Jonathan Barnard is the director of Big Red Ministries. For the past 18 years Jonathan has worked in many capacities to prepare him for his work here in the Valley. He has been a children's pastor and family pastor. He has taken large groups of children (300+) on many adventures, hosted vacation Bible schools, day camps, overnight camps, parents' night out, father/son campouts, retreats, family campouts and so much more. He was born and raised in Brownsville, TX and has always had a heart for the children and families of the Rio Grande Valley. He is passionate about serving the community by strengthening families.
Celeste is full of incredible talent! Not only is she an extraordinary support to Jonathan and the mother of their 3 remarkable children, she is also very involved in every event that we host and a profound speaker, writer, and blogger. Celeste has adopted the role as "Ranch Momma" as she cares for all of our barnyard animals. In all these ways she continues to fulfill the vision of Big Red Ministries.
Faith is the daughter of Jimmy & Kay Barnard and sister of Jonathan and Celeste. She grew up hearing about the vision of Big Red's Ranch her whole life but it wasn't until she was in high school that she began to realize this dream would one day be a reality! She studied Business and Outdoor Leadership at Colorado Christian University. After graduating in 2013 she interned at Camp IdRaHaJe in Colorado for a summer before returning to the Rio Grande Valley to participate in the launching of Big Red Ministries. Faith helps plan and facilitate and is actively involved in running all of the programs. She is always available to fill whatever role is needed.
Les & Kristine began their involvement with Big Red in December of 2015 when Les volunteered to run our archery station during one of our Missions trips with Buckner and Heritage Christian High School. Since then, Les & Kristine have grown in their involvement and interest in Big Red. They have spent many hours consulting with Jon and Faith about anything from marketing to programing to budgeting. In their years of ministry they have served as pastors, family and marriage pastors, youth pastors, college faculty, directors of development, and even basketball coaches. Currently, they operate a successful marketing company called Marketplace Media. They both have an abundance of knowledge, experience, skills, and talents that they are willing to generously contribute to Big Red. In January of 2017, they officially joined Big Red as the Directors of Donor & Intern Development!
Mr. Stephen has been part of the Big Red family from the beginning! Among many other things, Steve is our expert fisherman and loves facilitating many of our campers' first catch. He has acknowledged God's call on his life to be a "fisher of men" (Matthew 4:19). Steve is a father of two beautiful girls who he loves taking into the outdoors where they can experience new adventures together. He always adds an element of fun to everything that he does. Steve truly has a heart to see family relationships restored and strengthened.
Amy joined the Big Red team in 2015! It was her adventurous spirit and love for the outdoors that drew her in, but it was her love for her own children and passion for fatherless children that has inspired her to continue with Big Red. Amy is an awesome mom to two of our favorite campers. She is very involved in the community and loves generously volunteering her time at her children's school and various activities in the community. Amy truly has a heart for children to know that God is a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5).
Lily jumped on board in 2016! She has been involved in many of our events and is an essential voice at all of our Volunteer Staff Meetings. She has the kindest heart and most generous spirit. Lily is a wife and a mother of 5 awesome children who also help out with our events sometimes. Lily truly has a passion to see the hearts of children returned to their parents and the hearts of parents returned to their children (Malachi 4:6).
Bianca committed herself to the vision and mission of Big Red in 2016 by becoming the Summer Staff Coordinator. She moved onto the ranch in order to become the "Intern Mom" and keep us all fed & happy. She is a faithful and dedicated worker and helps with many of our events. Bianca has a huge heart for families and has a passion to provide support for children in broken homes.
William moved onto the Ranch in 2016 to help fulfill the vision of being a self-sustaining ranch. He is our resident chicken expert and has taken charge of the care of all of the animals. He is also a talented carpenter and a huge asset to us here at Big Red Ministries.
The Hirsch family moved on the ranch in 2015! Josh and Leah have served in children's ministry along side Jon and Celeste for many years. In fact, that's how Josh and Leah met! Leah had moved up to Colorado to serve as a children's pastor under her cousin Jonathan. A few months later Josh began serving at the same Church. After some scheming between Jon, Celeste, and their friends, Josh & Leah ended up meeting and falling in love while serving in ministry together. Josh has blessed the ministry in many ways, from running paintball at Father/Son campouts to his exceptional craftsmanship skills. Leah does all she can to serve with Big Red while fully investing in the lives of their 4 hilarious little ones. They both are a wonderful blessing to the ministry.
Derek & Martha have been a involved with the vision of Big Red for many years. They and their 2 children have attended and helped with many of our events such as the Father/Son Campouts, Family Campouts and Family Days at the Ranch. Derek and Martha are the owners of Benavides Insurance, a successful insurance company in Brownsville, TX. For more information on the Benavides family go to: BetterWithBenavides.com. Through their experience on other boards, involvement in many community organizations and their years in the insurance industry, they bring a lot of wisdom to our board meetings. Derek and Martha are both from Brownsville and have a passion for the families of the Rio Grande Valley.
Keith and Kim have been some of our greatest encouragers and have supported Big Red Ministries in every way. They both volunteered with Jonathan and Celeste at many of the vacation Bible schools and camps they hosted during their years in Colorado. Keith, Kim, and their 4 children came down and served during one of our Big Red summer camps. They are founding partners in a successful small business in Castle Rock, Colorado and advise Big Red Ministry in strategic and start-up related issues. The Wagner family deeply believes in the impact camp ministry has in the lives of children.
Andrew & Ruth and their 2 children have been involved in Big Red Ministries from the beginning. Andrew is an accounting professor at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. The wisdom and accounting services he provides for Big Red are indispensable. They lived in the Rio Grande Valley for many years and have a passion for families.
Jimmy & Kay are the Grandparents of Big Red Ministries. It was the vision that God placed on their hearts 40 years ago to have a camp and retreat center for families and children that is now coming true. Jimmy is a partner in Coastal Realty; a family owned Real Estate Company in Brownsville, Texas. Kay is a retired teacher and has always been a supportive wife, mother, and grandmother to their 5 children, 4 daughter-in-loves, and 8 grandchildren. They were both born and raised in Brownsville and have served the families of the Rio Grande Valley all of their lives.
Big Red Ministries
San Benito, TX 78586