Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mountain Mission School

The Mountain Mission School in Grundy, Virginia, was established in 1921 to serve at-risk children from Appalachia. Currently, 200 students from 60 countries live, study and work at the school. It has served over 20,000 children since it's founding.

Mountain Mission School was founded by Sam Hurley, a successful businessman with no formal education and a very difficult childhood. In 1888 Sam was 10 years old and his father had just died. Sam walked through the woods looking for food to feed his family. One night as he slept on a rocky outcropping he could hear mountain lions coming closer. He prayed to God for protection and promised, if spared, he would build a place for children like himself so they would not have to sleep in fear in the woods.

At the age of 22, Sam Hurley married and his wife taught him how to read and write. He became successful in business. Though Sam had seven children, he and his wife took in needy children as many as nine at one time. One day he noticed a little boy crying in the streets. The boy wanted Sam to take him into his home as the boy had nowhere else to go. Sam told him he had no room.

Mountain Mission School; courtesy of Pinterest

But he remembered his promise to God and immediately went to his lawyer's office to complete the paperwork to start Grundy Academy, which later became Mountain Industrial Institute and is now Mountain Mission School. Sam brought Dr. and Mrs. Josephus Hopwood out of retirement from Milligan College to become the academy's first president. Dr. Hopwood established the educational system but his health began to fail. So Sam Hurley became president. He and his wife moved to the school's campus and put everything they had into the school.

Today, over 20,000 children, including the five children of Cecil Roy Hess and Margaret Elizabeth Muir, have received care at Mountain Mission School since its founding in 1921.

'Mountain Mission School,' Pinterest
Mountain Mission School,

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