THE CHURCH

Our Story


Our family includes my husband, our son, Nolan, our twin girls, Addison and Bella and myself.  All three of our children are adopted. Nolan was born in Nepal, and came home in February of 2008 at 18 months. Our twins had made the long journey from Bulgaria to our home in Atlanta, just short of 4 years of age, in September of 2010. recall a Saturday in spring of 2011, when our family headed out of the house to a local bowling alley for some fun. After getting our shoes and selecting the perfect ball, we made our way to the lane to engage in a little healthy family competition.

Within minutes Addison had broken down, paralyzed by fear and sobbing uncontrollably.  She wanted nothing to do with this new game or this new environment.  She wanted to return to the comfort of the home she had known the last six months and she had no desire to deviate from the stable routine of her day.This bowling adventure was just one of MANY stories we experienced those first few years.  Our daughter struggled to connect with people she didn’t know, places she wasn’t familiar with…any new experience.

A counselor suggested equine therapy.  I mentioned it to my husband and before long he had her enrolled in lessons at a local stable.  I dreaded the day we would have to force her to get on a horse. I pondered how long it would take her to become comfortable with the horse and the stables.

To our surprise she met Buddy, and fell in love!  This sweet child who struggled to become comfortable with her own two feet on the ground, displayed a confidence and joy on the back of Buddy. Something we had not seen prior to this encounter.  Bareback, backwards…it didn’t matter, Addison was at peace and we were astonished.

The seed was planted in our hearts and before long, we knew where The Lord was guiding us.  He brought our love for children, for animals and for the mountains together for His glory.

our story

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

THE CHURCH

" Bareback, backwards…it didn’t matter, Addison was at peace and we were astonished. ”

"This sweet child who struggled to become comfortable with her own two feet on the ground, displayed a confidence and joy on the back of Buddy."

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 BENEFITES OF OUR CHURCH

Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.

Meet our Staff

MaryKate

MaryKate Coleman is a graduate from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Most recently MK worked for Buena Vista High School as a Paraprofessional and has also held other positions including an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist as well as a horse wrangler with Young Life Camps. She is currently pursuing her certification for PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). Her previous community involvement includes Children's Ministry Coordinator at Cornerstone church, coaching BVHS cheerleading and serving as a Young Life leader. MaryKate has held the position of Program Manager since June 12, 2017.
MARYKATE MCWHIRTER

MaryKate

MaryKate Coleman is a graduate from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Most recently MK worked for Buena Vista High School as a Paraprofessional and has also held other positions including an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist as well as a horse wrangler with Young Life Camps. She is currently pursuing her certification for PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). Her previous community involvement includes Children's Ministry Coordinator at Cornerstone church, coaching BVHS cheerleading and serving as a Young Life leader. MaryKate has held the position of Program Manager since June 12, 2017.
MARYKATE MCWHIRTER

MaryKate

MaryKate Coleman is a graduate from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Most recently MK worked for Buena Vista High School as a Paraprofessional and has also held other positions including an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist as well as a horse wrangler with Young Life Camps. She is currently pursuing her certification for PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). Her previous community involvement includes Children's Ministry Coordinator at Cornerstone church, coaching BVHS cheerleading and serving as a Young Life leader. MaryKate has held the position of Program Manager since June 12, 2017.
MARYKATE MCWHIRTER

our story

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

THE CHURCH

BEcome a mentor

If you have a heart for serving God and also enjoy working with children and animals, we would encourage you to fill out a Volunteer Application. We utilize volunteers to support the staff through mentorship with children, grounds and animal maintenance, community events preparation, set up, clean up, prayer teams and worship.

If you have a special skill or passion you would like to make us aware of, please indicate this on your application. Once the application is received, a background check will be processed as well as an interview scheduled.

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Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.

Learn More About Us

Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.

Meet our Horses

PEOPLE IN THE SERVICE

Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.

Meet the Herd

King David

King David (aka King) comes to us from Rome, Georgia. He is a Quarter Horse gelding. He was a champion show horse whose injuries ended his career. Deemed not good enough to show, he was redeemed by 51:10. He is our gentle giant.

Maggie

Mary Magdalene, a.k.a. Maggie Mae, came to the ranch severely underweight. She had suffered abandonment heartbreak, due to the separation from her best friend and pasture mate. She nearly starved herself to death. She found the courage in her pain to survive and thrive. She is a loving horse that bonds so deeply.

Sugar

Sugar is a Painted Horse, also from Kingston, Georgia, who spent many years working with children. In coming to 51:10 she had to overcome fear of being loved by people. It didn’t take long for a young man with Down’s Syndrome to break her down and help her trust again. 

Doc

Doc (Luke the Physician) is a Quarter Horse/ Morgan mix. He was previously a trail horse at Frontier Ranch and was donated by our Summer intern when she went away to college. Doc is a testimony to perseverance. He loves to work and puts his whole heart into working with children.

Buddy

Buddy is an old, wise Quarter Horse. He is fully retired after living a life of herding cattle. He’s endured some pretty tough situations throughout life and although his body is worn, he still adds value and is a part of the herd. Buddy is not used in the program, but he’s a great reminder that we all have worth.

Rahab

Rahab (Ray) is a white and brown paint. She was the stablemate of Buddy and they both came to 51:10 together. She had very little interaction with horses outside of Buddy. As a result, Rahab had to learn how to “fit in” with the herd. As most of us know, fitting in isn’t always easy, but Rahab continues to grow into a herd mentality.

Bella

Bella is a chocolate Quarter Horse. She has been on loan to the ranch as we’ve grown the program with children and needed to add horses to keep up with demand. She’s been with the herd for two years. Although she is not officially part of the herd, she is a confident horse that assimilated well and has no problem showing her dominant side.

Justin

Justin is a black Morgan mix. He began training as a therapy horse immediately after birth. He’s spent his life working around children and adults with severe special needs. Justin is extremely gentle and was donated to the ranch because of his loving nature. He brings a sense of peace to every person that he meets.

Tex

Tex is a chestnut quarter horse. He has lived his life in the Arkansas River Valley. Most recently he came from a trail riding stable. He’s been in rodeos and shows over the years. Tex is a gelding full of humility and kindness of spirit.

Sage

This buckskin Paint is one tough horse. We used to refer to her as “tough as nails” due to an injury she endured in the summer of 2018. Although a pretty severe injury to her shoulder, she overcame, healed and is back to full health once again. Formerly a trail riding horse, Sage is inquisitive and kind. She’s assimilated well to her new home, herd and assignment of loving and being loved by children.

Toblerone

A.K.A Toby is a Roan. He sustained an injury to his front fetlock when he was just two years old. Although his leg has fused, he is on “light duty” for the remainder of his years to ensure longevity. Toby is easy going and the youngest horse in the herd.

Miss Kitty

Miss Kitty is a sweet ole’ mule that spent a great deal of her life doing trail rides into the mountains. She and Tex came from the same trail riding stables. She is a hard worker. She’s gentle, yet strong. Her years have yet to slow her down. She was donated to the ranch because she’s great with people and wants to continue working and giving. She is one tough and awesome mule.

Susie Q

Susie Q is a miniature pony. This little girl has so much to offer. She is gentle with the kids and loves to be loved. She spent years pulling a small cart at a local camp and continues to give cart rides from time to time. Although small in stature, this girl has a big presence amongst the herd.

Paco and Taco

Our two miniature donkeys, Paco and Taco, while mischievous, bring much joy to the ranch. They have yet to meet someone they do not like, fully living out, "Love your Neighbor".

THE CHURCH

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PEOPLE IN THE SERVICE

Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.

Meet our Board

THE CHURCH

Beau Bufton

Originally from Atlanta, Ga., Beau graduated from Baylor University, and now resides in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife, Liz, 3 year old son, Bear, and newborn son, Brody. He is CEO of Church.Org, a Christian media company, which focuses on technology to connect people to Jesus. Beau loves to fly airplanes, play basketball, hike, and snow ski in his free time.
Joe Black
THE CHURCH

Amber Gaston

Amber lives in Buena Vista, CO with her 3 children, Ben age 14, Anna Kate age 12 and Brantley age 9. Originally from Woodstock, GA she graduated from Samford University in Birmingham, AL and then spent 15 years living in Jacksonville, FL. She moved to Buena Vista with her family in 2013. Amber currently works as a Real Estate Agent for REMAX. She has served with Young Life, Young Lives and various roles in her Church. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, skiing, playing in the river and exploring all this beautiful valley has to offer.
Joe Black
THE CHURCH

Jeremy Roderick

Jeremy, along with his wife, Marissa, and their two children, recently relocated to Buena Vista from Garden City, KS. He is a family physician at the Buena Vista Health Center. He attended undergrad at Colorado Christian University, medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, and family medicine residency training in Wichita, KS. He practiced full-spectrum family medicine in Garden City for almost 9 years before moving to Colorado. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys running, hiking, playing piano, being active in his local church, taking online classes from Dallas Theological Seminary, and spending time with his family.
Joe Black

Greg

Greg Verrier is a mentor and Co-Director of 51:10 Youth Ranch. Greg and his wife, Elsa, are the founders of 51:10. Greg is the father of three wonderful children, Nolan, Bella, and Addison. He has a big heart for kids. He has been small group youth leader and youth hockey and soccer coach. He has served in the children’s ministry at Valley Fellowship Church in Buena Vista. He is currently a youth soccer coach and member of the BVYSA board. Greg also has a Master’s in Biblical Counseling.
GREG VERRIER

Elsa

Elsa Verrier is a mentor and Co-Director at 51:10. Elsa has a deep love for both children and animals. She has been rescuing animals as long as she can remember. During her undergrad, Elsa interned at Roy Maas Youth Alternatives, a residential treatment center for ‘at-risk’ children. During her tenure as an HR Director at Home Depot, Elsa initiated a career mentorship program for Wellspring Living, which pours into girls rescued from trafficking.
ELSA VERRIER

MaryKate

MaryKate Coleman is a graduate from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Most recently MK worked for Buena Vista High School as a Paraprofessional and has also held other positions including an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist as well as a horse wrangler with Young Life Camps. She is currently pursuing her certification for PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). Her previous community involvement includes Children's Ministry Coordinator at Cornerstone church, coaching BVHS cheerleading and serving as a Young Life leader. MaryKate has held the position of Program Manager since June 12, 2017.
MARYKATE MCWHIRTER