About Miracle Lake

Introduction by our Director, Rev. Jack Bryan     

      Miracle Lake is a residential Christian Training Center catering to men who have expressed a desire to leave the harmful use of drugs and alcohol and the crime generally associated with such use.  We offer God's regeneration program that has never failed those who follow it and never will.  There are five basic phases of this program:  Repentance, Faith, Mind Renewal, Life in the Church, and Life Beyond.


          Jack Bryan is the founder and executive director of Miracle Lake and Tennessee Prison Ministries. He and his wife, Eloise, live on the campus. The following remarks are from his notes.

 
     “I was made to realize the need for such a program after ministering to hundreds of men in the Tennessee Prison System for five years. I observed that when men went back to their home communities they were like thermometers quickly adjusting back to their corrupt environment. I was impressed to develop a program that would train men and enable them to return to their home environment and become thermostats, influencing their environment for the better.  To implement this I knew a suitable place must be found where men could come and live for a suitable period of time.  Having been born and raised in Etowah I knew of such a piece of property just one mile northeast of Etowah. The property covered 117 acres including an eleven-acre lake.  The rest was covered by wooded hills.

    In 1978 a group of Christian men joined me in forming a non-profit corporation and God enabled us to borrow the money to purchase the property in 1980 and pay it off by September of 1987.  Since that time God has provided for our every need so that we have never ended a month in the red. Praise the Lord! “


Five Basic Phases

Repentance

    To "repent" literally means to "change your mind."  It is a blessed privilege that God, in His loving mercy, has granted to you.  Repentance is something that no one, not even God himself, can do for you.  You have to do your own repenting.  As in a checker game, God has made His move.  You are the one holding up the game.  Your move is to repent.
    John the Baptist's message was summed up in one word, REPENT!  He gave a clear and simple explanation as to why you must repent.  He said, "For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."  A kingdom is a one-man rule. In the Kingdom of God, He alone rules.  No one is allowed to enter who insists on running his own show.  And no one is allowed in who is under the control of someone or something else.  Before we can be delivered from our bondage of sin we have to make up our mind that we had rather serve God than to do our own thing. And what is your only option? "Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish." (The words of Jesus).


Faith

        I hope you have finally come to the conclusion that you cannot break the chains that have shackled you.  You cannot save yourself. You must put your full faith, trust and confidence in Jesus.  He can do for you what you can never do for yourself.  He, alone, can deliver you and set you free. Before Jesus was born, God gave instructions to Joseph concerning His name, "His name shall be called Jesus for He, and He alone, shall save His people from their sins."  The name "Jesus" literally means "Savior," "one who liberates," or "one who sets free"  Isn't that what you have decided you need?  Don't you want to be set free from alcoholism, drug addiction, criminal mindedness, or any one of many destructive, life controlling habits, so that you can serve God?

        Once you are fully persuaded that Jesus is the Son of God; that His death on the cross was full payment for every sin that you have ever committed, and that God has raised Him from the dead, then you can, with all faith and confidence, surrender yourself fully to Him as your Lord and Savior.  At that point He will save you.  You will be free.  "If the Son makes
you free, you are free indeed" (The words of Jesus).  At that point you become a new creation.  God lets you know that the transaction has been completed, that you have passed from death to life, by filling you with His Holy Spirit.
    Becoming a new Creature and being filled with the Spirit of God will put you in a position that you have never known before.


Mind Renewal

        Bad behavior is the result of bad thinking.  Just as a computer has to be reprogrammed for a new and different job, even so our minds must be renewed before our lifestyle can be truly classified as "Christian."  When you become a 'new creature' in Christ Jesus the change in lifestyle is not automatic.  You have to deliberately put off the garments of the old man and clothe yourself with the new heavenly wardrobe that Jesus bought for you at Calvary.
It is this point that Miracle Lake comes into sharpest focus.  The intense Bible studies we provide will help you to understand what to "put off" from your old lifestyle and to "put on" in your new life that Christ has given you.  The Bible will also introduce you to the exceedingly great and precious promises of God that will enable you to make the transition successfully.


The Church

    The Church is God's provision for maintaining and developing your new life. God has never made the first self-sufficient Christian.  He actually designs us to be interdependent upon our fellow Christians.  By His Spirit He baptizes us into one body of which we become but one member.  It is absolutely impossible for you to be a successful Christian, in the eyes of God, without the help of your fellow Christians.

        There is no such thing on the face of this earth as a group of Christians that does not have a man placed there by God and gifted by God to lead them in the development of their Christian lives.  Isn't it marvelous how much God loves us and provides for our every need?  When our students leave Miracle Lake, we guarantee them that they will fail if they do not immediately line up with a God-called pastor and a people committed to the Savior.  I have a file drawer full of evidence to prove it.


The Life Beyond

 Paul, the man who wrote one-fourth of the New Testament, said, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all men most miserable."  But the fact is that this life is not all there is to it.  Because Jesus was raised from the dead and lives, we too, who trust in Him, shall also be raised and live with Him.  This hope is one of the major stabilizing factors in our Christian life.  The promise of His rewards in that future world serves as a deterrent to the "instant pudding" mentality that had brought us to ruin.    Without that "blessed hope" we will succumb to the prevailing philosophy; "let us eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die."  We, as Christians, are never embarrassed because we have to wait for our Lord.  During our "waiting" period we are constantly experiencing the Love of God that He is pouring into our hearts by the Holy Spirit that has been freely given to us.




 
    A 20-man Board of Directors governs Miracle Lake.  These men come from five different Christian denominations. These are successful Christian men in various professions and businesses. As of May 2008 we have received our thousandth student (1,000) into our basic 8-week program.

Operational Costs
   The cost of operating Miracle Lake and Tennessee Prison Ministry this last fiscal year was $403,214.  The cost of the Miracle Lake Christian Training Center alone was $271,947 which amounts to $75 per day per student.

Student Costs

Application Package      $5.00

 
   Tuition:

       Entry fee: $150.00   (non-refundable once student arrives on-site and has been processed)
Weekly tuition:   ($150.00 per week for eight weeks)
Total Tuition: $1,350.00 - $200. Discount if Paid - N - Full

 
   To implement our program we offer Bible study, work therapy, worship, individual counseling, and group therapy, nutritious food, recreation and rest. Our students also learn to minister by conducting a weekly ministry at a local nursing home on Sundays, and being in charge of their own service on Saturday night at Miracle Lake. On Sunday nights (as a group) we visit churches in the surrounding area. Inmates in prison join me in providing the full support for a minister in India who is associated with India Youth for Christ.

 
   Our students are allowed to have visits from family members who are sympathetic with our program, and sometimes these family members are asked to participate in counseling with the student.

   At Miracle Lake we have five full-time and one part-time staff, and specialized volunteers.  In addition, we fully support two full-time prison chaplains. They minister to the inmates at Brushy Mountain Prison, Morgan County Correctional Complex, Charles Bass Correctional Complex, and the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution

   We also maintain a monthly ministry in 12 other Tennessee prisons, and a weekly ministry to prisoners who are being cared for at MeHarry General Hospital in Nashville.

   We maintain a monthly newsletter to more than 1,800 friends and supporters. We sent out approximately 2,000 newsletters to prison inmates every month. We also provide a ministry service for Etowah Health Care Center every Sunday afternoon.  Our staff, chaplains and students are available for speaking engagements in churches, Sunday school classes and civic organizations.



Guidelines against things that are a detriment:

   The use of tobacco is not permitted by staff or students at Miracle Lake.
Substance abuse is one of the primary areas that we deal with at Miracle Lake.
Do not cultivate improper relationships with the opposite sex while you are enrolled in the Christian Training Program.
Romance and rehabilitation do not mix.
Medications can only be used under the direction of your counselor or the director.
All medications must be turned in upon arrival at the student’s orientation.

 Possession, or use, of any drugs or alcohol are grounds for immediate dismissal. This included “huffing” paint.

 No televisions, CDs, or tape players, are permitted.
They are detrimental to good study habits.
Magazines and non-Christian books and magazines are not allowed.


 
Guidelines for cleanliness and courtesy:

 The student is expected to practice proper personal hygiene daily.
This includes taking a shower, brushing teeth, wearing clean clothing, and grooming.
Hair length needs to be above the color, either clean shaven or beard neatly trimmed.
Facial and neck jewelry are not allowed.
Clean and appropriate clothing must be worn neatly at all functions: mealtimes, church services, nursing home visits, etc.
Washing facilities are provided. We utilize the dryer only in inclement weather.
Beds must be made up every morning, and the personal area and bathroom must be kept clean and orderly at all times.
The staff inspects the room area regularly.
Horseplay, joking and behavior denoting immaturity are not allowed.
Everyone must observe QUIET TIME everyday.
 At this time no conversations between students, playing radios, etc. are allowed.


 
A comprehensive Application Packet is available by mail for a five dollar ($5.00) fee.

It can also be downloaded by clicking  mlakeapp.zip.

If you’re interested in our program and need more information, please contact our Director of Student Affairs & Admissions:

Byron Goodman - (423) 506-2808