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P.O. Box 130, 1 Highland Drive
Flesherton, ON N0C 1E0
Phone: (519) 924-2810
Fax: (519) 924-3614
Melville Stevens

Melville Charles Stevens

Thursday, March 12th, 1936 - Saturday, August 8th, 2020
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Obituary

Stevens; Melville Charles

With great thankfulness to God for the life of Mel Stevens. Mel was promoted to glory at Headwaters Health Care Centre on August 8, 2020. He gave his life to the Lord through servant hood in music, sports, and Christian camping. He leaves behind his wife Betty and children Tim(Ann), Michele, Steven(Christine), Lee(Mark), Sheryl, and Corrie(Jim). Mel was a true disciple and example of Jesus’ teachings to his grandchildren Dane(Katie), Matthew, Michael, Janet, Rachel, Abby, Aly(James), Madi, Dustin, Cody, Ella, Katie, Luke, Grace, Elly, and Ty, as well as his great-grandchildren Lochlan and Elowen. Mel will be truly missed by his brother Dave(Darlene) Stevens. Predeceased by his wife Janet, granddaughter Layne, brother Ron and parents Allin and Bernice.
A financial gift to Teen Ranch or Teen Ranch Ministries will be gratefully received. You can give directly to Teen Ranch at www.teenranch.com/give


Recording of the funeral can be found at https://youtu.be/IV2kh5DB5HQ

Video tribute from friends of Mel can be found at https://youtu.be/R_Ylq00xXNk

Additional Video and photographic tribute to Mel can be found at https://youtu.be/M4T26xw_KHw

As a young man at Word of Life Camp, Mel Stevens gave his life fully to Jesus Christ telling God he would go anywhere, live under any circumstances and do whatever God would have him do. In 1960, as a member of the gospel music group The King’s Men, Mel and his wife Janet packed up their infant child and used their life savings to buy a ticket to Australia to help establish a Christian camp called Teen Ranch. After 6 years as director of Teen Ranch Australia; Mel, Janet, their now 3 children, and only $10 moved back to Canada. Through God’s miraculous provision, they purchased 150 acres just south of Orangeville in Caledon, with an old barn and dilapidated farmhouse to build Teen Ranch Canada. They held their first and full Western Riding camp in 1967 with just 16 campers and soon expanded the program to include English Riding and Hockey. In time, God gave Mel the vision to build an ice arena to host their program and so began the long construction process. Despite many challenges, major setbacks, and financial hardships, Mel was steadfast in his faith that God will provide. Eventually, Teen Ranch opened the Ice Corral, featuring an Olympic sized ice pad. Many NHL, OHL, Jr., and international teams have hosted training camps there along with thousands of kids. Many have heard the gospel and come to know Jesus Christ through sports.

Mel continued to play and tour with The King’s Men into the 1970’s, leading him to Indonesia where he felt called to help start Teen Ranch Indonesia to support and reach kids living on the streets of Jakarta. From that first move to Australia, several independent Teen Ranch camps and dozens of other Christian camps all around the world have been established.

Abundantly gifted in his ability to foster relationships, lead passionately and follow God fearlessly, Mel was a chaplain for the Toronto Argonauts for 13 years, the Toronto Blue Jays for several years and spent many hours with some players of the Toronto Maple Leafs being a friend to and praying with them. He was known for his gift of leather-bound bibles, embossed with each player’s name, allowing him to build relationships with many professional athletes in hockey, football, baseball, and horseback riding. In the horse world, Mel rodeoed in Australia and Ontario as a tie-down roper and steer wrestler, hosting Cowboy Chapel at the Rodeo on Sunday Morning for many years. Many camp young people attended Bible studies in their cities throughout the school year led by Mel and other Teen Ranch staff.

With decades of hard work, faithfulness, and the help of many volunteers, Teen Ranch grew and expanded into the peaceful oasis that is enjoyed by many - a summer sports camp for youth, a retreat center for weekend getaways, and an outdoor education facility for school groups. Mel’s God-given vision has been instrumental in pointing thousands of people to faith in Christ by coming to know Jesus on a personal level. Mel’s unwavering faith and willingness to follow God’s calling through fear, uncertainty, trials, and tribulations have left a legacy of a true and faithful servant. In lieu of flowers, a financial gift to Teen Ranch or Teen Ranch Ministries will be gratefully received. Details can be found at teenranch.com/give.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Thursday, August 13th, 2020 | 11:00am
    When
    Thursday, August 13th, 2020 11:00am
    Notes
    To respect the social distancing guidelines currently in place funeral attendance is limited to invitation only. A virtual tribute and live-stream service will be offered on Thursday, August 13 beginning with a photo tribute, the story of Teen Ranch and accomplishment highlights at 10 am followed by the funeral service at 11 am.
    Officiant
    Bubby Stapleton
  • Interment

    Location
    Forest Lawn Cemetery, Orangeville
    Address
    Cemetery Road
    ORANGEVILLE, ON
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Joanne & Corey Neilson

Posted at 07:14pm
Memories, we loved you, we still love you & we are so grateful for the life we have now - because of you. Rest in eternal peace Mel, you earned it xx

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TS

Ted Seres

Posted at 09:37am
I attended Teen Ranch the very first year it opened. One bunkhouse, half for guys the other half for girls. No hot water so I experienced my first cold shower. Mel taught me my first memory verse at campfire. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2Tim 3:16
B

Bob Burnside

Posted at 03:46pm
Thanks to the Stevens family for sharing Mel with the community at large over so many years. He was reliable ever present friend to many , like Jesus within him. Many lives have been positively changed because of his efforts and faithfulness. It has been a great privilege to know Mel Stevens .

Thanks Mel for being a light and salt in our world.

Bob and Nancy Burnside
TH

Tony Hall

Posted at 10:08am
Campfires will always be a favourite memory. They always came alive when Mel was there...with his Tuba (or was it a Trumbone ?) Im sure he played both... those songs served me well through my teens and to this day they still guide me. All three of my kids know the classics: The King and I, Beloved, I keep falling in Love with Him, Little By Little, Come to the Waters (always the last pre-alter call song...) Im sure my other friends from the 80's could add to this list. Mel did not die with his music still in him - something we should all take note of. He spent it well on so many of us. That's Mel to me... a man who spent all he had on each day. He taught me the value of hard work, doing it over to get it right...He also showed me compassion when I was given the boot during a rebellious time in my life. He never closed the door on me - like so many of us do to one another. He showed me what Grace looks like. It's Love really. Unconditional Love - like the good book says: " Love keeps no record of wrong". I saw him living that out. I also saw him get hurt by people and yet love them anyways. He was probably the toughest Christian I have ever met (next to his son Tim:)...you never wanted to try and throw that guy in the horse pond - unless you thought a black eye was cool...he was tough - but he was also very soft. Sounds a lot like Jesus to me. This is what our world needs more of!
Today my hat goes off to you Mel (and not because I'm in the dining hall :). Thank you for being my friend and for following God will all your heart, soul and mind. Looking forward to seeing you again someday - maybe we can Jam with Jesus around a heavenly campfire!:)
Tony Hall.
 
C

Corrie ensom Posted at 10:56am

Such An amazing message. Thank you Tony
OC

Ornella Camilleri

Posted at 05:08pm
My deepest condolences to the entire Stevens family. Mel will be deeply missed but never forgotten as his vision, love & faithfulness to God lives on in the wonderful work Teen Ranch is yet to do in the community. It lives on in the many lives he touched during his time on earth. It lives on in the love he had for God, his family, children, grandchildren, friends & fellow man. It lives on in our hearts, our minds & in our memories. He is gone but never forgotten. This poem has always resonated with me & I dedicate it to Mel & the Stevens family.

Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
By Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
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