Victory Acres

Victory Acres provides hospitality and healing while growing good food and providing good, life-giving work in North-Central Indiana.

Mission

Victory Acres exists to extend hospitality to inner city families, to disciple them in their spiritual journey, to teach them valuable life skills, to empower them in their pursuit of life goals, and to develop stable, nurturing homes for the children

Vision

To see inner city families overcoming addictions, learning new skills, discovering new friends, raising healthy children and growing together in a safe, loving, healthy, Christian environment

History

Victory Acres provides hospitality and healing while growing good food and providing good, life-giving work in North-Central Indiana.
Housed on a farm dating back to the 1830s, Victory Acres is a branch of Victory Inner-city Ministries, Inc. (VICM), a non-profit organization that is actively involved in community and economic development on the east side of Indianapolis, mid-town Detroit, and inner city Cincinnati. Since 2000, VICM has served to make Christ visible – not only to the poor and disenfranchised but to the entire community in which it serves. At Victory Acres, we believe that the farm serves as a place for making Christ visible through agriculture.

How do we do this? We grow fresh, high-quality, chemical-free produce along with raising grass-fed beef cattle, pastured poultry, and pastured pork. Meanwhile, individuals in relationship with VICM are provided with a place to grow, rebuild, and participate in esteem-building work. While they are doing good work that is helping to produce good food, they learn new lessons, acquire valuable job skills, and rebuild their lives.

Here’s our story in a nutshell: Victory Acres has been a working farm since the 1830’s and has been connected to the Himelick family for six generations. For the past 25 years, the farm benefited from the USDA Conservation program, allowing the land to rest and add natural soil fertility.  In the fall of 2005, Eric Himelick, VICM’s Board of directors, and the Himelick family began talking about Victory Inner-City Ministries purchasing the farm on contract and starting a community supported agriculture program as a way to fund the ministry. After they got the go-ahead from the Himelick family and the VICM Board, the purchase was completed in June 2006.

While Victory Acres continues to draw on its rich heritage and maintain the traditions in which it is so firmly rooted, we are constantly welcoming new people from all walks of life to our 114-acre farm in north-central Indiana.  We invite you to join us!

  • Support our mission
  • Volunteer
  • Enjoy products from our Newly renovated Victory Acres Farm Store (coming soon)

How Do We Do This?

We grow fresh, high-quality, chemical-free produce along with raising grass-fed beef cattle, pastured poultry, and pastured pork. Meanwhile, individuals in relationship with VICM are provided with a place to grow, rebuild, and participate in esteem-building work. While they are doing good work that is helping to produce good food, they learn new lessons, acquire valuable job skills, and rebuild their lives.

Here’s our story in a nutshell: Victory Acres has been a working farm since the 1830’s and has been connected to the Himelick family for six generations. For the past 25 years, the farm benefited from the USDA Conservation program, allowing the land to rest and add natural soil fertility.  In the fall of 2005, Eric Himelick, VICM’s Board of directors, and the Himelick family began talking about Victory Inner-City Ministries purchasing the farm on contract and starting a community supported agriculture program as a way to fund the ministry. After they got the go-ahead from the Himelick family and the VICM Board, the purchase was completed in June 2006.

While Victory Acres continues to draw on its rich heritage and maintain the traditions in which it is so firmly rooted, we are constantly welcoming new people from all walks of life to our 114-acre farm in north-central Indiana.  We invite you to join us!

  • Support our mission
  • Volunteer
  • Enjoy products from our Newly renovated Victory Acres Farm Store (coming soon)

Where are we going?

While Victory Acres is a farm, it is also primarily a ministry of hospitality and healing for families from the inner city. It is a place for discipleship with the farm as the backdrop. Our farm team is responsible for the farm’s agricultural operation, and they “walk the road” with our guest families. Regular spiritual accountability, Bible studies, prayer times, fellowship, and discipleship are all a part of our program. As we provide hospitality and support for the families that God sends to us, the challenges and opportunities will grow. Some may stay to serve. Others might remain in the area, and some will move on to other places. Developing housing options for the people that come is our next great
challenge at the farm.

As God provides the resources, within the next five years we plan:

  • To have a full-time manager for Victory Acres.
  • To build 2 new units of on-farm guest housing (2-3 bedrooms each.)
  • To build a 2,500 sq.ft., multipurpose building for farm gatherings.
  • To develop campground style hookups for up to five RVs or travel trailers to accommodate seasonal guests.
  • To build trails, raised bed gardens, and a recreation area for families to experience together.
  • To build 3-5 rustic cabins that could be used seasonally for retreats.
  • To develop a functional woodshop where we can build things together using lumber from our Woodmizer.
  • To improve the pasture and develop a herd of beef cattle as a source of income for the farm.

Strategy

  • Hire competent staff and raise the resources necessary to accomplish our ministry
    objectives.
  • Develop learning opportunities for families to enjoy together. Build trails, cabins,
    gardens, woodshop, and a recreation area for families to experience together.
  • Develop hospitality options for our guests. Permanent housing, transitional housing, and
    seasonal housing should provide space for a variety of family sizes.
  • Develop short-term retreat and long-term program options for ministry guests and their
    families.
  • Raise beef cattle, eggs, and vegetables, and other farm products to use, to share, and to
    sell in an improved farm store when we are able.

Who do we serve?

  • Families in need (primarily, families with whom we have a relationship through ourvnetwork of city ministries.) These could be fathers and mothers with children, or single
    parent families.)
  • Families who want to grow in Christian community. We cannot help those who insist on continuing with destructive choices and behaviors. (i.e. chemical dependency, addiction,
    abuse, etc.)
  • Families in ministry, especially those serving in the inner city and needing rest and reflection.

How did we get here?

In 2006, Victory Inner-city Ministries began purchasing the seventh-generation Himelick family farm on contract, starting with Community Supported Agriculture as a way to fund the operation, and keeping the farm a working farm. We started Victory Acres to be a safe place away from the negative influences of the inner city where people that we love and care for could find healing and discipleship. In 2010, the Eric Himelick family moved to the farm to develop it further as a place of hospitality and healing.

What have we been doing?

  • We have trained over 60 agricultural apprentices and intern.
  • We have paid off almost 65% of the original purchase price of the farm, and we are on track for the farm to be debt free by 2028.
  • We have raised over 80 tons of delicious, organically grown fruits and vegetables.
  • We have welcomed 26 long term guests from the city, coming from prison, drug rehab and homelessness.
  • We have built connections within the local community.

Ministry Partnership

As a ministry of Victory Inner-city Ministries, we are seeking ministry partners who will work with us by volunteering, sponsoring a family, or supporting financially. Walking with families towards transformation and wholeness takes many community and ministry partners. With God’s help, we envision inner city families overcoming addictions, learning new skills, discovering new friends, raising healthy children and growing together in a safe, loving, healthy Christian environment.

A video about Pie in July, a community event at Victory Acres

A video about Pie in July, a community event at Victory Acres

The Vision of Victory Acres

The Vision of Victory Acres

A video about one of our past ministry guests

A video about one of our past ministry guests

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