Paul Anderson Youth Home Honors Founders' Memory and Heritage
"The World's Strongest Man" remembered for a foundation of faith during Founders' Day celebration
Founded in 1961, PAYH is a Christian residential program and on-campus school dedicated to providing an alternative home setting and a positive opportunity for struggling young men between the ages of 16 and 21.
Held each October to commemorate Paul's birthday, Founders' Day is centered on prayer, feats of strength and group cooperation. A morning of prayer on the knoll where Anderson is buried was followed by an 11 a.m. brunch. In the afternoon, the young men split into teams for the physical activities.
Dubbed "The World's Strongest Man," Paul Anderson was as strong in faith as he was in body. He founded PAYH with his wife, Glenda Anderson, who continues to serve as President. They envisioned a Christ-centered residential refuge for young men with behavioral problems struggling with issues of discipline, substance abuse, anger and depression. To date, over 1,400 young men who have attended the accelerated learning, technical training and counseling program serve as testaments to the institution's success.
"Each year this celebration reminds us of the bedrock we stand upon," said Glenda Anderson. "Prayer was essential to Paul's journey and to saving the lives of our boys. With the Home's 60th anniversary just around the corner, our duty to Paul, and to the young men we serve, is to ensure it remains so."
With a theme of rejuvenation, this year the young men were allowed to sleep in a bit before praying for the home's residents, staff, families, devoted philanthropic partners, those affected by the coronavirus and the future of our world.
Following the service, the young men learned more about the history of PAYH from Eddie Burris, a former resident now serving as Director of Plant Operations. Along with his wife Betty, Vice President of Outreach and Compliance, they have worked at the home for over 50 years. After a mid-day meal, the day concluded with logrolling races, hurling weights and carrying stacks of bricks to spell out words.
"There is nothing so restorative as prayer, reflection and physical activity," said Glenda. "This is exactly how Paul would have wanted to be remembered."
To learn more about PAYH, call (912) 537-7237 or visit https://www.payh.org.