MEET THE STAFF
Steve & Tracy Singleton
Directors of Still Creek Ranch
In May 2012, Steve and Tracy Singleton, parents to six children of their own, officially took over management at Still Creek. The Singletons are former directors of Happy Hills Farm Academy in Granbury, Texas.
Contact the Directors at: 979-589-3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve and Tracy Singleton grew up 10 minute apart in northwest Houston. They met while in college, and married after graduation in 1988. Steve accepted a job with a commodities firm that traded oil and gas, and precious metal futures in New York City. Tracy accepted a job at the headquarters of a textile manufacturer. Athough their futures looked bright, they both felt a strong call to something more than a climb up the corporate ladder which led to their return to Houston. Steve accepted a postion as a series 7 broker while Tracy became a Teaching Pro at the famed River Oaks Country Club.
This strong desire to impact more than their pocketbooks led Steve to undertake post graduate work at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth Texas, while Tracy gave up her career to start their family. To fund this calling into ministry, they accepted a position as house parents at Happy Hill Farm in Granbury Texas. This 500 acre residential treatment center housed and educated 100 boys and girls in 13 homes, and an accredited private academy. These children typically came from broken homes or crisis situations. Steve and Tracy were later promoted to Directors at Happy Hill Farm. While at Happy Hill, Steve and Tracy began to understand that the ministry they were called to was not a traditional church pastorate, but was a ministry specifically designed to restore the lives of children caught up in crisis situations. In 1997 with a desire to one day begin their own children’s home, they left Happy Hill and spent the next 16 years, first in Clemson South Carolina, then in Ft. Lauderdale Florida in the business world.
Having long-since put aside any thoughts of the childrens home ministry, Steve and Tracy were quietly, like Moses, tending the flock of their own six children with no thoughts of a life in ministry. Then on January 26 2011 while Steve was sitting in a Wednesday night service at Calvary Chapel in Ft Lauderdale, Forida, a “burning bush” experience brought he and Tracy out of the wilderness back into the ministry. As Pastor Reuben who was filling in for Bob Coy was preparing to preach, Pastor Doug shared about an upcoming project to build awareness of human trafficking. As he shared a short video bringing to light the modern day tragedy of human trafficking, God began to speak to Steve that he and Tracy were going back into the children’s home ministry. I poured out my life for you, (“he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,” Titus 3:5-6) “now you and Tracy will pour out the rest of your life to rescue children in crisis situations”.
The voice was so powerful Steve began to take notes as God began to paint a picture of a large ranch with an equestrian program that included a house for girls with a large porch, dormer type windows and a green roof, sitting next to another similar country home with a blue roof that served as a bed and breakfast. Steve, understandably excited called Tracy, who was at home in Texas, to share this “burning Bush” experience, she the practical one, Steve the dreamer, took it all in and said “you’re crazy, what you described would take 30 years to build, where would we find the resources and contacts to build what you just described?” So life went on.
Then 1 year later on a sunny day at home in Texas as Steve was mowing the lawn, Tracy received a phone call by a friend saying that there was a couple, Danny and Margaret Oquinn, who ran a children’s home that had begun 30 years earlier that we’re looking for the right couple to take over so they could retire. Every effort to find a rplacement for the O’Quinn’s had been frustrated. So Steve called Margaret and after a forty five minute phone conversation and a 4 hour face to face interview, Steve and Tracy got into the car and at the same time, looked at each other and together said, “NO”. Knowing what would be required of them based on their time as directors at Happy Hill Farm, neither were willing to give up what it would take to run Still Creek Ranch.
That was a Thursday. Friday came and they could not get a peace about turning down the position. Same for Saturday so they decided to take a drive and get alone to pray about this decision. While driving they decided to stop by the Still Creek Girls Ranch which was at a seperate location than the Boys Ranch. They pulled onto the property and came upon a house for girls with a large porch, dormer type windows and a green roof, sitting next to another similar country home with a blue roof that served as a bed and breakfast. Steve turned to Tracy and before a word could be said, she said “I know, that was what you described to me a year ago”. The vision that had been shelved and forgotten was right there in front of us one with a green roof and one with a blue roof. “We’re in” they told Margaret and Danny. The O’Quinn’s could finally rest after 34 years of taking care of hundreds of children. Now Danny and Margaret are currently residing on the family ranch in Folsum New Mexico operating Children of Promise, a ministry of Still Creek’s and using their home as a camp for Still Creek Kids, and ministering to the elderly and shut ins in the area, so much for taking it easy.
The story goes on though. Steve and Tracy knew that they were given the keys to Still Creek to rescue minors out of human trafficking as well as expand the current ministry to abused, abandondoned, and neglected children. After a few months of getting settled into life and administration at the Ranch, they decided to share with their board and staff their intent to develop this ministry. The board was fully behind this ministry, but the staff was understandably greatly troubled with safety concerns and undertaking such a major change so quickly after taking over by Steve and Tracy. Resumes were updated and concerns were expressed leading Steve and Tracy to feel they had moved too fast or perhaps misunderstood God’s call concerning human trafficking. Preparing for the next staff meeting, they were planning to exercise some damage control and back off from this ministry, when God came to them once again just a few hours before the next staff meeting to proclaim, I called you to rescue these helpless victims. Last night a 13 year old girl ran away from her home to escape the abuse she was having to endure at the hands of her caregivers to now find herself swept up in the tsunami of human trafficking. She doesn’t have time for you to wait and neither do I.
Wow! So as the staff meeting began Steve made it clear to all that the bus was leaving and it was time to decide if this staff was going to jump on board or find another bus to minister on. We were driving into the heart of human trafficking and rescuing as many as possible. At that point the meeting was turned over to a staff member who had asked several weeks before if he could share at that scheduled meeting what God had impressed on him. It seems that at a youth conference held at Gateway Church in North Richland Hills Texas he and his wife had attended the month before, God had broken their hearts for victims of human trafficking. Scott Wilmore shared his heart and presented a PowerPoint Presentation that brought down God’s spirit into the heart of every staff member. This unorchastrated event shattered our worlds for the sake of these innocents suffering their own modern day holocaust.
This earth shattering staff meeting happened to occur the day we had scheduled our annual picture day. With red eyes and running mascara, pictures were taken as determined hearts planned out how they could contribute to this effort. They were all on the bus. Plans were drawn up and the house with a blue roof that was serving as a bed and breakfast was converted into the Victory Home, and Restore Her at Still Creek was born as a transitional living facility for minors who have been exposed to sexual exploitation either privately or commercially with the intent to fully integrate them into the long-term program of Still Creek Christian Academies Bording School Program. To one day live the life previously unavailable to them.
Currently Still Creek ministries consist of:
- Still Creek Boys and Girls Ranch
- Restore Her at Still Creek
- Still Creek Christain School (which will one day, Lord willing, be the premier preparatory school for Texas A&M University. Children who were rescued from the streets and crisis situations will be preparing, along side children from some of the best families in Texas and beyond, to build a future that is an asset, and not a detriment to society as well as their families, jobs and churches)
- HartLand Arena Equestrian Center
- Children of Promise Ministries Folsum New Mexico
- Still Creek Ranch Transitional Living Home. (developing)
Steve and Tracy are the parents of six children whose ages are spread out over 18 years. They had two in their twenties, two in their thirties, two in their forties, and now God has blessed them with thirty one more and the numbers are growing every month.
Clayton & Cindy Smith
Lead House Parents
Clayton and Cindy Smith are the cottage directors at Still Creek Boys Ranch, they oversee the in-home operations of the cottages. Clayton and Cindy have served as pastors in youth and children’s ministry for over 20 years. They have served from a strong family centered church with a ministry focus on family relationships and communication to a street church with a “biker chapel”, soup kitchen and intense street and gang ministry. Their experience in ministry has been preparation for the responsibilities they face on the Ranch.
“Our philosophy is that there are no bad kids, just bad circumstances.” Cindy’s organizational and administrative skills coupled together with her wisdom and mother’s heart provides safe boundaries and a loving home. Clayton’s love of the outdoors, humor and spontaneity to live life offers adventure and somewhat controlled chaos for the home. Together Clayton and Cindy make a balanced marriage that the boys can model in their life after the Ranch. Clayton and Cindy have been married for 20 years and have three boys Michael, Jordan and Ty.
Still Creek Christian School Principal
Hi! My name is Mandy Burlin. I am married to Damon Burlin and together we have 5 amazing kids. I have been a part of Still Creek since I was 18 years old. For those of you who do not know, I am Margaret and Danny O’Quinn’s daughter. I moved back home 3 years ago and have strongly felt God leading me to become more a part of this ranch and school. I have taught the K-2 graders for the last 3 years, but felt God calling me to do more. So I interviewed for the new principal job and was chosen for the position. I will be the new school administrator for next school year. I graduated from Bryan High in 1990, then continued on to Texas A&M. I graduated in 1995 with my degree in Education. I have been teaching for 13 years. I have an enormous passion for kids and education. I truly believe that this is my calling in life and know that God ordered my steps to come back and be a part of this amazing ranch and school. I am so excited to see what God is going to do. God has given me a strong vision for my future and I know that being here and being a part of Still Creek is where I belong. With my background in education and being raised in a children’s home I feel that this is exactly where I belong. I look forward to where God is leading us in our ranch and school. I pray this transition will be a great success with God’s leading, prayers and the wonderful support from our Still Creek family and supporters. Thank you for this opportunity, I am truly honored and grateful!
Rob & Kelly Riccitelli
Directors of Horse Arena
Howdy! We would like to introduce ourselves and get you better acquainted with the Still Creek Ranch Arena. We are Rob and Kelly Riccitelli, and we have been here at the ranch for four years. Kelly is in charge of the horse program and 4-H projects, while Rob oversees the arena facilities, cattle and farming enterprises. We have been married 24 years and have 5 grown children. Kelly was formerly a college professor, teaching equine science for 20 years, and was a horse judging team coach and intercollegiate horse show team coach. She has worked in the horse industry as a trainer, judge and riding instructor for over 35 years. Rob previously managed large cattle, farming and horse ranches in California, and then started a business designing and building horse facilities in1988. God ordained that we would come to Still Creek far before we ever considered it, allowing Rob to design the Still Creek arena when we were still living in Kansas. We feel so very blessed to be here and we love helping the kids become skilled horsemen and horsewomen. We look forward to telling you more about those kids in the months to come!