November 1st, 2013, Melanie McNiff and her husband, Patrick, moved back to her childhood roots in the heart of Illinois, where she has not lived for nearly forty years. She and her husband raised their family of four sons and a daughter in southern California. Three of their bachelor sons still live in Orange County, CA, while their other two children moved to the Midwest and are raising the McNiff’s beautiful six grandchildren. Melanie’s parents, sisters and extended family are all in central Illinois. Melanie answered the Lord’s call to come serve as the President/CEO of Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service and has been focusing on redeveloping that ministry for the last 20 months.
Melanie has been involved in Executive Leadership of faith-based organizations, both in the Non-Profit and Church communities. She has a Master’s in Ministry, focusing on Church Leadership, Evangelism and Church Planting and is an ordained pastor in the Christian Church.
Her professional ministry began with Crossroads Christian Church, a mega-church of 7500 members in Corona, California, where she served as the Pastor of their Disability Ministry, “Beyond Limits.” This ministry provided one of the largest and most comprehensive church-based programs to meet the needs of families and individuals who live with a Disability.
Prior to coming to Peoria, Illinois, Melanie and her husband, Pat, co-directed a faith-based residential 142-acre working Equestrian ranch for 25 men in recovery, which was owned and operated by the Orange County Rescue Mission. The men lived on the Ranch for a year minimum while they worked on the ranch and gained sobriety and were discipled into a newly transformed life.
Melanie worked for the Orange County Rescue Mission for nearly 11 years, and prior to the ranch served as the Director of Development supporting a $15 million annual budget for the faith-based non-profit which serves homeless men, women and children.
Melanie loves the Lord and His people and finds great joy in assisting others to recognize their potential through the Lord and helping them to gain that Hope and Vision. She hopes that she will live the rest of her life enthusiastically in service of the Lord.