Monday, 08 August 2016 13:19

Canaan Land Ministries: Helping Lost and Broken Men Develop Productive and Fruitful Lives

Written by  Laura Bell
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Shortly after the end of the United States’ involvement with the Vietnam War, Mac Gober returned home to the U.S. to try to move on and recover. After serving in a horrific war, he came back to what seemed like a nation of people who were bitter that he even fought in the first place. Mac’s anger and bitterness led him down a road of drug and alcohol addiction to try to remove the feelings of hostility. But God had a bigger idea for Mac. His life was about to take a major turn and he didn’t even know it. In 1974 in San Diego, California, Mac found Jesus Christ.

In an interview with his son, Caleb, he shared that Mac had hit a breaking point and cried out this prayer before God, “Lord, if there is any room left in heaven, please let it be for me.” It was that day and hour that Mac gave his life completely over to the hands of God, bringing him into a life he never would have imagined.

In 1981, Mac and his wife Sandra began ministering to men ranging from ages 18-60. They took in men who were dealing with struggles of any kind. They realized there were people who were struggling so heavily that it had become life altering, and their mission was to spend a year mentoring and teaching them how to get back on their feet.

The ministry grew in ways that were unimaginable, and Mac was in search of extra bunk beds to help house the men coming through searching for help. He drove to a piece of land in Autaugaville, Alabama to buy the beds and noticed that the property the beds were being sold on was for sale. After prayer and petition, Mac knew this land was supposed to be his. He traveled the nation sharing the story and vision for Canaan Land Minis- try. It was within that time that the Lord raised the funds needed to purchase the land. The Gober’s moved the ministry to that 75 acres and began serving so many more people than they could have imag- ined.

As stated on their website: “Judges, district attorneys and probation officers work closely with the staff to help men re-establish their good name. Some men come to Canaan Land as drifters or from broken homes, and others are recommend- ed by pastors or friends. Most of them are battling substance abuse, alcohol or some other form of harmful addiction.”


The Program

There is an 85-100% success rate of the men who graduate and continue to live clean out of the ministry. The first six months after finishing the program, the men are to share accountability with a pas- tor. They are to stay in touch and prove they are choosing to live clean outside of living on site with Canaan Land. When the men first finish the school, they receive a certificate of completion, but if they continue to live clean six months after finishing, they are given a diploma.

“The entire program is totally free to the student and his family. The only responsibility the men have for one year is to get their lives straightened out! Gradu- ates have a healthy and balanced outlook on life. They have the tools to start, de- velop or rekindle relationships in a healthy and respectful manner. They have a firm belief in God and the power of Jesus to direct their lives. For the first time in their lives, many believe in and accept them- selves.” ( 

Pastor Caleb Gober shares the way he has seen the Lord move in Canaan Land in his upbringing with the ministry:


“I started witnessing miracles with these students at a very young age. These men stay an entire year, earn a High School education, a trade, and get grounded in the word of God.  Every year my Dad
(Mac Gober) would have me speak at their graduation and every time I spoke I cried. These men would transform into different people and I knew that only God was capable of such miraculous work.”


In his own words, Caleb described what he felt the vision of Canaan Land Ministries was, “As long as someone has breath in their lungs, they can have a miracle. God’s plan is to deliver us of any addiction, sickness, poverty, anything. Any person who is broken has hope. We truly believe that.”

Mac Gober worked and functioned as a pastor and founder of Canaan Land ministries for 35 years, as well as living a clean life for that time. He went to live with the Lord on May 5, 2014, but the end of his earthly life does not end the continu- ation of Canaan Land Ministries. Sandra is still the active President and Founder and Pastor Caleb is the traveling minister. He spends his time traveling and sharing the glory of God happening in this minis- try. Joshua, also a son of Mac and Sandra, is the on-campus Bible teacher and administrative director. Their sister Rachel Roll is the associate pastor of a local congrega- tion outside Prattville, Alabama.


Canaan Land’s Future

I asked Pastor Caleb what he hoped to see in coming years for Canaan Land Ministries. His response, “I want to grow and expand our ministry, putting a Canaan Land in every state in the United States.

That is our hope-expansion--so that we can reach more men who are struggling to get through life.”  This ministry has given all and above to move and work in the lives of men who are strug- gling with addic- tion.  Their dedica- tion to loving these men to the heart of Jesus is so beauti- ful and well done. Anyone would be able to see that only God is capable of such miraculous work and intervention.

If you have a desire to volunteer with Canaan Land Ministries or consider their program for yourself or a loved one, visit for more information.


Laura Bell is a freelance writer, born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. She enjoys spending time with her husband Cody and finding all reasons to find joy in life!

Last modified on Monday, 08 August 2016 13:41
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