About Us

About the Ranch

The ranch is a beautiful 85 acre piece of property 30 minutes outside of St. Louis County. It is nestled in the rolling hills of Lincoln County with picturesque rock-bottom creek, mature trees, and a large lake. The property was first purchased by Bryan and Debbie Short in the spring of 1999.  They founded El Shaddai Ranch as a non profit, interdenominational, Christian camp ministry committed to furthering the Gospel of Christ among youth and families. For 17 years they sacrificially served as the executive directors, growing the ministry to where it is today.  

In 2017, after much prayer and consideration, Bryan and Deborah Short, along with the El Shaddai Ranch Ministries board, decided it is time to pass the baton onto the next generation.  They asked Jason Zellmer, a church planter and previous board member, to assume executive leadership of the ministry. On February 1st of 2017, the ranch came under new ownership as Redemption Ranch.

With a passion for serving the community and developing leaders, Jason and Heather Zellmer brought a fresh vision for the next generation of ministry.  In addition to carrying on legacy of evangelizing youth through God’s creation, the leadership of Redemption Ranch have plans to expand the ministry by offering family camps, marriage retreats, leadership development, and large scale outreach events.  By partnering with local church and other non-profit organizations, they hope to share the message of Christ’ redeeming love to the greater St. Louis community.

Screen Shot 2019-07-12 at 9.47.20 AM.png

Our team is committed by showing Christ’ redeeming love by providing exceptional hospitality and creating top-notch experiences in the beauty of God’s creation.  

Screen Shot 2019-07-12 at 9.47.26 AM.png

Our mission as a non-profit, interdenominational ministry is to strengthen families, develop leaders, and serve the greater St. Louis community.


Meet our Team

Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 3.37.05 PM.png

Executive Directors

Jason and Heather began their work in ministry by volunteering with a small group of teenagers at Riverside Community Church in 2001.  As the ministry began to grow, Jason became a full time youth pastor as he completed his Bachelor’s degree at Lindenwood University.  

In 2004, the Zellmers joined Marc and Heidi Sikma to help plant Matthias’ Lot Church.  During his time at Matthias, Jason served on the board of the El Shaddai Ranch and started an event called Rally at the Ranch.  Youth and families from all across the St. Louis region would gather to worship in the beauty of God’s creation. Jason also founded a ministry called St. Louis Family Camp, a Christian camp designed to strengthen the entire family.

In the fall of 2009 the Zellmers were sent from Matthias’ Lot Church to plant Peine Ridge Church in Wentzville.  Jason was also hired to a part-time role as a church planting catalyst for the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association.  Through identifying, assessing and coaching new church planters, the Zellmers have partnered to plant several new churches across the St. Louis region.  

In February of 2017 Jason and Heather began a new adventure as Directors of Redemption Ranch.  Jason serves as the Executive Director, providing vision and leadership to the team. Heather is the Co-Director and handles all things administrative.  The Zellmers live at the ranch with their five children – Benjamin, Olivia, Julia, Isaac and Jayda, and a dog named Knox. They look forward to greeting you on your next visit!


Our Board of Directors

Director of Spiritual Formation


Director of Business & Finance


Director of Property Development


Director of Accounting




Kristen Pearson
Wedding Coordinator


Nicole Dryer
Wedding Coordinator


Julie Wallace
Equine Program Director


Paul Wallace
Facilities & Maintenance Director