Payh Blog
Jun 18, 2020

My Name is on the Sign

My grandfather was the only father figure I had when I was a kid, and after he passed away, I had no one to look up to. When I came to the youth home in 1963 at the age of 13, Paul Anderson stepped in to fill the gap. From the time I arrived, I noticed that, although Paul was a busy man, he always made time for each of us. He traveled a great deal raising money for the home, but when he was home, he always made us a priority. Whether we were sitting down to dinner as a family, playing football on the weekends, playing football while he cheered us on from the stands, or having one of many one-on-one talks behind his house on the round patio, you never doubted that Paul cared for us as his own sons.

I remember one game during the 1967-68 season where one of our guys (Danny) took a hard hit and had to be taken to the emergency room. It turned out that he had a blood clot in his brain, and that he needed emergency surgery. Although he had been traveling extensively that week and was exhausted, Paul stayed with him throughout the entire ordeal. He refused to leave his side, even when staff members begged him to go home and get some rest. He turned them down, saying “My name is on the sign. I’m responsible for him.”

He always made sure we had what we needed (but not always what we WANTED), he was a tough disciplinarian who didn’t raise us to be “soft,” and above all made sure we had every possible opportunity to get to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. In the 50 years I’ve been on staff at PAYH, I’ve tried to apply the lessons he taught me – how to be a man of your word, how to make time for the people who are important to you, and how to shape young boys into strong men of Christ through tough love.

Happy Father’s Day in Heaven, Paul!


Eddie Burris

Director of Plant Operations

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Apr 18, 2020

Staying in the Fight

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:33

I was once asked what combat was like. Believe it or not, my answer described a feeling that I am almost sure a lot of you have been feeling.

“Will ‘it’ happen to me?”

“If ‘it’ does, how bad might it be?”

“What are my chances of surviving ‘it’?”

“What can I do to improve my chances against ‘it’?”

“What can I do to help others from getting ‘it’?”

These were all questions that found myself pondering for the year that I was deployed for combat in Iraq in 2005. Every day of that year was accompanied by a sort of very low-level hum of anxiety or tension not only for me, but for the people around me. How might I do just one more thing to improve the chances that we all make it back whole? This was a constant worry as we lived day to day that year, a year during which we were shot at in some way every day.

Every. Single. Day.

It seems that a whole lot of people these days have that same sort of worry. Although they go about their lives as best they can under difficult circumstances, the worry is never far from the forefront of their minds.

For me, in 2005, I tried to convince myself that it wouldn’t happen to me. Or, that it wouldn’t happen today. Or that if it did happen, I’d live. Or, if I didn’t live that I would be accepted into God’s kingdom. I finally resigned myself to His will being done.

I should have just skipped all the “ifs” and gone straight to that last sentence.

God is sovereign and His will is going to be done. I don’t believe for a minute that God will allow a virus to undo us. No way! What I DO believe is that He is watching how we as a family, as a nation, as a world are reacting to this.

In combat, we followed our training and common sense. We cleaned our weapons twice a day, we test fired at the range before every patrol, and we rehearsed EVERYTHING. It was what we were trained to do and it was common sense. There was literally nothing any of us knew to do that we did not do to be ready. That’s all we could do. The rest was in God’s hands, and He was faithful to us.

It’s not all that different in the current pandemic. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and keep your distance, and use common sense. It’s simple guidance that anyone can follow.

Just as importantly, if not more so, we must guard our spirits. Christ tells us not to worry in Matthew 6, reminding us that God will take care of His Children. That doesn’t mean He will spare us every heartache or give us a life of ease. What it does mean is that He has a plan, and it’s better than any plan we could have made.

Stay in the fight!


Col. Ken Vaughn

Chief Operating Officer

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Apr 12, 2020

Will I See You in Heaven?

As we await the time when we can resume some semblance of normalcy, I set up my office each morning on our screened back porch which overlooks the campus.  It is a common thing for me to ponder my life in this place, on this hill.

There have been many young men who have passed through our home and I have often asked myself the same question: will I see them in Heaven?  My imaginative thought immediately becomes one of our reminiscing about the time we spent on these grounds, in this home, together.

When they leave us, I always ask the Lord the same question: did we plant those seeds of truth deeply enough? We desire for each of our precious young men to experience new life in our Lord Jesus Christ.

On Good Friday, the night when our crucified Savior was laid in a tomb, the enemy thought it was finished!  What he did not know what that the very first Easter Sunday was coming with a risen Savior who had conquered death and offered eternal life to those who would receive Him. Though I’ve known Christ as my personal Savior most of my life, I’ve never stopped wondering “who am I that the King would bleed and die for me?”

This Easter morning, I want to ask each of you the same question I ask for “my boys;” have you received Him as your Lord and Savior?  Asking Jesus into your heart not only brings new life on Earth, but through Christ taking our sins on Himself, we can have life eternal, and be with our loved ones forever and ever and ever.

It sounds sad that we will not be able to gather for church this Easter Sunday, but we still have reason to rejoice. The buildings may be empty, but so was Christ’s tomb. We can be with our Heavenly Father wherever we are.  Let us rejoice for the many blessings that are ours.  Sadness is not for the Christian; joy is ours, not only in the morning, but forever. COVID-19 will pass, as will each one of us. The real question is this: will I see you in Heaven?

Happy Easter!

Glenda Anderson

Glenda Anderson 

President & Co-Founder

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Statue of Leonidas
Nov 05, 2019

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, November 2019

Face the Enemy

In 480 BC, King Leonidas of Sparta led a small contingent of Greek troops against the invading Persian army at the pass of Thermopylae. When he saw the size of the Greek army, Persian King Xerxes was filled with confidence by his numerical superiority. In his mind, he would quickly vanquish his hopelessly outnumbered foe before going on to “swallow tiny Greece.” He ordered his troops forward and expected to be celebrating his victory in short order. However, his hopes began to crumble as wave after wave of his best troops were scattered against the Greek shield wall. Persian casualties climbed into the thousands while the Greek formations remained largely intact. As night set in and the troops prepared for another day of fighting, Xerxes realized his conquest of Greece would cost far more than he planned.
According to Herodotus, the Persians boasted a force of 2.6 million, while the Greeks mustered a mere 5,200 to oppose them. How then were the Greeks able to stand against such overwhelming odds?  The answer lies in the workings of the Greek phalanx – their formation of mutual defense. In the phalanx, each soldier’s shield helps to guard the man next to him, allowing disciplined soldiers to create a nearly impenetrable shield wall. In the right terrain, such as a narrow mountain pass, this formation can make defenders nearly invincible. However, it only works as long as each soldier does his duty, holds his ground, and Faces the Enemy.
Like the Ancient Greeks, we too are engaged in a very real war. God called Paul Anderson Youth Home into being in order to transform the lives of troubled young men and to give them a second chance through Christ, and that is extremely displeasing to the enemy. We are under constant assault intended to suppress our efforts and, if possible, destroy us. This is the nature of spiritual warfare, and PAYH is what in my Army days we called a “High Payoff Target.” Satan knows the ending of the story as well as we do; in the end, he is doomed. But just as we sometimes do in a hopeless fight or contest, he is determined, knowing he is ultimately going down to defeat, to take as many with him as possible.
To weather his relentless assault, we must stand together in formation as Christian soldiers, interlocking our “Shields of Faith” while wearing the “Full Armor of God” (Ephesians 6). Only then can we stand victorious. We must each do our part, and Face the Enemy with confidence. We must stare down the armies of Hell, repel their assault, and pay it back in kind. To do otherwise would be costly not only to us but also to those who stand with us on the battlefield. Like the Greeks, we face a dangerous and powerful foe that we could never defeat in open battle. Unlike the Greeks (who were eventually surrounded and overcome), our victory is assured, because we do not fight through our own power. God tells us in 1 John 4:4 that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” It is through this power, the power of Christ, that we fight, and WE WILL WIN!
God bless you.
Col Ken Vaughn Signature (web).png
Col. Ken Vaughn
Chief Operating Officer

Stories from the Home

Founders’ Day
Founders-Day-2019Every year we celebrate Paul Anderson’s birthday with a special event known as “Founders’ Day.” Designed to honor Paul and Glenda’s acceptance of God’s call to begin the PAYH ministry, this year’s program featured a special guest, strongman Tim Fox. Yards away from where Paul is laid to rest, Tim recreated some of his feats of strength, including bending steel bars, rolling frying pans, and driving a nail through wood by hand. Additionally, Tim taught some of the staff and young men how to bend their own bars. Afterward, we held a family softball game and enjoyed a delicious dinner catered by Papa Buck’s.
Tour de Tugaloo
Tour-de-Tugaloo-2019Three of our PAYH young men (Caden, Kyle, and Tres) had a chance to ride in the 2019 Tour de Tugaloo. Beginning at the Yona Dam, the ride took them through a scenic tour of the Toccoa area. Although the weather was cold and wet, they had a great time of fellowship with the local riders and a delicious meal afterward. Special thanks to Duane Mahon for making this event possible, and for allowing the PAYH team to kick off the event.
Paul Anderson Memorial Park
Paul-Anderson-Memorial-Park-2019In 1999, a group of Stephens County 4th graders had been studying the history of a famous Toccoa native and developed a vision for a park in his memory. With the help of numerous friends and supporters, the Paul Anderson Memorial Park Foundation was established and their vision became reality in the early 2000’s. Today, it has become somewhat of a tradition for the PAYH young men to visit the park while they are at nearby Athens Y Camp, and this year was no exception. After walking the grounds, the young men gathered in the center of the park and posed for a picture with the 800 pound statue of the man who gave them a second chance through Christ.

Brewton-Parker Southern Classic
BPC-Southern-Classic-2019Brewton-Parker College, South Georgia’s only Christian college south of Macon and north of Jacksonville, held its 3rd annual Southern Classic at Willow Lake Golf Club in Metter early last month. Advancement Officer Tim Ritchie sponsored the PAYH team and was joined by Chief Operating Officer Col. Ken Vaughn, Director of Communications Stephen Nichols, and Board Vice-Chair Fritz Olnhausen. Against all odds, they avoided coming in last place, and had a great time helping BPC reach its goal. This year’s tournament raised over $46,000 – more than double the previous year’s total. To learn more about BPC and the educational opportunities they provide to, visit
Glenda Rose
Rosie2008 alumnus Jonathan Carter and his wife Julie recently celebrated the birth of their 4th child, Glenda Rose Carter (“Rosie”). Stating that he owed so much to Glenda and PAYH for giving him a second chance, he noted “What better way to honor Glenda and her investment in me than to name my child after her? I am so very thankful for Glenda and Paul’s answer to God‘s call on their hearts. Their walk and sacrifice afforded me an opportunity to meet the Lord. My sincerest thanks to all those at PAYH, their prayers, and you donors for your part in the Lord’s work at the Home. The Lord has restored the years the locusts have eaten! Thanks be to God!”
Trevor-2019Throughout his time at PAYH, Trevor was absolutely insistent that he didn’t know Christ. In early 2017, he finished the program and went his way, still an unbeliever. While it is our fervent desire that no young man leave our campus without knowing Christ, that decision is ultimately not in our hands. However, as Trevor now says, “the Holy Spirit is very persistent.” Several months after leaving the program, the seeds of the Gospel that had been planted in Trevor began to grow, and God changed his heart and saved his soul. Today, Trevor serves in the US Navy, has a wife and young daughter, and recently visited PAYH to share his testimonty about how he became a new creature in Christ with the current young men.

Upcoming Event: Christmas Play


As we look forward to the Christmas Season, one of our favorite ways to celebrate God’s marvelous gift of His Son is through our annual Christmas Dinner Theater, to be held December 5th & 6th at First Baptist Church Vidalia. During this time, guests will be treated to dinner and a special production of “It’s Never Too Late” showcasing our PAYH young men. Through them, we will get to know 3 soldiers from the Vietnam era: their hopes and dreams, Christ’s impact on their lives, and how through Him it’s never too late to make things right.
Limited seating available. For tickets, please visit or call us at 912-537-7237.

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Parenting Troubled Teenagers Is Not a Hopeless Fight
Apr 02, 2019

Parenting Troubled Teenagers Is Not a Hopeless Fight

Parenting troubled teenagers can be challenging or even overwhelming. One may experience significant stress in the parental journey if his or her teen is abusing drugs, experiencing depression, or committing acts of violence. Additionally, open defiance and failed attempts to communicate can add to one’s despair.
Don’t worry, though; most of these issues do not last forever. Parents can tackle the problems by learning how to identify red flag behaviors and seeking professional help. By doing so, parents can help teens overcome the challenges of adolescence and transition into well-balanced and happier young adults.

Understanding the Behavior of Teenagers

Why do teenagers display reckless conduct, act impulsively, experience intense emotions, or throw tantrums? Well, everyone is wired differently, and their teenage brains are still actively developing. That’s why they do not process information in the same way a mature adult’s brain does. For example, teenagers tend to rely on the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that triggers emotional reactions. Adults, on the other hand, use the prefrontal cortex for reading emotional cues.
Now that you know why teens act differently, it’s also important to note that teenagers are individuals with unique personalities. No matter how troubled your teen becomes or how emotionally distant they are, teenagers still need their parents’ attention and love.

Identifying Red Flag Behaviors in Teenagers

Parents can start by learning when to step in and assist their troubled teens. Below are some of the most common red flag behaviors to watch for:

  • Peer influence: It is normal for friends to have a great influence on a teen’s choices. Parents should take note when there is a sudden change in peer groups, especially one that encourages negative behaviors.
  • Experimenting with drugs or alcohol: Many teenagers smoke a cigarette (or even marijuana) and/or try alcohol at some point. Problems start arising when his or her drug or alcohol use becomes habitual, affecting school-related performance and life at home.
  • Mood swings: Hormones and developmental changes can cause irritable behavior and mood swings. Your teen may be struggling to manage these emotions if they talk about suicide, have difficulty sleeping, ignore falling grades, and/or experience persistent sadness.
  • Rebellious behavior: When teens start to seek independence, they may become opinionated and confrontational every so often. Parents should be concerned if they start to frequently get into fights or even have run-ins with the law.

How Can Parents Help Troubled Teenagers?

If a troubled teen displays one or more of the mentioned red flag behaviors, parents can consider seeking professional help, such as therapists, counselors, doctors, or other mental health professionals. After finding the appropriate treatment for your teen, it does not mean that your job is done. There are various actions you should take at home to improve the relationship between you and your teen. Here’s what you can do:

  • Help your teen make healthy lifestyle changes: Create a schedule that your teen can follow with regular mealtimes, fixed bedtimes (at least 8.5 to 10 hours of sleep), etc. Consider reducing screen time as it is known to impact brain development as well. Next, ensure that your teen eats right and exercises regularly, which can improve his or her mood.
  • Learn how to cope with teen anger and violence: Parents should establish boundaries, rules, and consequences but also give their teens enough space to retreat and relieve anger in a healthy manner, such as venting through art or dancing to music.
  • Create opportunities to strengthen the parent-teen bond: Parents can open the lines of communication by being there for their teens, finding common ground, offering a listening ear without being judgmental, and providing sound advice.
  • Remember to practice self-care: The stress of dealing with a troubled teen can take a toll on parents, which is why it is important to find support. You can seek help from a religious leader, sports coach, friend, or other family members. Ultimately, parents should remember to relax daily and de-stress when they start to feel overwhelmed.

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Aug 07, 2009

I have a child who appears to be suffering from depression


“I have a child who…appears to be suffering from depression.
Depression can be triggered initially by almost anything: break up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, guilt over doing wrong, feeling left out by friends, making bad grades. If gone untreated or unchecked, depression can become a very real physiological condition that may require medication.
Depression may appear similar to apathy: depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain that produces very definite behavioral manifestations: changes in personality, listlessness, loss of appetite, life seems to have no meaning, talk of suicide. Be engaged in your child’s life; find out what is the root of the depression.

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