator, Instructor, and Associate Chaplain in 1997.
Following a visit with Bill Glass Ministries to the Clements Prison in Amarillo, Texas, he was led to establish HOPE Farm more than 25 years ago. There, he was deeply saddened as he observed that 80% of the prison population was African American–a devastating statistic considering that African Americans comprise only 12% of the general population.
A common theme among the prisoners was fatherlessness. Out of that experience, a seed was planted, and from that seed, the idea of HOPE Farm bloomed in Gary and long-time friend and co-founder, Noble Crawford (Veteran of the United States Air Force and Retired Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigator). Gary and Noble began their call as mentors of one Morningside Elementary child in 1989.
Thanks to the Sid Richardson Foundation, the first HOPE Farm facility (which was previously a crack house) opened in August 1997, and started with 12 boys. What began in one abandoned crack house is now a beautiful campus located on an entire city block in the Morningside neighborhood with a Family Life Center. The Family Life Center contains classrooms, a board room, full workout room, and an indoor gym. The campus also has two additional academic buildings, an administration building, a garden, and a playground that includes an outdoor basketball court.
The HOPE Farm Como Campus location opened in January 2010, with five boys in an 1,100 square foot house. This was the same year that HOPE Farm received the 2010 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award. Our temporary location is in a house at 5636 Fletcher Avenue in west Fort Worth in a community of about 5,000. Although Como Elementary and Como Montessori are the two schools currently represented at the Como Campus, boys from all schools in west Fort Worth are eligible. We look to expand the Como Campus in the near future.
The Como location follows the same programs as our main campus – Bible study, academic tutoring, recreation, and social development. At HOPE Farm, we are trusting that the Lord will transform the boys into Godly men thus converting their hearts, which is the only true and lasting change according to scripture.
HOPE Farm is a long-term leadership development program that guides at-risk boys, without the benefit of a positive male role model in their homes, from the time they are 5-7 years old until high school graduation and beyond.
HOPE Farm teaches boys to become Christ-centered men of integrity and to break the cycle of fatherlessness in their families. The staff and volunteers are dedicated to meeting the spiritual, nutritional, academic, emotional, and recreational needs of our boys.