Outback America is an outreach ministry of JH Ranch, located in the mountains of Northern California, which has been serving parents and teens for over 20 years.
Realizing that the JH Ranch would always be limited in the numbers it could reach because of the remoteness of its location and the size of its facilities, God gave Bruce Johnston His vision to create an outreach of the JH Ranch program that could be duplicated in cities across America. That vision was realized in 1996 with the first Outback America weekend in Dallas, Texas. A bit different from our current program, the Dallas weekend hosted 1000 teens from across America. In 1997 another Outback weekend was held in which Fathers came with their teens.
Outback America as it is today was started in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2000, then grew to a Birmingham/Sylacauga weekend in the fall of 2002. Mobile, Alabama joined the program in the fall of 2004. In 2006 Lafayette, Louisiana joined the program.
As for Outback Texas, in 2000, a group of men and their families started to pray for guidance as to how to make Outback a permanent part of Texas. In late 2010, a Houston-based group was formed to pray, share ‘fresh manna’, and organize Outback Texas as a twice a year event, held in the New Ulm, TX area. God answered their prayers and hard work by having the very first Outback Texas on 11/11/11!
To God be the glory!
Outback America is headquartered in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
It is important to believe in something. Something that guides you at every turn. Something that creates a set of fenceposts that impact your thinking, behavior, and speech.
We’re no different at Outback Texas. We’re clear on what we believe and use that to drive the planning, execution, and post-event prayer, activities, topics, and music.
At Outback, we believe:
- In one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
- In the Scripture of the Old and New Testament as inspired by God, inerrant in the original writings, and that they are the supreme and final authority in faith and life.
- That Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man.
- That man was created in the image of God; that he sinned, and thereby incurred, not only physical death, but also Spiritual death which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and in the case of those who reach moral responsibility, become sinners in thought, word, and deed.
- That the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him are justified through His shed blood.
- In the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension to Heaven and in His present life there for us as High Priest and Advocate.
- That our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will personally return and set up His Kingdom wherein He will rule and reign in righteousness.
- In the personality, deity, and work of the Holy Spirit.
- In the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the retribution of the lost.
- In the great commission which our Lord has given to His Church to evangelize the world, and that this evangelization is the great mission of the Church.
In 1979, Gene Johnston purchased a 300 acre hunting lodge in the beautiful mountains of Northern California. His purpose was to fulfill a promise he had made to the Lord as a young man in his 20’s. “If you provide the resources,” he told God, “I will invest them in a manner that will have eternal value.” Under the direction of Bruce, the eldest son of the twelve Johnston children, the JH Ranch opened its doors and sponsored a two-week Jr. and Sr. High leadership camp known as Second Wind.
Based on the impact the JH Ranch programs have had on teens and their families, Bruce began to envision a time when he could take this life changing message and reach many other families in America and beyond.This vision gave birth to Outback America and its weekend Outback events.
Today, beyond the borders of the JH Ranch, families across America participate in a carefully crafted and distilled JH Ranch Weekend, known as Outback America. Outback America Weekends teach the same programs of practical understanding, fun, and adventure that parents, sons, and daughters have experienced for years in the mountains of Northern California. So far, Outback events have been held in nine different locations around the world.
As an organization, Outback America’s goal is to strengthen individuals’ relationships with God, family members, their church, and their community throughout America and around the world.
Outback is a weekend adventure developed to give parents and youth a practical strategy for daily living. The strategy focuses on the participant’s vertical relationship with Christ and their horizontal relationship with family, friends, church and community. During the course of the 48-hour weekend, parents and youth find their lives transformed through inspirational talks that help them develop a daily strategy for life purpose, instill personal standards for moral purity, and begin cultivating a Christ honoring parent/child relationship.
Music and drama, combined with recreation, team-building activities, and small group sessions are some of the exciting activities that make Outback an adventure of a lifetime. Best of all participants are provided with simple ways to take the experience home for life.
God’s vision for Outback America was realized in 1996 with the first Outback America weekend in Dallas Texas. A bit different from our current program, the Dallas weekend hosted 1000 teens from across America. In 1997 another Outback weekend was held in which Fathers came with their teens.
Outback America as we know it today was born in Tuscaloosa in 2000, then grew to the Birmingham/Sylacauga weekend in the fall of 2002 and Mobile joined the program in the fall of 2004.