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.
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.
Royal Rangers is an activity-based, small-group church ministry for boys in grades K-12 providing “Christlike character formation and servant leadership development for boys and young men in a highly relational and fun environment. A camping theme is at the heart of most activities, along with a merit award system whereby Royal Rangers must demonstrate specific knowledge and abilities. Since 1962, this program developed by Rev. Johnnie Barnes has since spread to churches in over 90 other nations. The uniforms, mottoes, practices and operation borrow heavily from Scouting, but the underlying values are somewhat different. The General Council of the Assemblies of God runs Royal Rangers USA in the United States and Royal Rangers International is an official mission of the council.
Leaders called commanders provide boys direction during a weekly outpost meeting. A strong mentoring relationship is established between commanders and Royal Ranger boys and girls. Weekly meetings and many other activities are designed to develop young people mentally, physically, spiritually and socially.
The Royal Rangers ministry was originally developed with boys in mind. As such, only boys participate in the program within the United States; programs in some other nations allow both boys and girls to participate. The girls-only counterpart program to Royal Rangers within the United States is called Mpact Girls Clubs, formerly Missionettes.
The program includes outdoor adventures through camping, water activities, hiking, rappelling, and mountain climbing, as well as challenging indoor adventures. Opportunities year-round will occur at the outpost, district, or national levels. The top award is the Gold Medal of Achievement.
The Royal Rangers motto is "Ready", meaning "Ready for anything! Ready to work, play, serve, worship, live, and obey God’s Word"