Marian Center History

Robert and Barbara Smith Marian Center FoundersThe Marian Center began in the year 1991, after our foundress, Barbara Jean Smith, returned from a Pilgrimage in Europe.

She was so touched by the Holiness of the Marian Shrine she had visited, that she emptied her suitcase and filled it with religious gifts, rosaries, Bibles, and prayer books.  She was inflamed with a desire to ‘set souls on fire for love of God’.  It always saddened her that most people did not know how REAL GOD WAS, how much HE LOVED US, and that HIS MOTHER HERSELF wanted souls to pray and love God, and come back to Him and to His Church.

The Marian Center continued to grow from the basement of the Smith’s home in Vantage View.  In 1994, one evening before going to rest, quite providentially, Barbara opened the Scriptures to the passage of the Gospel of St. Mark, Chapter 10, entitled “The Rich Young Man.”  Upon hearing the words of Scripture, “Go sell what you have, give to the poor, and follow me…,” Barbara received what she believed to be an interior call to found a bigger Center, a place where God would invite souls to experience His love and Grace, and to draw them into a life of Faith and holiness.

Go SellSo after much searching, a local realtor brought the Smiths out to the property here in Joy Valley.  Up until that time had been the grounds of the Joy Valley Christian Medical Center Inc., a counseling/ medical Center owned by a panel of faithful, protestant doctors.  After having been shown the property, to the great surprise of the realtor, who had thought the grounds were too much for the Smiths, Barbara instantly knew this was where God wanted her Center of Faith.

The blue barn tht set on the property. Seeing this, Barbara knew that Our Blessed Mother had sent her down the drive.

The blue barn that set on the property in 1994. Seeing this, Barbara knew that Our Blessed Mother had sent her down the drive.

Barb was adamant, that down to the tile of the Kitchen floor in the Medical Center, she had “seen this place in a dream.”

There was the problem of the finances. These doctors had been offered cash value for the prime real estate of 40 acres in peaceful Joy Valley.  Barb and Bob could only offer a third of the money up front and a land-contract arrangement deal.  The situation did not look hopeful.  Still, Barbara was persistent.

Dr. Patton had felt that God had purposes for the land. After hearing Barbara’s plea that God had called her here, and after his own prayer and discernment, the doctor surprisingly turned down the full cash offer and accepted Bob and Barb’s meager offer comprised of the sales of the Smith’s house, boat, and cabin.

The Doctor had always felt that God had a plan for his Joy Valley Center.  Now, that plan would be realized through an unlikely, yet persistent woman of Faith, Barbara Smith.

The arrangement seemed so ‘Heavenly planned’ that the sign out front, had only needed one word to be changed, from Joy Valley Christian MEDICAL Center to Joy Valley Christian MARIAN Center.

It seemed very significant that the location be in Joy Valley, as the Church has always proclaimed the Blessed Virgin Mary as the ‘Cause of our Joy’.  After all, She had brought Jesus to the world through her “yes” to God.

At the end of the day, Mary had found a home in which to educate, reclaim and intercede for Her children, and Barbara had founded a Ministry.  The Smith’s coincidentally, or rather providentially, would end up moving in to the Joy Valley Property on March 19, 1994, the Feast of the Patronage of St. Joseph in the Church.

Truly the Center had been founded on the Holy Family, and it would become a Center for Faith and Family.