Jim Wagner, Warren & Eleanor Garretson are originally from Cape May, New Jersey. In the late 1990's they purchased 2000 acres of farmland in rural Belmont County, Ohio. Jim & Warren became partners in a cattle farm called Fox Country Farms.
They all have a strong Christian background. Their beliefs are that as Christians, "God expects us to take responsibility for the environment and the other creatures that share our planet. As followers of God's Law, we must follow his teachings in the Bible as to our environment. God was careful how he made this earth. We must not be careless and wasteful as we fulfill this charge." After several years together, Jim & Warren had a vision for their farmland that they had to share with everyone.
Jim & Warren started a non-profit organization named the Zion Foundation. They turned over 1,300 acres of the Fox Country Farms land to the Zion Foundation. The land consisted of a 27 acre lake "Zion Lake" plus 18 other ponds, and beautiful rolling hills. Their vision was to let people share in the good of their land; free from the world's evil temptations. "The foundation is to provide an outdoor place for people to enjoy God's world. When you can be alone with God & nature, away from the pressures of the world, you can think and make choices more carefully."
Jim & Warren believe that God sent them here to this land. "It is a great place to have people learn what God did for his people as well as how we should be good stewards of the land. When people put aside the everyday pressures and stress of the world, and come to Zion, they can learn to get in touch with their inner feelings and purpose."
Now that their vision was in writing, the real work began. They wanted to build and build they did!
In early 2005 construction began on a 4400 square foot pavilion.
What comes next?
Check back every Thursday to see the progression of Zion and the mission of Jim & Warren.
Hi, I'm Lori Kovacs.