11. Anchor Home For Boys in Texas – United States

A preacher named Lester Roloff created boarding schools for young boys and girls. The one for boys was named Anchor home. They were forced out of Texas when the police wanted to inspect the school and some claim that they exist today after being forced to run from Montana too.

Teenagers living at the Anchor home do know about paddling. Corporal punishment was their breakfast. Isolation rooms with loudspeakers running 24/7 prayers was their lunch. Leftovers from good people in the neighborhood became their dinner. The school work was church inspired and difficult to get credits for if they wanted to study after they were released.

Lester Roloff died when his plane crashed. Riding with him was a lot of young girls who traveled with him and sang for those who wanted to hear him talk. It is not known if they provided other services to him. After his death many of the employees started their own schools inspired by his teaching. Unfortunately many are still in existence.


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16 responses to “11. Anchor Home For Boys in Texas – United States”

  1. turkbenistan says :

    Thank God this place closed down. I was there in 1985-1986. One of the worst experiences of my life…made the U.S. Army seem tame by comparison. Pure straight up abuse.

    • jcwing says :

      I was at the Anchor Home for Boys in the 70’s. Corporal punishment did occur, but only if you needed it. Locked in a room with speakers running prayers 24/7? That never happened not once the whole 1.5 years I was there. Leftovers from the neighborhood? Well, first of all, what neighborhood? Anchor was out in the middle of Zapata nowhere. Second, we NEVER had donated leftovers. What in the world are you talking about? You’re either making this stuff up, or you were in some other Anchor home.

      • Rotsne says :

        Who can decide whether corporal punishment was justified? If given unjust how then to appeal it?
        Second these homes were in operation for decades. Things were altered over the years. Just because you didn’t see them it is no proof that they didn’t exist.

        I don’t know if there are any testimonies about Anchor home on the boarding school testimonial blog yet, but I have heard that some are planned for later release. Check if out.

      • turkbenistan says :

        Were you there when they moved us out in the middle of the night from Texas to Missouru to avoid Texas HRS? Were you there when I was backhanded and slapped and beaten and choked by a church employee who was serving parole while working as a counselor there? No, I think you’ll find, if anyone ever talks about it, that after Lester Roloff died, things got much worse under Wiley Cameron’s leadership. But the seeds of all this were always there.

      • Robert " Mike" Cunningham says :

        I don’t know who you are but I would love too find out my name is Robert Mike Cunningham I loved bro an Mrs Oxford I learned a lot there. Yes they were tough but loved us boys.It was run by human beings so some had faults yes all and all it was one off the best times of my life

      • Robert " Mike" Cunningham says :

        Yea I never seen anything crazy they were tough to be sure but we needed it. For the most part the cared about us. Bro Tracy was trash I didn’t realize at the time. Everyone else was great bro John Bro Mike Bro Homer. And of course Bro Harmon and Mrs Lios Oxford were some of the best people our Lord ever put in this world. Got to say I loved them dearly as I do this very day. I only regret I can’t tell them . yea I can’t say enough good about them They were great to us boys

      • letsjuststayanonomous says :

        Mike Cunningham.. i was there when you were, if you were from Ohio. i was there from 77-79 when it was shut down, and they drove us to Dallas in the bus i stole and tried to escape from there in and put us on planes home. Bro Dale and his wife lived in dorm 2, and there was a lot of hub bub about her and Jesus Rameriz, if memory serves.. if this is the same Mike Cunningham, i would like to hear from you. email me at i.warpy@gmail.com, if you want to. thanks.

  2. jcwing says :

    I was there when Lester Roloff was still alive. In fact he used to come preach at Anchor once in a while. I heard a lot about some of the homes under Wiley Cameron, but never witnessed it since that was after my time, so I have no idea about that. I can only relate to Anchor in Zapata when I was there. I never really had any discipline issues, except for maybe twice the whole 1.5 years I was there.

  3. Mark swearingen says :

    I was there in1975 for about 8 months, Brother Oxford was in charge of that facility. Lester Roloff would come once in awhile always buzzing the chow hall before he would land his plane, we grew watermelon had a ACE school and we we awarded field trips for Bible memorization and good school work. The chow was good and yes there was corporal punishment, I had 2 events where I got swats but if u tried to run away I knew one time they hand-cuffed an individual and swat the tar out of him, we could all here it because the boy was screaming and begging them to stop. It was a hard place to be at if u wouldnt follow the rules but if you behaved you were OK. You need to remember these were kids that were in trouble with the law but at the same time yes there was abuse as far as dicipline.

    • Mike Prows says :

      I was there from April 1975 to November. Brother Oxford Brother Tracy and a cook we just called Tom or Uncle Tom. I also took a pretty aggressive spanking for running away but I don’t remember how many licks I got I lost count after 15. Some of the other boys that I remember were Jackie Zearley,Frank Vanco, and Doug Merk. I worked in the barn got up at 05:30 and milked one to two cows and fed the horses. I helped build the desk when we started the ACE school and attended just a couple of months before I went home. I am not sure how I feel about the place now I am quite sure that it kept me out of jail and maybe left a few scars.

      my name is Mike Prows

      • richard rexroad says :

        Mike, I was there too about the same time. Oxford, Tracey and the “Homer” looking guy beat me senseless for running away. They kept me in handcuffs the whole time I was there.

    • letsjuststayanonomous says :

      there was more than just disciplinary abuse. brother tracy was, and if still alive is a child molester.

  4. letsjuststayanonomous says :

    brother tracy was a child molester. i know, as he, on a regular basis molested me and my roommate. i was there from june77 thru approx july 79, when they were shut down. i remember us all getting in the bus, and being driven across the state, to be put on greyhound buses home. i am 50 now, and still have nightmares about that.
    as to the general statement made about isolation rooms and leftovers for dinner, that was bullshit.. the compound was an old army base, complete with 3 2 story dorms, a mess hall, gym, vehicle garage, barn, and a school building that also served as a church. we grew watermelons at the compound, and there was a farm a few miles away of of rt 183 that we would be taken to to work.
    we were also bused down to mccallen to pick oranges and grapefruit..

    brother oxford lived near the entrance gate in a mobile home with his wife and daughter, and next to him was another trailer where brother homer lived, so please believe me when i say i was there, and as far as the school went.. they used what was called A.C.E… Accelerated Christian Education. each student had a cube, and you worked on your own thru booklets. every 12 booklets equaled a year of schooling, and that is teh one thing that i am grateful for, you could work at your own pace, and after being there two years, when i was sent home, and the public school system tested me to see where i was al level wise, i tested out at 14th grade science and math, 13th grade social studies, and 10th grade English, and i was 14.

    but in no way does that mean that i do not wish with every fiber of my soul that i had never been there, for as i said, i to this day, still have nightmares over what happened to me with the abuse, and i have never really discussed it with anyone. even when i ran away, and made it to laredo, and was picked up and put into the juvinile detention til brother oxford could getup there to fetch me and i tried to tell the guards, or anyone who would listen what brother tracy was doing and noone believed me, and they allowed brother oxford to take me back there in handcuffs..

    my god its like it just happened just typing about it..

    i wish there was something i could do about what happened..

    • David Wukusick says :

      Corporal punishment happened all the time…..I was there for 3 months in 1977 and “escaped” twice…the second time for good. The place wasn’t too bad, just the savagery of the discipline. And that was real I have pictures and a court case to prove it!!! Never heard of donated leftovers, but was handcuffed to my bed. Some of the staff lived in the closest neighborhood to the compound..stole a 74 442 and drove to Dallas in it!!! then Elvis died….so that gives you the time frame of when I was there.
      Sorry, my time there was short, so I don’t remember names of anyone.the kid I ran away with the first time was from Tyler, Texas. We went to his uncle’s house and ended up in Dallas. got caught and someone from the home picked me up about a month later….we stopped to eat and the escort guy went to the rest room and I ran as fast as I could……..Sad part made it to Louisville Ky and got picked up for hitchhiking and my parents sent me back. After getting beaten for two days straight and handcuffed every where I went….I guess it was for a week…first chance I took off again and ended up in Beaumont….picked up for hitching again….they questioned me and I showed them the bruises on my legs, butt and lower back…..ended up in a foster home in Cleveland for a year, before going back to Cincinnati. Took my folks a few years to realize how bad of a decision they had made sending me there…but we, my family and I are all good now…No thanks to the criminals who ran that place, in the name of God.

  5. Tony says :

    I was in the anchor home in corpus Christie in from November 81 until November 82. We were no strangers to being paddled as public school did so in those days. That said in school it was two or three swats and done. In the anchor home it was 5,6,7 swats with a board. I saw one kid get hit so many times that he had blood in his stool. On top of that they promoted the same delinquents that decided to stay on the farm after their release. This turned into at least three sexual assaults on minors. This is just the ones I know of. Schumacher who ran the home would punish everyone for one person’s actions by making us stand on our knees with our arms out, paddling all 100 of us for one guy talking in the lunchroom. Just awful treatment.

  6. chris says :

    i was there 85-86 and ya lester was long gone in had jail time that was alot better …!!!! i got there a church boy i came out a drug dealer but it did teach me to trust in me and not fake church . i did a lot of time in lock up i helped boys run i did git to bang one of the wives of the staff that was cool ….18yrs later we got to see each other still nice

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