As part of the year-long celebration of our 60th Anniversary of the Home, Paula Schaefer, daughter of cofounders Paul Anderson and Glenda Anderson Leonard, recently shared the story of how we were established. We are blessed to be given this opportunity by Georgia CEO to tell our wonderful story!
Paul Anderson overcame Bright’s Disease to win the gold medal in weightlifting as a super heavyweight during the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, and then dedicated his life to helping others and planting God’s Word in their hearts. His growing fame as the “World’s Strongest Man” led to travel and speaking engagements as a goodwill ambassador, and Paul met many young men in need. God laid it on his heart, along with his wife, Glenda, to help these young people.
The Paul Anderson Youth Home was founded in 1962 in Vidalia, Ga. This important mission to offer a second chance to young men became Paul and Glenda’s life’s work and legacy. Now, 60 years and more than 1,400 individuals later, the Home and ministry continue to transform lives each day by helping young men turn away from incarceration and toward God.
Our Christian residential program and on-campus school is a place for young men between the ages of 16 and 21 struggling with behavioral problems and issues of discipline, anger and depression. We emphasize spiritual growth, an honorable work ethic, academic excellence, physical fitness, emotional growth and social development. We’re a fully accredited high school and also offer a variety of vocational training programs. The Home also provides counseling and addiction treatment.