Hebron Colony / Grace Home
A Christ-Centered Addiction Recovery Ministry
A Vision of Victory
A Home of Hope
A Refuge for Renewal
The Fulfillment of Faith
The vision and place of hope that became Hebron Colony Ministries was birthed in the heart of a simple Presbyterian minister who had tremendous concern and compassion for the suffering alcoholic. Rev. E.A. Dillard graduated seminary in 1924 and spent many years serving pastorates in both North and South Carolina, nineteen of those in Charlotte. All through those years he had an interest in and sympathy for the alcoholic, many of whom had been helped and saved. But there was one case in particular that intensified his desire to reach out to people afflicted in this way.
In her booklet “No One is Hopeless”, Eva Dillard writes the story of the singular event that took place in her husband’s life that led to the founding of Hebron Colony as a ministry for alcoholics.
Rev. E.A. Dillard with his wife, Eva (circa 1950)
Read what Eva wrote about the mountains
Through this one encounter with a family in need, God moved in the hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Dillard to devote their lives to leading suffering alcoholics to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and the freedom from bondage that can only truly be found in a personal relationship with Him. What they needed was a place to fulfill that mission, and God provided.
For several years, Mr. and Mrs. Dillard had vacationed in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and had brought many young people for spiritual retreats. As they looked around the area, they became convinced that it would be a perfect place for a home for alcoholics. They believed in their hearts that what these men needed to begin a new life was "a complete change of scenery, associates, and manner of living."
It was during these visits to the Boone area that they became acquainted with a man who owned an eighteen-room house that sat on ten-acres just outside of Boone. He was a lumber man that had cut the timbers for his home from Grandfather Mountain and had pulled the massive stones for its foundation out of the nearby streams. In the summer of 1946, he told the Dillard’s that he and his wife were moving and that the home was for sale. Through a series of events that can only be described as miraculous, God moved in the hearts of many people to raise the necessary funds and the Dillard’s were able to purchase the property for the purpose of the ministry. And God didn’t stop there! It wasn’t very many years until an additional twenty-five acres were added to the property, together with additional buildings, and then even more over the years to its present count of more than 90 acres.
The Beautiful Mountains of North Carolina
The Original Home of Hebron Colony
The incident that led Rev. Dillard to devote his life to the ministry of alcoholics
As told to his wife, Eva, and recounted in her booklet "No One is Hopeless"
A Presbyterian minister in Virginia called me long distance and said his son and wife and two little girls were moving to Charlotte. His son and wife both drank to excess, both of them college graduates-would I do all I could to help them? I promised I would. Both of the girls came to our Sunday school and the parents only once to church. One day the telephone rang and the thirteen-year-old said, 'Mr. Dillard, would you come out? Daddy and Mother need you and sister and I need you.' I went and found that Mother and Daddy had been drunk a week. There was practically no food in the house, the girls had been going to school and carrying on the best they could. I secured medicine for the parents and bought groceries, but as I was leaving the oldest girl came out on the porch saying, 'Mr. Dillard, I don't know how much longer sister and I can live home with things like this.' I went away feeling how inadequate had been the help I had given and with a prayer in my heart that if the Lord wanted me to do more for such needy people and would show me if I would yield my life to Him about it. I did not do this immediately but circumstances drove me to a decision.
Sometimes all it takes is one encounter with a person in need for the Lord to burden another’s heart to fulfill that need, and in turn use it to reach out to countless scores of people who ultimately find salvation and freedom through Jesus Christ.
The mountains... an ideal place to find restoration
As written by Eva Dillard in her booklet "No One is Hopeless"
[The men and women who come to Hebron Colony and Grace Home] are nervous, restless and distraught. We must take time to build up again these bodies, minds and souls. Our surroundings are helpful to this end. When you come to live in the mountains you learn to get in tune with the beauty and bigness of it all. There's an underlying tranquility that finally penetrates to your inner consciousness and relaxes the nervous tension. You quiet down and then you realize how much real strength and dignity there is in the calm certainty of your own soul and the part God wants us to have in this universe.
The mountains are a soul tonic, they take away the hurt and they soothe and give strength mentally and spiritually. No wonder David the psalmist said, "I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help?" But David goes on to answer his own question, "My help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:1,2). At Grace Home and Hebron we cannot lift up our eyes from any distraction without seeing these lofty gorgeous mountains, the handiwork of God. So, in these Homes, we teach our guests to stay themselves upon God as the God of power and the One all sufficient for every need. Our hope is not in created things, they are not enough and have failed us, but our hope is in God and His Word.
Concept drawing of the renovation of the original home for the current Dillard Hall that took place in the 1960's
(Same house, different angle)
Color photo of the original home
of Hebron Colony
Read the excerpt here
See the concept that
became a reality
And so, on a snowy day in March of 1947, the Dillard’s and five alcoholic men made the trip from Charlotte to the mountains of North Carolina. They came in a borrowed station wagon, with bedding and groceries loaded in the back, to a home with a coal furnace, an oil stove, and frozen pipes. They came with a hope and passion to find refuge and freedom for those in bondage to addiction. They came to realize the fulfillment of a vision the Lord had given to one simple man who was willing to yield his life, and the lives of his family, to make that hope a reality. They came to Hebron Colony Ministries.
The Original Sign for Hebron Colony
The Women's Ministry at Grace Home
As the ministry of Hebron Colony grew, and the freedom men found there became known throughout the area, it wasn’t long until many requests were received for a similar mission that would address the needs of alcoholic women. And so, in 1953, a beautiful spacious home was built one mile away from Hebron Colony for alcoholic women that became known as Grace Home. This part of the ministry was ultimately relocated in ? of 2000 to a forty acre site in Santee, South Carolina, where it continues to operate as a division of Hebron Colony Ministries to the present day.
The Original Grace Home
In 1959, Reverend E. A. Dillard went to be with the Lord. But the legacy of what God can do with one man’s devotion, one man’s dedication, and one man’s dependency lives on to this day. Rev. Dillard was a faithful man who submitted his life to the pursuit of what is truly God’s plan for the whole of humanity… freedom from sin and death.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
Following Rev. Dillard’s passing, God has raised up many others over the years to continue His ministry here at Hebron Colony. Below is just a sampling of the faithfully devoted men who have had the privilege of serving in the leadership role as the Executive Director at various times in Hebron’s history.
Rev. Harold Kattman
Rev. Robert Hoyle
Rev. Tom Knowles