Nearly a dozen members of a suspended Baylor University fraternity recently volunteered for a woman hoping to open a ranch-style treatment center for people suffering from depression.

Debbie Monahan, owner of Monahan Ranch in Robinson, praised the members of Phi Delta Theta for their continued service at the facility. She hopes to open the facility by summer 2017.

“Sometimes it feels like it is just God and I, but the No. 1 group that has stepped forward is this group from Baylor University,” Monahan said.

On March 3, Phi Delta Theta president Jacob Anderson, 20, was arrested by Waco police on a sexual assault charge stemming from an alleged rape at a fraternity party Feb. 21.

The next day, Baylor spokeswoman Tonya Lewis said in a press release that Phi Delta Theta has been “suspended from all organizational activities until a thorough investigation into the recent charges against the fraternity for underage drinking and sexual assault is completed.”

The national chapter removed Anderson from the fraternity.

The members who volunteered March 18 in Robinson said they were acting as a group of individual Baylor students, not as fraternity members. Several arrived to the ranch wearing Phi Delta Theta shirts, but Monahan gave them Monahan Ranch T-shirts to wear. Monahan said she was unaware of Anderson’s arrest and the fraternity’s suspension.

Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said it is likely that the members, acting as individuals, determined it was important to fulfill their commitment to the ranch, which started before the fraternity was suspended.

“Baylor’s Department of Student Activities and national leadership of the fraternity continue to work with members of that suspended organization to assist them in understanding and fully complying with terms and conditions of the current suspension,” Fogleman said.

Adam Livchak, 19, of Frisco, said he reached out to Monahan months ago after reading her posting on a Baylor service website. Livchak said he signed up for the first volunteer session through the website early last semester, but every outing since has been organized directly through Monahan.

“After going out there the first weekend, I learned Monahan Ranch Ministry was a place where those overcoming depression could do so in a natural way,” Livchak said. “Friends and family who have learned more of Debbie and her mission from the Lord have strived to give their best efforts in helping make this dream a reality.”

The group placed a large cross constructed by the owners of Don’s Hardware near the ranch entrance and has continued landscaping work and other projects needed at the property.

Monahan said she plans to build a structure where guests can spend six weeks with fully trained mental health professionals and religious leaders to offer strong support. She said she knows the ranch will have an impact.

“This is going to be the only one in the country,” Monahan said. “I already have a waiting list of 200 people, but it is up to God when the time will be right.”

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