Payh Blog
May 12, 2020

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, May 2020

The New Normal

I cannot believe how much our daily lives have changed in the last few months.  I don’t think any of us could have imagined the impact the coronavirus would have when we first heard about it.  Here at the PAYH, we have been on a shelter-in-place order since the end of March with only essential staff allowed on campus.  We have established protocols that we follow to screen staff as they come in, no visitors, washing our hands, practicing social distancing, sanitizing, etc.  I have heard many people say that when this ban is lifted there will be “a new normal,” that life will never go back to the way it was.

The Lord recently reminded me that this is exactly what the Paul Anderson Youth Home is all about.  For over fifty-nine years, young men have come to our campus where they remain while learning how to make better decisions.  Essentially, they follow a shelter-in-place order.  They are here not only for protection, but also to learn “a new normal.”  A life where they apply what they are learning and begin to make wiser choices.  Addictions and bad behavior have been addressed and they begin to have HOPE for a productive future instead of the hopelessness they felt when they arrived.

Our boys also learn about our God’s eternal love.  It is our prayer that each young man who becomes a member of our PAYH family makes the decision to invite Jesus into his heart.  We know that God calls us to “plant the seed.” Sometimes we have the awesome privilege of seeing young men come to know Him while they are with us, and other times, they make this life altering decision after they leave.  We are grateful for our many partners who regularly pray for our boys and staff.  Would you join us in praying for their salvation as well as their “new normal?”

Betty Burris

Betty Burris

VP – Outreach & Compliance

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Apr 21, 2020


If you read our newsletter, you’ve read the story of the 101st Airborne and how they stubbornly refused to give up the fight, replying with a simple “NUTS!” when the Germans demanded their surrender. Just like the 101st in Bastogne, we can sometimes feel a besieged. Fortunately, we have access to the same weapon they used to ultimately prevail in the fight. Will you help support us through prayer and through your financial contributions? Your gift can change a life for eternity!

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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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Mar 30, 2020

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, April 2020

Meet Them in Battle Nonetheless!

I’m a fan of fantasy, and I especially enjoy the works of JRR Tolkien, a devout Christian who wrote such classics as The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit. His works are highly allegorical and are filled with tales of tremendous bravery, heroism, and self-sacrifice. One of my favorites is the story of King Théoden of Rohan.

In The Return of the King, Théoden and his armies were reeling from an enemy invasion. While they had utterly annihilated their foes, they were severely depleted. Before they could recover, a neighboring ally called for aid, as they too were under attack and on the brink of destruction. Despite their own poor situation, the armies of Rohan prepared for battle.

However, when Théoden mustered his forces, fewer than half the troops he expected reported for duty. His lieutenants urged him to abandon the fight. They knew the enemy’s strength and told him frankly that there was no hope of victory. In one of the manliest one-liners in all of fiction, the king agreed and stated simply, “We will meet them in battle nonetheless.”

Théoden had pledged to aid his allies in times of need, and he was unwilling to let unfavorable odds prevent him from fulfilling that oath. He knew that the price of inaction would be thousands of innocent lives and chose to make the ultimate sacrifice rather than break his word. His sacrifice bought valuable time, and the city was saved when another allied force arrived to finish what Théoden started. Though he didn’t live to see it, his legendary courage paved the way for victory where lesser men would have fled the field.

As human beings, we have no hope of defeating the armies of Hell. Like Théoden, we know that our own strength is not enough to carry the day. Unlike Théoden, who had no assurance of success, we know that our help “comes from the Lord” (Psalm 121:2). Scripture assures us that we will win, for “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). With such assurances, how can we do anything except “meet them in battle nonetheless?”


Stephen Nichols

Director of Communications



Still on Station!

Schools are out and many local businesses are closed, but the PAYH ministry is still moving forward. We’ve sent our office staff to work from home, Glenda and Stephen are laying low in the big house, and access to campus is restricted, but our administration (Ken & Betty) and our mentors remain on station. The PAYH young men are still receiving the care and guidance the Lord has called us to provide for them, we are still learning the Scriptures, and they are still progressing in school. We’re not going to panic. We are just taking common-sense precautions to keep these young men safe. It’s why we’re here!


Nate McBride Visits PAYH

University of Georgia linebacker and Vidalia native Nate McBride visited with our young men last month and took the time to share his testimony with them. He spoke about his walk with God, the importance of controlling your feelings rather than allowing them to control you, and the importance of regularly spending time reading God’s Word. As he finished up, he stated that Jesus is the answer to everything and that only Christ can get you through life’s difficulties.


Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race 2020

We held our 5th annual Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race on March 7th, with nearly 500 runners in attendance. It was a record-breaking year, with PAYH and Winshape camps each receiving half the proceeds, or just over $15,000 each. Several of our young men placed in their age category, while Camden, one of our most senior young men, won 1st place overall! To learn more about the race or to see a video recap of the day, visit



Finally, a skill from my past life that can be used today in these challenging times.

– Col. Ken Vaughn


The Lord is constantly giving us reasons to praise Him, and we are making a concerted effort to give Him the glory He is due. We regularly post good news stories on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds and would love for you to follow us if you don’t already. Simply visit the following links to see our profiles on the platforms below:




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Mar 02, 2020

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, March 2020

Be the Right Kind of Man!

Before coming to the Home, I was afforded the immeasurable blessing of being allowed to be a soldier for most of my adult life. As a matter of fact, of all the time I have spent on Earth, I have spent more time in uniform than not.  When I think back over my time with them, I am reminded over and over that while the American Soldier can be filthy, profane, and violent, he can also be the noblest of souls. He often has a relationship with his God that only other soldiers can understand.

The chopper pilots who we flew with across the border for a recon mission into Iraq test fired the weapons as we cleared the border. We were roaring along about 60 feet off the ground at about 160 knots and over the headset I heard the pilot say to the chief on the right side sixty machine gun “coming up on the right, got him?” The chief responded “Roger, got ‘em.” I was expecting them to open up on some enemy target, but instead, as we passed over a small Arab family camped out in the desert, they dropped candy and small toys rigged with tiny, hand-made, orange parachutes from VS 17 panels to the children who were waving below.

Then at one of the sites we reconned I saw a civilian contractor, an oversized American who had come over to Iraq to be a part of the tax free gold rush that the war had become for so many, snatch a small carton of milk from a little local man who was working in the chow hall, chastising him loudly for taking it. The local, obviously now very frightened, only wanted something to drink. A soldier stepped in between the two and, without a word took the milk and handed it back to the little man and gave the civilian a look something like we used to see Clint Eastwood give bad guys, wordlessly daring the abusive blowhard to make the slightest move.

Later, just before the drive into Iraq, I became aware of the fact that my gunner, originally from Great Britain, had found in the PX tent and immediately bought two cases of English candy bars of a particular brand that he had loved madly during his childhood but not seen since. He packed them like gold in his rucksack for the trip, during which he would pull security for us from the gun pedestal as we became the first vehicle of the division to cross the berm into Iraq. In spite of the fact that there is a strict policy prohibiting the giving of food to civilians, when we arrived at our destination, after passing miles and miles of waving, begging Arab children, I learned that my gunner’s candy supply was all gone. Tossed away a bar at a time.

Then, a day or two later, at a place called Camp Scania, I met the camp dog. There was a prohibition against adopting pets too, so someone I suppose might have eventually been held accountable for the dog, who lived off a steady diet of beef jerky and MREs, as did her six small puppies, all of whom wore American flea collars as they slept peacefully in the small doghouse hand made from ammo crates, just outside the back gate.

And last, and perhaps most touching was the afternoon as I was near the back gate of our forward operating base. An army ambulance was there, just inside, manned by a couple of solder-medics from the Alabama National Guard, the back doors open. As I neared, I saw that the couple was assisting someone into the back, no doubt to be “evacked” for treatment to the camp clinic. It was not a soldier being placed in the ambulance, but a local man and his little girl, wrapped in a blanket, obviously very sick. This was another violation of another policy from another office back somewhere in the land of clean sheets and hot showers. One of the medics saw me and as they were closing the doors to the back of the ambulance, he gave me the ‘Shhhh’ sign, placing one finger over his lips. I motioned for them to go. I hope they found out what was wrong with the little girl.

All these heroes and others with whom I served were what might have been called “men’s men,” in a less politically correct time. Paul Anderson was another “man’s man.” He had an imposing presence, unrivalled strength, but also had compassion and an obviously deep relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

In a time when manhood as we knew it is often derided and sometimes even vilified, we here at PAYH are challenging our young men not only to be strong in mind, body and spirit, but to also love their God and their neighbor. We charge them daily to become prepared to accept their Providentially ordained role as leaders in their home, their church, and their community. If that kind of masculinity is toxic, as the Feminists assert, then we intend to brew poison by the gallon!

Col. Ken Vaughn

Col. Ken Vaughn

Chief Operating Officer



Isaiah Finishes Flight School

Isaiah, one of our 2018 Alumni, is making good on his aviation plans. He has completed a series of certifications, including his Instrument Rating, CFI, CFII, Commercial, Multi-Engine Commercial, and most recently Multi-Engine Commercial Instructor. This past Friday, Isaiah officially graduated ATP flight school, and is now working on logging the 1,500 required hours to apply to become a commercial airline pilot.


Amazon Wishlist

Last month, we published a wish list on Amazon containing numerous items the young men had requested to make their jobs in the kitchen a bit easier. We weren’t sure what the response would be, but over the next couple of weeks we were inundated with a flood of kitchen items. The response was truly overwhelming, and we are thankful to be able to say that our kitchen is now that much better equipped. Thank you to everyone who contributed. You have truly been a blessing!


Warren C. Crawley Gala

On February 4th, 6 PAYH representatives attended the Warren C. Crawley Gala, hosted by Brewton-Parker College. The dinner was held to honor the selfless sacrifice of the late Mr. Crawley, an African-American man who donated land to help start the college in 1904, despite the fact that in those days of segregated education, he and other African-Americans were barred from admission. The guest speaker was challenging and entertaining, the food was incredible, and the musicians gave a fantastic performance. Thanks to BPC for our continued partnership in ministry. To learn more about BPC and its Christ-centered academic programs, visit


GFBF President Addresses PAYH Young Men

Dennis Gardin, president of the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, shared his powerful story with the PAYH young men. As a teenager, Gardin was burned over more than 70% of his body in a gas tank explosion and was not expected to survive. However, God had plans for Dennis and, after more than 50 surgeries and an 8-month hospital stay, he was released. At first, he questioned why God would allow this to happen to him, but over time he learned to rediscover his confidence and self-worth. Now, he travels the world sharing his message of hope, inspiration, and faith in God. Quoting his grandmother, who was a major source of strength to him during his ordeal, Gardin stated that he has learned “Don’t give thanks FOR everything – give thanks IN everything.” To learn more about Mr. Gardin or the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation, visit


Doubloon Mania Hits PAYH

There is a new currency being issued and spent at PAYH – the doubloon. A doubloon is a coin issued by or on behalf of the Chief Operations Officer for jobs well done or good deeds observed. They are then redeemable for rewards that are otherwise not available, such as lunch off-campus, a movie, a day to sleep in, and other highly sought-after things. Since the establishment of the program, our young men have been doing their best to be noticed “getting it right” and are being rewarded for doing so. In an act of exemplary servant leadership, our class leader, Bryce, observed a fellow classmate, Kevin doing something right and issued Kevin his own doubloon that he had won himself. This is an act of unselfishness that did not go unnoticed and Bryce will be rewarded double for it. Unlike consequence-based approaches that solely emphasize punishment for mistakes, we are focused on looking for the positive that we believe exists inside all our young men and on reinforcing and rewarding it…and it is working!



Whether you’re a competitive runner or enjoy a casual stroll, whether you like to compete with a team or do your own thing, or if you simply want a chance to spend your morning supporting a worthy cause, there’s a place for you on March 7th, 2020 at the 5th Annual Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race. Sponsored by Zorn Insurance, Spivey Orthopedic, Altamaha Bank and Trust, and Pineland Telco, proceeds from this year’s race will benefit both PAYH and Winshape Camps in Vidalia. We are expecting over 600 runners this March – don’t miss your chance to be one of them. Sign up at and visit our Facebook page

We can’t wait to see you there!

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Feb 04, 2020

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, February 2020

This is My Commandment

It’s February – the month in which we all seek to prove our devotion to and affection for our spouses. Many consider this demonstration to be of extreme importance, and (as a married man) my wife has informed me that I agree. We back this up with our wallet; this Valentine’s Day, Americans will give each other approximately 144 million cards, 58 million pounds of chocolate, and 8 billion of those chalky conversation hearts (yes, people still buy these). In all we will spend around $20 billion.

That’s a great deal to spend to prove our love, but it pales in comparison to what God has done for us. Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” For most of us, Valentine’s Day is about mutual affection, but the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made when He took our sins upon Himself was entirely one-sided. We did nothing to deserve it and had nothing of value to give Him in return, yet He chose to do it anyway for one simple reason – He loves us!

If Christ was willing to do this for us, what excuse do we have to do anything short of loving one another? The answer is plain – we don’t. It doesn’t matter what they’ve done, or who they are, or if they are our enemy. The example Christ set is clear, and His directive in John 15:12 is explicit: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

We will never meet someone that God doesn’t love.


Stephen Nichols

Director of Communications

Stories from the Home

Conclave 2020


Three PAYH staff members (Tim Ritchie, Victoria Shuman, and Stephen Nichols) recently spent a weekend in Chattanooga at the Conclave 2020 conference. While there, they spoke with pastors, youth pastors, and volunteers from 11 states about the services that PAYH offers and how young men have found new life in Christ while in the PAYH program. They also were able to tell them about Paul’s history as a legendary strong man and how he gave up fame and fortune to answer God’s call on his life.

SEPC Work Day


On January 17th, volunteers from the Southeast Produce Council came to PAYH to help renovate the Goodness Garden.  Working alongside our young men, they dug up the old timbers that formed the raised beds and replaced them with new oak beams.  The beds are like new again and are now ready for the many crops that will be gown and harvested in the years to come.  Afterwards, they enjoyed fellowship at lunch and sat down with Col. Ken Vaughn as he shared his vision and plans for PAYH.  We want to extend a special thank you to all who gave of their time and resources to make this day a blessing to the PAYH and the young men we serve.


Leadership Toombs-Montgomery

21 members of Leadership Toombs-Montgomery visited the PAYH campus on January 30th to learn more about our ministry. PAYH Director of Advancement Tim Ritchie spoke about the history of the home while two of the young men gave them a tour. Afterward, they joined us for a meal and fellowship. According to their website, their program is designed to “enhance a participant’s awareness of our community and its needs by examining how leadership in the historical, geographical, educational, economic, governmental, and cultural segments work together to perpetuate and advance the Toombs-Montgomery area.” You can learn more about this initiative at



Whether you’re a competitive runner or enjoy a casual stroll, whether you like to compete with a team or do your own thing, or if you simply want a chance to spend your morning supporting a worthy cause, there’s a place for you on March 7th, 2020 at the 5th Annual Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race. Sponsored by Zorn Insurance, Spivey Orthopedic, Altamaha Bank and Trust, and Pineland Telco, proceeds from this year’s race will benefit both PAYH and Winshape Camps in Vidalia. We are expecting over 600 runners this March – don’t miss your chance to be one of them. Sign up at and visit our Facebook page

We can’t wait to see you there!

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Jan 15, 2020

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, January 2020

Vision 2020

2020 Vision! It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about an individual, family, organization, or nation; everyone needs a plan and a purpose. The Bible itself makes this clear in Proverbs 28:18, in which Solomon tells us “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” A vision is meant to define what we hope to be and achieve in the long-term. It sets a goal and helps give meaning and inspiration to our work, giving us something to strive for.

So what is my vision for Paul Anderson Youth Home? I might shock you by telling you that I don’t have one, or at least that I don’t have a new one. What we have instead is simple – Paul Anderson’s original vision. In 1961 Paul and Glenda felt a call to help transform the lives of troubled young men, to plant God’s Word in their hearts, and to introduce them to Jesus Christ. As Paul once noted in his autobiography, “Our ethics will never change, but our methods must.”

We’re here today to do the same thing that Paul and Glenda first set out to do – to make disciples of these young men and bring them into God’s Kingdom. Some of the methods have indeed changed as Paul said they would. That’s why we now have things like a fully accredited high-school, a vocational program, substance abuse treatment, counseling, and a host of other services. Each of these initiatives supports our work, but they all must take second place to this overarching fact – Jesus Christ was, is, and always will be the foundation of this ministry!

So as we begin 2020, it is my hope that you’ll join with me in “praying without ceasing” (1st Thessalonians 5:17). I would encourage you to open your day with supplication to God, just as our young men and staff do each morning. Ask Him to continue to give us clarity of thought through the Mind of Christ (1st Corinthians 2:16), and thank Him for the many blessings He has poured out for you and for the Paul Anderson Youth Home. I’m looking forward to seeing what God has planned for the coming year.

Our vision for the future is 2020!


Col. Ken Vaughn

Chief Operating Officer

Stories from the Home

13th Annual Paul Anderson Christmas Dinner Theater


Nearly 700 guests joined us for dinner and the performance of “It’s Never Too Late,” written and produced by Vidalia’s own Suzanne Dixon. The story began in 1969 during the Vietnam War and told the stories of 3 veterans, one of whom was a PAYH alumnus. They shared their hopes and dreams with one another and promised to reconnect 50 years later. In the process, they learned that through Christ, it was never too late to make it right.

Boys’ Christmas Party


A week before Christmas our PAYH young men thoroughly enjoyed hors d’oeuvres with Glenda Anderson Leonard and Stephen Leonard at their on-campus home. Then they went to the Santa Claus, Georgia Community Center for a delicious dinner.  Following delectable desserts provided by Col. Ken Vaughn and his wife, Holly, they played Trivia (which Cameron won) and exchanged white elephant gifts. After spending time with “Santa,” they were blessed by walking to a nearby chapel where they reflected on the true meaning of Christmas. In our PAYH Family tradition of ending meaningful times together by singing “Holy Ground”, that is how we closed the evening.


Caden’s Graduation

This past month, we celebrated Caden’s graduation. Although he wasn’t initially interested in a relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit remained persistent. Earlier this year, Caden made a personal commitment to Christ, which radically changed his outlook on life as well as his eternal future. In what became one of the highlights of his time at PAYH, Caden’s father was blessed to baptize him in our on-campus pool. Hear his testimony in his own words at

Lane’s Graduation


Right on the heels of Caden’s graduation, Lane also completed the PAYH program. Now, rather than a life lived apart from God and His saving Grace, he has new life in Christ, fulfilment through Him, and a new hope for the future. He has been accepted at a school where he will study automotive repair and plans to become a mechanic. Listen to him tell his story



Not only are each of our PAYH family members grateful for a new year and a new decade but we are also thankful that Jesus’ Blood covers our sins which allows us to keep short accounts with Him and each other. As we begin 2020, my fervent prayer is that we will meditate on Matthew 5:23-25 and ask God’s and each other’s forgiveness for our sins.

I have challenged myself and I also challenge you when the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins of commission or omission that we QUICKLY ask God’s forgiveness and REPENT: make a 180 degree turn. If we have sinned against a brother or sister, my heart-cry is that we will IMMEDIATELY ask his or her forgiveness. In addition to saying: “I am sorry,” let us add: “would you please forgive me for…?”

THANK YOU for the HONOR of being laborers together with God and you in serving those He has entrusted to us!!Love in Christ,




Whether you’re a competitive runner or enjoy a casual stroll, whether you like to compete with a team or do your own thing, or if you simply want a chance to spend your morning supporting a worthy cause, there’s a place for you on March 7th, 2020 at the 5th Annual Chick-fil-A Vidalia Road Race. Sponsored by Zorn Insurance, Spivey Orthopedic, Altamaha Bank and Trust, and Pineland Telco, proceeds from this year’s race will benefit both PAYH and Winshape Camps in Vidalia. We are expecting over 600 runners this March – don’t miss your chance to be one of them. Sign up at and visit our Facebook page

We can’t wait to see you there!

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Dec 10, 2019

This Month at PAYH: Monthly Newsletter, December 2019

I Can’t Be Ungrateful

Prior to coming to PAYH, it seems I was consistently finding myself in some type of trouble. My addictions led me to begin stealing to support my habits, which nearly cost my father his job when I stole from his employer. The drinking, running away, and anger of a rebellious teenager left my parents and the judicial system with few options; the judge wanted to put me “under the jail.” Thankfully, God softened his heart and I soon became a member of what I consider the elite group that is the Paul Anderson Family. This forever changed my course in life.

My time at PAYH was phenomenal. I cannot lie and say I was not angry when I first arrived, feeling like some sort of injustice had been done, but had it not been for Christ’s intervention through the Home I would most likely still be lost to this day. The discipline, the faith, and the integrity they teach have shaped my day-to-day work ethic as well as my role as a husband and father. I still get up at 5:00 AM, spend some time with Christ, and head to the gym before I begin my day. These are habits that have been a part of me since my early days at PAYH, and I believe they are a big part of why God has allowed me to excel. In the words of my employer; “It’s not the fact that he is aggressive – it’s his tenacity and persistence that wins every time.” These are the traits I attribute to Eddie, Glenda, Betty & Mrs. Truett and my friends at the home.

I enlisted in the USMC in 1988 after graduating the program. I was soon deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, where I served with 2nd Tank Battalion as a scout and naval gunfire spotter. Oddly enough, as I was torn between college and the Corps, the academics scared me way more than the demands of the Corps. I was literally scared of books more than bullets. Eventually I did get over this and pursued a degree in science.

After completing my degree, I began practicing as a transport respiratory therapist, caring for critically ill infants, and children and taking care of them and keeping them breathing in-route to or in-between hospitals. I eventually became a supervisor for the Women and Children’s Center in Albany, Georgia, which in turn opened another door as an account manager for a medical device company for which I manage the accounts in Georgia and North Florida. Along with His financial blessing, Christ has given me a beautiful wife (Kristen) and “loaned” me three beautiful Angels He allows us to call our daughters (Olivia, Kendall & Malia).

God has cared for me and blessed me beyond measure. People look at me as if I’m crazy when I say this, but I can’t be ungrateful for any event that has occurred in my life. Everything was necessary, the good, the bad… all of the trouble. All of the events that I have lived through were necessary for Christ to mold me into the man I am today. I will forever be thankful that God led me to PAYH!


Chad Cook

PAYH Alumnus, 1988

Stories from the Home

PAYH Alumnus Honored for His Service


In 1984, Wallace Thompson found himself with a terminally ill father who could no longer care for him. His mother had always been absent from his life, and he found himself without a home and a life headed for trouble. Fortunately, PAYH was there to take him in, and Wallace finished the program having received the discipline and guidance he needed. In particular, Wallace remembered late PAYH staff member Bobby Dixon telling him “when you graduate, people will try to pull you down to their level; pull them up to your level instead.” After serving in the US Army from 1986-1989, Wallace became a deputy with the Toombs County Sheriff, where he was been employed ever since. This past month, the sheriff’s office honored Wallace with a plaque commemorating his 30 years of exemplary service to the citizens of Toombs County. He credits God and his time at the Paul Anderson Youth Home for making this possible, stating “There’s no way I would have achieved any of this without PAYH.”

Poachers’ Misfortune Becomes an Unexpected Blessing


Several hunters ran afoul (or perhaps we should say “afowl”) of the law when they exceeded the limit of 3 ducks per hunter. After being caught and ticketed, the Georgia DNR made the decision to donate the birds to PAYH rather than let them go to waste. Bryce and Caden spent the better part of a morning cleaning and prepping more than 50 ducks, which will soon become dinner for the young men.

Canoochee EMC Partners with PAYH

The Canoochee Electric Membership Corporation Foundation Board met last month and made the decision to award the Paul Anderson Youth Home a $1,000 grant. CEMC’s Jeremy Halligan presented PAYH’s Victoria Shuman with the check. The funds come from local EMC members’ small donations through the “Operation Round Up” program.

Pecan Harvest Competition


The PAYH young men spent a couple of days harvesting pecans from the many trees on our campus. As many of you know, they can be extremely competitive, and organized themselves into teams to see who could collect the most. In total, they gathered more than half a ton between them, with the winning team (Camden, Tommy, Lane, and Yovani) gathering 201 lbs. in a single day.

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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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