Testimonials

Individuals and families who appear on this page are willing and eager to speak to prospective parents of Runnymede School students. Please request contact information if interested.

Mr. Brandon was my teacher from March, 2001 until November, 2002 while I was a student at Shelterwood (Doulos Ministries). I was fifteen and in need of great change and direction in my life. While the program I was in offered counseling and safety for my needs as a struggling teen, it was the leadership of Mr. Brandon and his family that changed my life. Mr. Brandon brought the Word of God into my life as a light to guide me out of disobedience and self involvement. He taught me that God truly disciplines those he loves and that his ways are not only right but life giving and full of hope. Although my husband and I live in Texas, and he did not attend Shelterwood as I did, we still consider the Brandon family as wonderful mentors and friends. God used them to take me out of despair and into a life of joy and promise. I could not recommend a more excellent family to partner with in a time of great need and distress. Their method is one of truth and wisdom that is found solely in God’s Word that has set a strong and beautiful foundation for me and my family. Love you guys!

Brittany Lynne S.

Bob Brandon was a teacher of mine 12 years ago where God used him to bring me to repentance and turn from foolish, and immature ways. Not only was he very instrumental in my life then, but as a close friend and mentor he has continued to to be a wonderful example of what a faithful husband, father, and member of Christ’s church should look like. Bob Brandon’s impact as a teacher is powerful. Our family was in crisis-mode when our daughter was a student of Mr. Brandon’s. His teaching was excellent, but it was the character lessons that helped Caitlin the most. As she relates:”Mr. Brandon helped me most by standing his ground on key matters and he knew his principles and never wavered from them. His teaching was stern, everyone knew never to mess around when he was present or in earshot! Yet at the same time you knew if you had a question that was on your mind or needed to talk he was always there to listen and have good advice.” Our family is now reconciled, not only that, but the witness of Christ lived out through Mr. Brandon’s life was a great help in bringing my daughter back to Christ. She is now in a wonderful marriage, and has served as a short-term missionary in Rwanda.

Laurie H.

Bob Brandon served as my former teacher, coach, and mentor. He is a man of incredible courage, faith, integrity, character, and responsibility. In our modern age, where young men are largely undisciplined and emasculated, Bob stands out as a shining example of Christian masculinity. Ten years ago, as a 15 year old boy, Bob Brandon forced me to develop discipline, persistence, and take responsibilty for my actions through rigourous physical fitness training. I arrived under his instruction an average and unmotivated kid. I left his tutelage, a bold and principaled young man. As a varsity football and wrestling athlete in high school, I used the physical dicispline Bob taught me to excel. Afterwards, I channeled the mental strength, which he helped inspire in me to become a distinguished honors graduate student of a very prestigious public university. Whether training in Jujitsu or interning at the White House, I have always held the lessons Bob taught me close to my heart. When I have a son someday, I will want to teach him the same things that Bob Brandon showed me. Any father, who wants his son to be a bold Christian man, to put away childish things, need look no further. Bob Brandon is the epitome of manly strength and virtue. However, be forwarned. Bob is about turning boys into men, which often requires tough love. However, I can promise you that no one will love your son more, nor be more willing to hold him accountable.

C.D.C., Lansdowne, Virginia, Legislative/Communications Specialist, Prison Fellowship Ministries, Managing Partner, Coastal Political Strategies

Bob Brandon has shown a deep, desperate desire to be a godly husband and father, without compromise. His gruff exterior hides a heart that aches to see teens who are mired in their foolishness to throw off folly, and become men of God, the standard bearers of Christ in our time. I look forward to rejoicing in the fruit of the Runnymede School.

Aaron B.

Bob has been not only a very close friend of mine, but early on in our friendship he and his family where a wonderful example of how a family should be. I personally have gained much wisdom from his leadership in my life, and now both my wife and I are very blessed by having their family so close to us. As I witnessed personally how God used Bob in my life when I was in rebellion I have no question to how God can use Bob with his school and the particular objectives he has in how it should be run. I would love to answer any questions you may have.

Justin Boyle

Most believe that if one is characterized as bold, one cannot be humble. To an individual who believes such, I challenge them to have a conversation with Bob Brandon. To sit around his table, to play tag with his children, to watch the glowing joy of his wife, to help him milk his cow or help him kill some chickens. To do so is to be changed. To do so is to be sanctified.

MC, former student

I have known Bob Brandon for the last eleven years and he is by far one of the most influential men in my life. Throughout ones life there will be a cadre of people that shuffle in and out that are used to shape and mold who you are and who you become. There are those who influence you towards foolishness and there will be those who strike something deeper within you that will cause you to want to be better than you currently are. Bob is the latter. I met Bob nearly eleven years ago while he was teaching at Doulos Ministries. I volunteered there as a “Big” or residential care provider for troubled teens after I graduated from college. Doulos would pair the “Bigs” up with other full-time staff. They would be our “go-to-guy” for advice and council. I was assigned to Bob and he would invite me over on my day off each week for great food and fellowship. These days had no counseling structure, but were spontaneous question and answer sessions. I would help him build raised beds or help clear his land of rocks and small cedars. In the process of doing these tasks I would ask how the bible gives direction in raising kids, choosing a career, finding a spouse and a myriad of other topics. He was extremely gracious during these times because he got far less work done and had many late nights as we talked well into the evening. I was not raised in a Christian home and I didn’t become a Christian until I was 19 years old. Due to this I found Bob’s home intriguing. How did a Christian man raise a family and interact with his wife? Bob was kind enough to help me learn this by allowing me to live in his home for 15 months. This time was invaluable as I am now happily married and have a child of my own. Bob, and his wife Susan, continue to be a great resource for Christian living for myself, and my wife as we remain in close contact.

Tracy A. L

It really wasn’t until after we sent Elijah to Runnymede that the most important reasons for doing so came to fore. Stuck in a “can’t see the forest for the trees” condition, Runnymede gave us the time and tools necessary to gain perspective. I would heartily recommend your school to any parents struggling with behavioral issues with their son(s), so long as they were prepared to make the following commitments: • Pray diligently • Examine their own lives; chances are the parents will need to change more than the child! Look in unexpected corners. • Be teachable (I remember thinking, “But we’ve already done that…or read that, and it didn’t work.” Once we were willing to faithfully implement the lessons we were learning under your tutelage, our strides toward a better family life accelerated.) • Make a plan and implement the necessary changes. Practice prior to his return, eliminate bad influences (even if it’s close friends or family), clean out the pantry and the fridge if you have to, and get your family and friends involved with your plan. Anyone who’s not willing to support it may need to be edged out for the sake of your son. Through the prayerful application of lesson materials and looking closely at what the exact differences were between Elijah’s life at Runnymede and his life in our home, we discovered that we had been setting ourselves up for disaster. Yes, we needed to be more consistent with discipline, but that was just one short chapter in our book of change. We’ve changed our schedule, labor, play, schooling hours, diet, and influences. Most importantly, we have re-focused on Christ, remembering that in Him we have our hope. Problems of our lives are but for a moment; our solutions are eternal. Our family is a happy one now, Mr. Brandon. Thank you.

Steve, Jayneen, and Elijah L.

Bob Brandon is a man who intuitively knows your limits and will push you right to the brink without shoving you off the cliff. He’s no military sergeant. He’s not interested in psychological manipulation, but rather the man who knows your potential and genuinely wants you to reach it. And he will do what it takes, cost notwithstanding, for you to achieve the most of who you are physically, intellectually, and emotionally.

M.C., former student

When our son’s behavior turned to running away, hurting himself, damaging property and threatening others, specifically mom, we needed help our community couldn’t provide. Juvenile detention was one option we did not want to consider. Sending our son (10 yrs old) away was the most difficult and heart wrenching decision we had ever made. We feared the “what if’s” (abuse from staff, peers, humility, anything you can imagine…). After visiting Runnymede for a weekend, we knew this was the place for our son to learn to be respectful of himself, others and property. Our son was there for a year and we visited on a monthly basis to observe and be with him. Mr. Brandon and his awesome staff came along side us, through their examples, and mentored us on ways to implement changes in our home for success once our son returned. (We even learned to cook his favorite meal and bake homemade bread!) The Runnymede staff and family members model Christ in how they live and lead. They truly talk it, walk it and live it! The results of this past year for us and our son are almost unbelievable. Our son is no longer on anti-psychotic and anxiety medicine, he is no longer overweight and lazy, he is no longer aimless and restless, and just as remarkable, he no longer uses the fight and flight approach to handling his anger! He has a desire to serve others, God and family and to work toward and accomplish realistic goals (he actually asked if he could buy his own lawn mower to earn money!). There are moments when he tests us and we, as parents, have to do our part to be consistent, firm and fair. We now have the tools and support to do this. Thank you, Bob, for all the follow-up emails! And then there are other moments when our son tells us how much he wants to one day be a mentor at Runnymede! We wholeheartedly recommend Runnymede without reservation!

Kip and Brigitt B.

My wife and I noticed something different about our son when he was about 3 years old. He didn’t seem to respond emotionally to us like our other boys did and as time went on, he became argumentative, defiant, and difficult to discipline. We tried every “discipline tactic” with little success. Over the ensuing 11 years he went through several neuropsychiatric evaluations, saw multiple psychiatrists, went to secular as well as Christian counselors, and went through the whole gamut of medications. He was labeled with an anxiety disorder, childhood depression, ADHD, ODD, OCD and possibly high functioning autism. By the time we made the decision to send him to Runnymede, we could not complete a sentence without our son “exploding”. Dropping him off 900 miles away from home was the hardest, yet best decision that Vicky and I ever made with regards to our son. He went to Runnymede as an angry, confused, unreachable boy. After completing and graduating from the program, he has returned to us as a happy, kind, caring and respectful young man.

Jim and Vicky

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