A Place for the Heart is a non-profit ministry located on 52 acres of land in Sophia, NC. It was founded in 1986 by Ken and Linda Helser when God gave them a vision to create a place where people could come away from the busyness of life and encounter the heart of God. From 1986 to 2000, Ken and Linda stepped out in faith to develop the property. Over time, they began clearing the land, making space for buildings and bunkhouses where people could come and retreat with the Lord.
In 2000, their son Jonathan and his wife Melissa joined the ministry. The four dreamed into the next season of A Place for the Heart together. Their greatest mutual desire was to create moments of authentic encounter between the Lord and every guest who came on the land. They started hosting youth summer camps and retreats, watching transformation take place in peoples’ hearts. This ignited a vision and calling in Jonathan and Melissa to fight for wholeness in the next generation. In 2008 they started a school for young adults called the 18 Inch Journey. The purpose of the school is to empower students in wholehearted living. In the last decade they have hosted over 500 students and guests from all over the world who have encountered God’s transforming power. Jonathan and Melissa are now leading the ministry with over 20 staff working and living on the land. Ken and Linda still reside on the property and enjoy watching the seed they planted over 30 years ago change the lives of the next generation.