The land where Jan-Kay Ranch, Inc. is located was original purchased in 1966. The purpose of purchasing the land was not to create a Christian camp, but to create a working cattle ranch where the Coats and family could escape their busy lives in the Dallas area.
In 1966 the “White House” was built to provide a solid place to live when the owners and family were relaxing at the ranch. As the years went on several different groups requested the use of the facilities for retreats. Their first group of young campers was 40 Pioneer Girls. The group signed up and stayed with the use of only one bathroom facility between all 40 of the girls (clearly that would not work today) so in 1970 construction began on two cabins and a dining hall (renovated in 1993). A year later the Recreation Hall was added along with the “L-shaped” home. Thankfully the Coats made their living as builders and they called lots of their Brothers and Sisters in Christ to help them in building the camp facilities.
It was in 1971 that Jan-Kay Ranch, Inc., held its first summer of organized camp and by the summer of 1972 things were in full swing.
In 1974, two more cabins were added, which allowed the facility to house 112 campers per week of camp. 1979 brought about the building of the Town Hall or meeting room, the pool was built in 1980, the giant water slide being added in 1986.
Since that time the Buffalo Hotel (1982), the Miniature Golf Course (1984), and that same year the amphitheater was built. In 1985 they added the animals. 1991 brought about the pop-stand or snack shack and the Big Top was completed that same year as well.
Yes the property has gone from working cattle ranch to workshop for God, not by accident but by God’s own plan.
It has always been Darrel and Jan’s goal that the land be used however God would see fit. God certainly has accomplished this by moving the ranch into the position of winning souls, rather than just raising cattle. Winning souls is the most important part of the work at Jan-Kay Ranch, Inc. Lots of lasting memories are made here as well.