About a year since Eagle Ranch’s executive director announced he was stepping down to lead a new counseling center at the nonprofit, that building is nearing completion.
Eddie Staub, founder and executive director of Eagle Ranch, said the 10,000-square-foot, two-story building — which will be located on the Flowery Branch property — has a tentative completion date of late spring. By August 2021, he plans to open it to the public.
The $2 million James W. Webb Wings Center will have three main purposes: counseling, retreat space and nonprofit support.
Eagle Ranch serves children in crisis at its residential facilities. The counseling currently offered at Eagle Ranch is only for the children who live on the property and their families. With the Wings Center, Staub said the nonprofit will expand the services to those outside the program, welcoming children, families, individuals and married couples in need of guidance. The cost of counseling sessions is still to be determined.
Staub said the building’s retreat area will serve as a space for Eagle Ranch to host retreats for married couples, parents and ministry leaders. The third aim of the Wings Center is to house Eagle Ranch’s Wings initiative, which Staub described as an “undertaking to help retool children’s homes and nonprofits around the country.” The nonprofit will offer both mentoring and support to programs and organizations centered around kids and families.
Staub will transition into leading the Wings Center once a new executive director is hired for Eagle Ranch.
Staub said plans for the Wings Center began five years ago, sparked by Eagle Ranch’s desire to help more people beyond the residential program.
“We’re very conservative when we undertake initiatives,” Staub said. “We do a business plan and really look in-depth at the value something can bring and not bring. We just felt like this was needed in our community, and we felt it was synergistic with what we’re doing now.”
The center is named after Eagle Ranch’s longest-serving board member of 25-plus years, Jim Webb, who died Sept. 26, 2019. Staub said Webb regularly encouraged the nonprofit to do more for the community and spread its roots beyond its 315 acres of land.
Before Webb died, Staub said the man offered a powerful statement, one that he’ll never forget.
“God is leading us into a whole new place in the lives of people who will be forever touched and changed,” Staub said, repeating Webb’s words. “This is really the high point of my life –– no question about it.”
Toward the end of his life, Staub said Webb knew the Wings Center would become a reality.
“Our residential program at Eagle Ranch can serve almost 70 children, but he (Webb) wanted to go beyond that, to do more for the community and beyond,” he said. “That was in some way impetus for us to undertake this Wings Center to be able to serve more people.”