Elyon Outreach Ministries was officially incorporated on December 1st, 2010 by James and Regina Blankenship after months of prayer and affirmation through the scriptures. They officially attained their 501(C)3 nonprofit status in November 2011. The vision of this ministry was originally to takeover the ministry of Challenge Country, Corp. of Ellisville, MS and to develop it into a Christian camp and conference center.
After James resigned his youth, college and activities position of 7 years at Highland Baptist Church, the owner of Challenge Country decided to keep the land and business to pass on to family. This blow, coming only three days into their new faith journey, helped to shape and direct what the ministry is today and its vision for the future. Continuing Challenge Country would have meant maintaining a high priority on the ropes course and the leadership training while trying to bring the camp and conference part up to speed. With this change, they were able to flip-flop that priority. Camps, conferences and now missions opportunities can be their primary focus, while making use of the gifts of team and leadership building along the way.
Their mission statement is simply: "To assist the local church accomplish the Great Commission through camps, conferences and mission opportunities." They desire to put a high emphasis on the gospel and the Great Commission through each of their events. They desire to lead the lost to Christ and encourage the believer to engage the world for the sake of the gospel.
The ultimate goal is to have a camp and conference center in Jones County where they can host these events, while also offering their facilities for the use of the local church for retreat and fellowship as well as pastors and other church staff members who need a place to get away for study or rest. While they plan to offer traditional camps, conferences and retreats, they also plan to offer mission camps and training that will plug attendees directly into service nationally and abroad.
Until they have their own property and facilities, they plan to offer these events in local churches, schools or public arenas. They will also offer team and leadership building training for churches and other organizations on site.
They rejoice that in their second year, they were able to host two events. The first was a small, local benefit hosted to raise money for an injured local teen. They hosted the event at Jones County Junior College as a free event. West Ellisville Baptist Church assisted in raising money for the teen and around $3000 was raised. Special guests Kaytlun Dardar, Broken Vessels, Luke Johnson and Anthem Lights joined together for this cause. Around 350 local students attended. They also hosted the area-wide See You at the Pole Rally. They brought in Christian illusionist/evangelist Brock Gill for three days of school assemblies and a main SYATP Rally. Over 1100 people gathered at Northeast Jones High School for this event and nearly 40 students and adults gave their lives to Christ!
Through the support of their monthly donors and the gifts of local churches, they hope to offer many more events for the edification of the local church in the years to come.