OUR HISTORY

Soaring Wings began as a dream in 1997 when Andrew Watson began working with children in the area of juvenile probation in Conway, Arkansas. During this time, Andrew began to see that the answer to many of the problems that the children faced would be best dealt with if they were they were provided the opportunity of a loving, stable home.  

 

Andrew and his wife Marla were later given the opportunity to serve at a Children's home in Gadsden, Alabama as relief houseparents. Here they were able to gain the valuable experience and knowledge they needed to start Soaring Wings.  

 

Soaring Wings officially opened its doors on August 1, 2007, when a sibling group of two boys and a girl moved into newly built homes.  Since that time, two homes for girls, one home for boys, and one home for infants and toddlers have been added.  We are currently able to provide a home for up to 31 children. 

TIMELINE

Soaring Wings Ranch was incorporated as a non-profit organization

MAY 6, 2002

JUNE 2002

Andrew and Marla Watson moved to Conway, Arkansas with $800 to being work on Soaring Wings Ranch.

JANUARY 2003

Rik Sowell of Sowell & Russell Architects committed and designed house plans for the children's homes.

Andrew found approximately 200 acres in Holland, Arkansas, and the Board of Directors began negotiations with the owners of the property.  The land was secured with a $30,000 down payment with an 18-month option to purchase for $400,000.

MARCH 2003

Soaring Wings closed on the property.  Mt. Vernon/Enola Water Board committed labor to dig and bury all water lines for the entire campus at no cost to the Ranch. 

NOVEMBER 2004

God closed the door on the first piece of property the Ranch strongly considered purchasing.

FEBRUARY 2003

APRIL 2003

Tim Tyler surveying committed all surveying and engineering for the future site development of the Ranch.  Time Tyler and Rik Sowell worked to develop the conceptual renderings of the Ranch campus. 

The first "In Flight" newsletter was distributed to a small number of donors and people interested in the Ranch. 

APRIL 18, 2005

Mobley Contractors committed all culverts needed for the Soaring Wings Ranch campus. 

FEBRUARY 23, 2005 

Charlie Weaver and Webco Mining, Inc. committed ALL of the gravel needed for the roads.  March 1, 2005, Carlton Burnett and Land Ex committed construction of the roads.

MAY 2001

ng this time, Andrew began to see that the answer to many of the problems that the children faced would be best dealt with if they were they were provided the opportunity of a loving, stable home.  

MAY 2001

ng this time, Andrew began to see that the answer to many of the problems that the children faced would be best dealt with if they were they were provided the opportunity of a loving, stable home.  

MAY 2001

ng this time, Andrew began to see that the answer to many of the problems that the children faced would be best dealt with if they were they were provided the opportunity of a loving, stable home.  

TIMELINE

MAY 6, 2002

Soaring Wings was incorporated as a non-profit organization

JUNE 2002

Andrew and Marla Watson moved to Conway, Arkansas with $800 to begin work on Soaring Wings.

JANUARY 2003

Rik Sowell of Sowell & Russell Architects committed and designed house plans for the children's homes.

FEBRUARY 2003

God closed the door on the first piece of property Soaring Wings strongly considered purchasing.

MARCH 2003

Andrew found approximately 200 acres in Holland, Arkansas, and the Board of Directors began negotiations with the owners of the property.  The land was secured with a $30,000 down payment with an 18-month option to purchase for $400,000.

APRIL 2003

Tim Tyler surveying committed all surveying and engineering for the future site development of Soaring Wings. Tim Tyler and Rik Sowell worked to develop the conceptual renderings of the campus.

The first "In Flight" newsletter was distributed to a small number of donors and people interested in
Soaring Wings.

JUNE 2003

Jim Hawks, owner of Tri-Con Builders, and subcontractors committed the labor for the first girls' home. 

JULY 11, 2003

The Soaring Wings office moved from the Watson's home to the Tim Tyler Surveying Building in Conway, Arkansas.

AUGUST 2003

Billboards were donated by various billboard owners to help get the word out about Soaring Wings.  Soaring Wings has billboards in prime locations throughout the state. 

APRIL 2004

Ridout Lumber Company of Searcy committed all the materials for the first girls' home.

Delk Construction Company of Bald Knob committed the Food and Clothing Center.

The Second Annual Soaring Wings Auction was help at the Doubletree Hotel.  Approximately 350 people attending and $20,000 was raised.

OCTOBER 2004

Oct. 6 - $217,000 remaining on the land with 24 days to go

Oct. 20 - $187,000 remaining

Oct. 25 - $150,000 remaining

Oct. 28 - $68,000 remaining

Oct. 29 - $38,000 remaining

Oct. 30 - $15,760 remaining.  By 10:00 A.M. the total amount needed to purchase the land was committed! 

NOVEMBER 2004

Soaring Wings closed on the property. Mt. Vernon/Enola Water Board committed labor to dig and bury all water lines for the entire campus at no cost.

FEBRUARY 23, 2005 

Charlie Weaver and Webco Mining, Inc. committed ALL of the gravel needed for the roads.  March 1, 2005, Carlton Burnett and Land Ex committed construction of the roads.

APRIL 18, 2005

Mobley Contractors committed all culverts needed for the Soaring Wings campus

MAY 31, 2005

Entergy gave a $10,000 Development Grant to Soaring Wings.

JUNE 17, 2005

1st Annual Golf Marathon raised over $40,000.

AUGUST 8, 2005

Beverly Strain Eads and Family committed $350,000 to SW to build the Strain Home for boys, in memory of Del Strain. 

OCTOBER 14, 2005

Vilonia Waterwords installed the water infrastructure for the Soaring Wings campus.

NOVEMBER 28, 2005

Construction began on the Ridout and Strain Homes. 

APRIL 28, 2007

Soaring Wings celebrated its Grand Opening with the First Annual Appreciation Day.  Over 250 people were in attendance.

AUGUST 1, 2007

Soaring Wings welcomed its first children; a sibling group of three. 

SEPTEMBER 10, 2007

Crain Automotive Team in Conway donated our first 15-passenger van for transportation of our children.

APRIL 25, 2008

Due to the generosity of Beverly Strain Eads and family, Soaring Wings built a hospitality house to be used for donors and out-of-town guests, as well as a meeting place for staff and residents. 

OCTOBER 25, 2008

Dustin and Rachel Speer headed up the First Annual SW Half Marathon.  A team of sponsors, volunteers, and participants in the race helped to raise over $20,000. 

AUGUST 13, 2009

Chris Tomlin, Dove-award winning Christian contemporary music artist, worship leaders, and songwriter, performed a benefit concert, raising over $50,000. 

AND SINCE . . .

God has continued to bless and provide as Soaring Wings has grown to serve the needs of more children throughout Arkansas.  In order to continue along the path God has set before us, ongoing support is needed.  Please consider becoming one of our faithful friends each month through financial and prayer support.  Click here to learn about how to be involved.

NOVEMBER 10, 2012

The Whittany Atkinson Home was opened. The Home is built memory of Whittany who was 16 years old and passed away. Whittany loved children in foster care and often asked her parents to adopt. The Whittany Atkinson Home carries on the memory of Whittany and her love for children and gives them the opportunity to have a personal relationship with Christ.

NOVEMBER 10, 2012

The Love Home for Boys opened. Many individuals and churches came together to build The Love Home.

JUNE 23, 2017

The Strain Home for Infants and Toddlers was remodeled and furnished to serve the ever growing need to keep siblings together serving infants through preschool-aged children.

P.O. Box 1670 | Conway, AR  72033 |  Tel: 501-849-2253 | Email: info@soaringwingsranch.com

© 2020 by Soaring Wings Ranch

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