“Eddie’s nose was buried inside the St. Francis Church bulletin, so deep that he didn’t notice her at first . . . Then he saw her, a dark-haired girl poised in silent prayer within the stark confines of her wheelchair . . . He felt so deeply sorry for the girl. “Why?” he thought to himself. “She’s so young. Too young. How could anyone – especially a child – deserve to go through life like that?” . . . Later that night, when Eddie retired to his bedroom, he still had not shaken his anguish . . . ‘Lord, please help that little girl I saw today at mass,’ he prayed silently in the darkness of his room. ‘Help make her life a little better somehow.’

– Excerpt from “On Eagle’s Wings”

It started with a guileless teen’s observation one day in church. As that teen grew into a man, he saw that children faced many challenges in their lives. He became particularly burdened by children who were struggling with their families. He believed there had to be a way to help make their lives better. So he began a journey that led him from Birmingham, Alabama to the Chestnut Mountain community of Flowery Branch.

Eagle Ranch Founder and Executive Director Eddie Staub made headlines in the early 1980s as an ambitious young man attempting to fund and establish a home for struggling boys. Because of its extraordinary formation and early growth, the Ranch was called “the miracle on Chestnut Mountain” by CNN television during the initial phases of construction and development.

From the opening of its first home in 1985, Eagle Ranch has grown well beyond one person with a dream. Today, it is a community that helps thousands of boys, girls and their family members. The 315-acre wooded campus features neighborhood-style residential homes for children, a SACS-accredited school, a counseling department, a chapel, and facilities for meetings and recreation. It is one of the nation’s most progressive therapeutic Christian programs for children in crisis, and the largest children’s residential program in Northeast Georgia.

Milestones at Eagle Ranch

Man and older woman sitting at a round table, smiling and looking at a paper

The 1980s

  • 1982: Eddie Staub moves to Georgia
  • 1983: Eagle Ranch land contract signed
  • 1984: John W. Jacobs Administration and Counseling Center
  • 1985: Eagle Ranch Boys’ Program: The Faith Home
  • 1986: The Hope Home
  • 1987: The Love Home
  • 1988: The Peace Home

The 1990s

  • 1993: The Chapel in the Woods
  • 1995: W.E. Reeve and T.L. Foley Athletic Center
  • 1996: Tom & Jane Eve Wilheit Administration and Counseling Center
  • 1997: The Wings Initiative; The Grace Home; The Joy Home
3 girls sitting on red brick steps enjoying ice cream

The 2000s to Present

  • 2001: Eagle Ranch Girls’ Program; The Glory Home; The Praise Home; Inception of Eagle Ranch School
  • 2006: Completion of the Eagle Ranch School facility
  • 2009: The Wink Wynne Lodge; The Blessing Home; The Mercy Home
  • 2014: The Whitcomb Family Equine Center
  • 2019: The Joan Whitcomb Girls’ Wellness and Activity Center; The Robert and Gloria Molloy Girls’ Pavilion
  • 2021: Appointment of next Executive Director: John Shackelford
  • 2022: Inception of The James W. Webb Wings Center at Eagle Ranch


Now Open


The James W. Webb Wings Center