About Us

Discover Battle River Ranch Camp's history, beliefs, mission, and more!

Our Story

We’ve had so many opportunities to serve God with our lives. We are blessed to be parents of a great family that just gets bigger and better all the time. We were part of a great team at our church called Celebrate Recovery. It helped men, women, and families with problems of addiction. I am a trained Community Service Chaplain and have served as a chaplain for the Gideon’s and the Christian Motorcyclist Association and now serve as a deacon on our church board. Over the past twenty-five years, we have helped people enter and complete a trade that allowed them to take better care of their families. I was privileged to speak at a drug and alcohol detox center for five years. This totally opened our eyes to how badly men and women need God’s love. We need to care for people and help them find their God given gifts and put those gifts to use to make a better world for all of us to live in.

We’ve always thought it would be great to have a place where we could build ready-to-move homes and teach men and women all parts of construction. Then have a little cook shack where we could teach them how to cook healthy food. And have some horses to ride along a river or a valley. Maybe have a house or lodge big enough that we could all sit and support each other as we pray and share problems we are dealing with and know it’s a safe and warm place to sleep at night.

One day last spring, Diane had me pick up some frozen meat from a rancher that goes to our church. This rancher asked me in for a cup of tea and as we talked, I seemed to always get on the topic of a youth ranch. After listening to me for a bit, she asked if I was serious about the ranch. I told her I sure was and she replied, “If you will build that ranch, I’ll give you the land”. It took me a bit to take in what she had just said to me. We now have approximately 80 acres of land along the Battle River Valley with a clear title. It was a beautiful piece of land waiting to be used as the Ranch Camp. God showed me that if I’d share the vision to everyone I know, that He would bring everyone and everything needed to build this ranch. It’s all happening. GLORY TO GOD!

Crossman Ministries Corp. creates and makes many hand-made crosses each year that we use to share the message of the cross to people everywhere. We have seen that if we commit ourselves to God’s purpose for our lives, He will bless our lives with much fruit. We’ve seen this through our children and the many lives God has blessed when we do what we are called to do. We are committed to serving God and building this ranch to honor and bring glory to our Lord and Savior. We ask that you seek God’s direction in helping us with this project.

Harold’s Story

I thought I had it all made, a wife and two kids, my own business, nice truck, a Harley-Davidson to ride, booze and cocaine for the weekends. But, I felt empty and useless inside and as I sat in my office with the door closed back in early July 1983. Ready to give up on life, I remembered what this Christian guy once said to me. “Harold, if everything around you is falling apart and you can’t see any hope, just give God a chance.”

That day I said, “God, if you’re real, I need you now.” No sooner had I said those words, with tears flowing down my face, when a knock came to my office door. Thinking it was one of the employees, I quickly straightened up. There stood a guy about 55 years old, needing a job to stay in Canada and if I’d hire him, no matter the pay, he’d help me out if I needed some money. I showed him around, walking past the other employees, and then walked him out to his old car. He asked to start on Monday. I told him I needed money this week and he replied, “if you need the money, it will be there”, got in his car and drove away. For the first time in months, I was able to make all my payments and meet payroll on time.

Monday the following week, the new guy didn’t show up. Tuesday when I hadn’t heard from him, I asked our secretary if she’d heard from the new guy that was here last week. She didn’t know who I was talking about and neither did the parts people remember seeing anyone. Back in my office with the door closed, I sat at my desk and realized that after all other options had failed and I was willing to cry out to God with a few simple words, that He cared enough to send someone to get me through the week.
On August 3, 1983, this big, burly biker named Doug came to my office wearing a big smile and said, “Harold, don’t you think it’s time to give it all to God and invite Jesus into your heart?” And I did.
The guy that was going to work for us and help us out never did show up again. Did you know that Hebrews 1:14 says, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” I believe God sent an angel to bring me hope when I was hopeless, and could have taken my own life.

My life started out very dysfunctional. I had no idea how to be a good parent, nor a good husband, but I knew I wanted to pour hope into the lives of our children that didn’t include drugs, alcohol, broken marriages and messed up lives. Today, God’s peace has come from Diane and I being willing to allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives and to live that life out in front of our children.

Diane’s Story

I’m thankful for the change Jesus has made in our lives. Harold is such a wonderful husband and dad. He’s a great friend to many men who had no one they could talk to and share their troubles with. I never dreamed we could have such a good marriage without hurt and pain and not knowing what the next day would bring.

When I was growing up, all I thought about was getting drunk the next weekend. I had no plans or thoughts of the future. Everything to me was just boring. When I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life, He took away the desire to drink and smoke, without any withdrawals. I never thought about how many children we would have. It was all about me and my selfishness. After accepting Jesus, I realized that our children were a miracle of God and were precious and special. Each one was unique and had their gifts and special ways about them. Harold and I decided we wanted them to experience a fun and fulfilled life without alcohol and drugs that we saw destroying lives and marriages. Because of that, we decided to move to Caronport so our children could attend a Christian school.

Waiting for the last of six children to be born, Harold had a vision of a semi with pictures of Jesus and people from all walks of life on it. It would be used to minister to youth and reach out to those as lost as we were. After deciding to move, we knew we had a lot of stuff with six children and a business. I suggested to Harold that maybe this was the time to look for a semi. We prayed and started looking for one and soon after ended up at a farmer’s place that bought and sold semi tractors and trailers. Not having much money except the equity from the sale of our home in Kindersley, we told the farmer what we needed and how much we had. The farmer showed us a unit and it was exactly as we pictured and said we could have it for the price mentioned. The farmer and his wife were able to bless us as they knew we wanted to use it for ministry.

Harold wanted to cut a side out of the trailer to make a stage so we could have a worship team (which consisted of our children and their friends) do music and dramas and be able to share and reach the community with the hope we had received. A good friend that believed in what we were doing asked Harold if the stage was done yet. Harold shared that we needed the funds first. Our friend said to cut out the side and he’d provide the money.

We became the camp directors for a camp our children for years had attended. We would work at camp for a month, taking the semi which was now equipped with two climbing walls and a stage. It was also used for the worship band, dramas and outreach. After five years of operating this ministry with the semi in Saskatchewan and Alberta, our two oldest children decided to get married and start their own lives. A Lutheran church located in Idaho took over the ministry with the semi and continue to run that rig across southern Idaho doing the same as we did in communities.

We are who we are because of what Jesus has done in our lives. God continues to work in us and always will until we meet Him face to face. “Our righteousness is as filthy rags.” Only because Jesus lives in us and His righteousness is in us, that we are changed at all.

Our Mission

Our mission is to equip people with the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace, to cultivate in them a character that contributes to the community and to nurture in them a heart that seeks to honour God in all areas of life, that they may live purposeful and satisfying lives as productive members of the work force, their community and their church.

Our Beliefs

  • We believe the Holy Scriptures, as given by God, are divinely inspired, infallible and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice.
  • We believe in one God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, His virgin birth His sinless life, His miracles and atoning death.
  • We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, in His personal return, and the judgment of God.
  • We believe that all have sinned and are justly exposed to the judgment of God.
  • We believe that the redemption from the guilt penalty and power of sin is possible only through the death and shed blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • We believe in the necessity of the work of the Holy Spirit to make the death of Jesus Christ effective to the individual sinner, granting him or her repentance towards God and faith in one Lord Jesus Christ, enabling the believer to live a holy life and to witness and to work for Jesus Christ.
  • We believe in the resurrection of the body, the eternal blessedness of the righteous and the eternal punishment of the wicked.
  • We believe that every believer is baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit and through being members of one another, are responsible for keeping the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, loving one another with a pure heart fervently.

Advisory Board

Harold & Diane Stephan

Executive Directors
Crossman Ministries Corp.

 

Barry Spurrell

Board Chairman
Barry’s Handyman Service, Owner

 

Blaine Stephan

Board Vice-Chairman
Guardian Plumbing and Heating, Owner/Journeyman Plumber

 

Joey Stephan

Board Member
Guardian Plumbing and Heating, Owner/Journeyman Plumber

 

Jason Ratke

Board Member
Guardian Plumbing and Heating, Apprentice Plumber

 

Levi Gilchrist

Board Member
E9 – Enviro, Owner

 

Jesse Moffat

Board Member
Guardian Plumbing and Heating, Service Manager

 

Leonard Beaucage

Board Member
Advancing Pet Products, Owner

 

Ernest Salmond

Board Member
Neely Lake Contracting Ltd., Owner

 

Samara Ball

Board Member
Giant Tiger, Supervisor

 

Joy Hanchar

Board Member
Guardian Plumbing and Heating, Office Manager