Our Father's House Christian Home is a non-profit corporation and our mission is to be a ministry to the elderly. We have eight independent living cottages in a beautiful scenic setting. We also have 24 hour assisted living in a warm, family atmosphere.
The Bender family has been involved in ministering to the elderly since the opening of the first facility in Stuarts Draft, Virginia in 1975. Clyde Bender (Raymond Bender's father), began with missionary work in Haiti in 1969 and then proceeded to start a children's home in Stuarts Draft, VA in 1971. The first facility for the elderly was built in 1975 as one more extension of ministering to those in need.
The Clyde Bender family moved to Bealeton, VA in 1979, with the intent of opening a second facility for the elderly.This facility was actually opened in 1987, with Raymond Bender as the administrator. Clyde Bender served as the "father" and "overseer" while continuing with almost monthly mission trips to Haiti.
Raymond met his wife-to-be, Sharon Joy Martin, in 1986. She was part of a mission group traveling to Haiti, and stopped in at the Bender's house while enroute from her home in Rustburg to The Dulles Airport. In 1989, Sharon came to the Bealeton facility to work as a campus staff member. Raymond and Sharon soon developed a dating relationship and were married on July 13,1991. Raymond had been pursuing an education on a part time basis for the past few years and graduated with a bachelors degree in Health Administration from the Medical College of Virginia in 1992.
"Our Father's House Christian Home" was born in Culpeper in 2001 when Raymond and Sharon left the facility in Bealeton to start this facility. Their purpose was to experiment with the feasibility of the operation of a smaller facility. As the type of elderly being cared for became more intensive-care, it was becoming difficult to give the personal and "ministering" care in a larger, 34-bed facility. So, Our Fathers House was started as an experiment with a 10-bed facility. In 2006, an additional wing of 8 private bedrooms was added for those needing only "assisted living" - as oppossed to those needing "full care."
The first of the cottages was built in 2005 as requests for individual living units for independant living were being brought to the Benders' attention. Originally, the site plan envisioned eight cottages around a circular drive way. Eventually, a water fountain with walkways and landscaping was added as well as plans for two additional cottages behind the facility.
Our Father's House is a unique ministry helping elderly persons be our "fathers and mothers" and our source of wisdom. Our mission is to help elderly persons continue to live their lives with purpose and meaning. Here, the elderly are looked up to and respected as "elders at the city gate." Here, we find ways to help the elderly to continue to give to their families, our community, our country - and our future. They assist with baking and cooking activities, stay in touch and give their opinion to government leaders, pray for their families and our country, write letters to soldiers serving overseas, etc.
Our Fathers House has a different, non-nursing home type of 24 hour assisted living. Staff are highly trained in care skills and nursing skills. They are also trained in a special kind of ministry skills that focuses on mannerisms and method of care delivery. They are trained to provide dignified care with respect and honor to our elderly who deserve this because of a lifetime of giving to others and because of their wisdom that comes from a lifetime of experience. They are trained to deliver care based on the fifth commandment which states to, "honor thy father & mother."
The independent cottages are a wonderful opportunity for those seeking a quiet place of retirement or for those seeking an independent living setting. The cottages surround a water fountain with beautiful landscaping and park benches. There is space available for gardening and outdoor activities. Meals and activities are available at the assisted living facility. The Blue Ridge Mountains and a beautiful sunset can be seen from the front porch of each cottage on clear days. The campus is only 3 miles outside of town for those desiring shopping opportunities.