ABOUT FOREST HOME
Forest Home has a rich and moving history. It is sometimes said that our history is HIS-Story, and we believe that to be true. Forest Home has become a movement of God that has seen the winds of revival blow throughout Southern California and into the farthest reaches of the world.
Since 1938, we have watched Him move in the lives of countless millions as each guest has been faced with life-changing decisions. Our chapel is filled with books–literally thousands of pages of personal history where guests write out their decisions, prayers, and cries to God.
A Divine Intervention
In 1937, our founder Henrietta Mears visited Forest Home–what was then a privately owned resort in the San Bernardino Mountains. After driving through the grounds she declared to her traveling companions, “Don’t even bother to stop … we can’t afford all of this.”
The original owner appraised the property at $350,000 in 1937. Where would that kind of money come from?
But God, as it were, was standing on the highest peak overlooking Forest Home Valley. He beheld below Him tens of thousands of children playing, singing and praying. He saw youth lifting their hands to Him in dedication, resolved to go from the conference grounds to preach His Gospel to the world. He heard glad choruses from innumerable hearts, ringing across the glens and down the canyons. He saw here an auditorium filled with hundreds of His faithful and there a chapel where children were kneeling in prayer.
And on the mountain God said, “I want this place for My glory to dwell in.” So He reached out to the sky and called around Him the thunderclouds. All day and into the night they gathered, billowing like the smoke from an immense furnace. A moment of hushed suspense fell over the earth as nature waited for the command.
Then the God of glory thundered, His voice shaking giant boulders from their beds and causing towering pines to bend to the ground in worship. Bolts of lightning crashed like heavenly spears from cloud to cloud, unlocking the suspended floods that now swept earthward like steeds racing to war. Down the torrents fell, forming into a gigantic wall of water.
The welling tide, bolstered by enormous rocks hurling along in its waters, uprooted trees, crashed against buildings and cut into mountainsides. From wall-to-wall of the valley, the roaring current leaped onward, its unbridled fury leaving disaster in its wake. On the Forest Home Resort property, three cabins down by the stream were washed away and a fourth was left hanging over the bank. Yet, though the surrounding countryside lay in ruins, the rest of the campsite remained relatively unharmed.
In the silence after the storm, the shrill tones of the telephone bell could be heard. Bill Irwin was calling and asking to speak to Henrietta Mears. The son of the owner of the resort grounds had phoned and offered to sell Forest Home for $30,000!*
Since that amazing start, God has granted Forest Home unprecedented growth and impact for His Kingdom. So many have been a part of His purpose and plan here. Will you join us?
*Excerpt from Dream Big: The Henrietta Mears Story (Gospel Light)
ABOUT DR. HENRIETTA MEARS
“Dr. Henrietta C. Mears … has had a remarkable influence, both directly and indirectly on my life. In fact, I doubt if any other woman outside of my wife and mother has had such a marked influence… She is certainly one of the greatest Christians I have ever known!” – Dr. Billy Graham
Best known as the innovative and dynamic Director of Christian Education at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood in the mid 1900s, Henrietta Mears was one of the most influential Christian leaders of her time. She founded Gospel Light, Forest Home and GLINT (Gospel Literature International), and profoundly impacted the ministries of Bill Bright (Campus Crusade), Jim Rayburn (Young Life) and Billy Graham (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) with her emphasis on Scripture and a clear Gospel message for young people. Her What the Bible Is All About (Regal) has sold over three million copies, and she is believed by many theologians to have most directly shaped Bill Bright’s Four Spiritual Laws, which defined modern evangelism in the 20th century.
“You teach a little by what you say, you teach most by what you are.” – Henrietta Mears