Timothy Hill opened its doors for the first time on November 15, 1980 and has been a safe haven for hundreds of children during desperate times of abuse, neglect, and crisis.
Jerrell Hill, the Founder of Timothy Hill, was initially a preacher in Riverhead, NY. He and his wife Fern opened their home and hearts to dozens of foster children who were homeless and in need of temporary housing. Their older son, Timothy, saw the painful hardships and emotional suffering that the children had endured, and was deeply affected. He told his parents he wanted someday to… “Build a place where troubled kids could live, be loved, feel safe, and have wide open spaces to ride horses.”
Timothy began working at age 12 to save money for the land where his dream could become a reality. He worked three paper routes and had already begun contacting real estate agents in search of property. His mother, Fern, recalls fielding return calls from disgruntled real estate agents. She simply explained to them that she could not discourage her son from following his dream.
On May 11, 1972, a tragic bicycle-truck accident ended Timothy’s life at the young age of 13. His mother, wanting a way to commemorate his life, wrote a book entitled, “Graduation to Glory,” which recounted Timothy’s altruistic years and his visionary dream of opening up a ranch for troubled children and young people. Friends and neighbors responded spontaneously by creating a memorial fund earmarked “for Timothy’s Ranch”. Jerrell and Fern adopted their son’s dream and God has blessed their journey ever since.
After Timothy’s death, Jerrell and Fern knew they needed to fulfill his life’s purpose as well as their own. They knew that their next steps were to bring Timothy’s dream of starting a ranch for troubled children to life.
They prayed for God to send them guidance and show them the way… “ask and you shall receive…” And that is exactly what happened. God can send angels in many forms, and guardian angels came in the form of everyday people, such as, a former landlord, a woman from Manhattan sending necessities for the boys at The Ranch, a couple from Tennessee driving up to donate horses, and many more. To this day, God has continued to send angels to Jerrell and Fern in helping them continue to fulfill Timothy’s dream.