A Shared Vision
Rex and Julianne Buckner, founders of MSR, began pursuing the vision to establish a safe haven for children in the Middle Tennessee area in 2006. Through a time of searching, personal healing, and prayer for the purpose in their own lives, they were drawn to the well-established Big Oak Ranch, a premier children’s home in the South.
A 2005 special featuring Big Oak Ranch on ESPN prompted the Buckners to visit their children’s homes in early 2006, which put the dream in motion. Shortly thereafter, the couple walked away from their professional careers in hope of providing opportunities to struggling children in Tennessee. “We knew there were children out there who just needed to be given a chance in life and saw firsthand the difference we could make,” the Buckners recall of the experience.
The community rallied behind the couple’s efforts, donating materials and thousands of hours of volunteer labor to help build the first two homes. After acquiring 115 acres of rural farmland, a blessing from an anonymous donor, support began to pour in from every corner of the community. Local businesses, churches, professionals, self-employed laborers, and volunteers united for a common goal: helping children in need. The first children were welcomed in April 2009, when construction was completed on the first two homes. MSR plans to continue its growth and reach more children in the years to come.