Why we exist: The reason behind the ministry

Melissa's Story

It has been a dream of mine for the past thirty years to have a place of rest and relief dedicated to those who serve in full-time ministry.
I have been friends with many pastors and missionaries in my lifetime. In those years, I have seen the burdens they have had to bear as our leaders in the faith and wanted to allow them to be served as they take care of so many others. One of my dearest friends, Rose Phambu, is a missionary to the Congo. She shared with me the heartbreaking story of one of her villagers, Maddi, whom she has helped for many years. When Maddi was a teenager she was taken into the woods and raped by a group of young men, resulting in pregnancy. 

Maddi had the baby and was blessed to be married years later and have two more children. Not long ago, her husband passed away and she was left to raise three young children on her own. My friend’s ministry was there to help Maddi navigate the coming years. Seeing the pain and anguish my friend Rose experienced in helping Maddi through these difficult circumstances gave me a picture of the tremendous burdens she carries as a missionary.

This is only one story of the sacrifice of our friends in ministry. When I saw the pain that so many pastors and missionaries experience while tending to others, I felt a life calling to create a place where they could receive complimentary ministry and restoration.

Our Team

Melissa L. Smith


Melissa L. Smith is the president of Sanctuary Farms and is the licensed massage therapist on staff.

With a servant’s heart, she was a youth leader for over 30 years including numerous mission trips in both the U.S.A. and abroad. She is proficient in event planning, catering, and interior design. Her greatest desire is to use her God-given gifts to be the hands and feet of Jesus to others. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, horseback riding, and just about anything in the great outdoors.

Alicia Roberts


Alicia Roberts has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling and is the Pastoral Counselor on staff.

Alicia also enjoys serving the homeless community, planning and implementing events at her church, and serving in children’s ministry, including developing a teaching curriculum, baking, making crafts, and traveling. She loves God and helping people along their journey of life.

Jodi Barlass


Jodi Barlass is the board-certified esthetician on staff.

She serves her clients by encouraging them to find healthy perceptions of themselves.

Jodi is a mother of three, previously served as a youth minister, and founded and directed Agape Pregnancy Center – a non-profit that offered testing, ultra-sound, free licensed counseling, post-abortive classes as well as parenting classes.

She has experienced firsthand the huge burnout rate of those who are in ministry and because of that has a great passion to help bring rest and joy to those who spend all their lives giving their all to others in need.

Megan Roark

Megan is our certified personal trainer and nutritional coach. Megan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion and Wellness 

and for the past ten years has had the distinct privilege of working in the non-profit/special needs field. She has touched the lives of many families whose children have struggled with developmental disabilities as an ABA Therapist. She currently volunteers at her church, helping adults with special needs, which brings her great joy.

Board of Directors

Michael Humphrey

Michael Humphrey is married father of two children, has a master’s degree in business and administration  and achieved the 

Moral Compass Award in 2014, 2015 and 2016.  He is an Operation’s Manager for Amazon, Inc. Michael served 9 years active duty in the United States Marine Corps and is currently serving as a reservist since 2013. He has served as Head Youth Leader for Nashville Life Church for 6 years and is a board member of It’s the Champs Ministries. He enjoys family time and working out.

Jessica L. Smith

Jessica Smith is a Vice President of Sales for a patient engagement company working with large health systems across the United States. She is a 

motivated relationship management professional who believes in building team and culture through the whole person. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Communications from the University of Georgia. She has served in her community, her church, and in missions at home and abroad, working with Samaritan’s Purse, Wellspring Living, Adventures in Missions and International China Concern.   She is a young, vibrant leader in her community and church who loves to travel, hike, box, bake and help other peoples’ dreams become reality.

Blake C. Smith

Blake C. Smith is a newly married sales manager for a large health care system.  He is a realtor and has worked grip and electric in the film industry and is 

co-founder of a commercial and residential construction company. He has served with Adventures in Missions, Men of Valor, as a youth leader, and is partnered with non-profits across various countries.  He is interested in extreme sports, traveling abroad, being politically active and investing in local ministries, especially with underprivileged young people.  He is motivated by the opportunity to learn new skills and take on new challenges.

Ziomara Stokes

Ziomara “ZEE” Stokes has a GOD – given gift and passion in life to connect, encourage and build relationships with each person she meets. She is a licensed 

Dental Hygienist  who has specialized in Cosmetic Dentistry for over 30 years. She is a graduate from Pensacola State College and Life Christian University where she obtained a second degree in Theology/Pre-Marital Counseling. She became a Marketplace Chaplain and served as a Chaplain Leader in Corporate Organizations for a couple years. She and her husband Chris got married in June 1991 and both served as Associate and Youth Pastors while they lived in Daytona Beach, Florida. Since moving to Nashville, Zee has served in church ministry as a Life Group Leader, Hospitality Welcome Coordinator, Teacher, Pastors Leaders Group, and a Mentor to many young women. Her greatest desire is to help others breakthrough barriers in life to reach their greatest potential. She enjoys reading, cooking, traveling to the beach, and spending time with Chris and her family.

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