Our History & Heritage
Royal Rangers is a church-based mentoring ministry for future men. Since its inception in 1962, millions of boys in the United States and around the world have been guided through the ministry. Today, they are successful businessmen, public servants, pastors, church leaders, missionaries, etc.
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Founder & first
In January, Rev. Johnnie Barnes, the Assemblies of God youth director from the North Texas district, is invited by the Executive Presbytery to birth a new ministry for boys and young men. Rev. Charles Scott suggested the name Royal Rangers, and Johnnie Barnes is appointed as national commander.
The Royal Rangers Leadership Training Course is developed.
The first district-wide camps (then called Pow Wows) are held. The Gold Medal of Achievement, Royal Rangers highest achievement, and the Medal of Valor, awarded to men and boys who risk their own lives to save the life of another, are first offered.
Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship (then called a Fraternity) is formed, offering boys and young men the opportunity to relive America’s frontier past. The first Royal Rangers week is held in October to spotlight the Royal Rangers ministry and honor its members in churches across the nation.
The first National Training Camps for Royal Rangers leaders are held in the states of California, Colorado, Missouri, and New York.
The first National Camporama, a camping extravaganza that now attracts thousands of boys every four years, is first held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The National Royal Rangers Council is formed and meets in Springfield, Missouri. To this day organizational leaders continue to gather annually for instruction, fellowship, and inspiration.
The National Royal Rangers Training Center near Eagle Rock, Missouri, is dedicated. The 1,400-acre center is often referred to as Camp Eagle Rock.
Beloved founder, Johnnie Barnes, dies after leading the ministry from its inception for twenty-seven years. Rev. Ken Hunt is named national commander, and he guides the ministry skillfully for ten years.
Rev. Richard Mariott is appointed national commander, and he ably guides the ministry for eight years.
Royal Rangers International is started to establish, strengthen, and serve Royal Rangers development around the world. Today, Royal Rangers is active in over 70 nations.
Rev. Doug Marsh is appointed national director. His vision is to “Take Royal Rangers to the iPod® Generation” by helping current and potential leaders enjoy ministerial success by mentoring future men, offering them and their churches a simple and flexible yet robust and relevant ministry to boys and young men.