Skip to main content

Farm to Faith

03/19/2013 09:55AM ● Published by Gary VanDeWalker

 

Meet Mercy Mount Shasta's Chaplain, Ray Horst

Story by Gary VanDeWalker Photo by Taryn Burkleo

Beneath the snowy peaks of Colorado, a young boy moved his tractor over farm fields, transforming them for harvest. But Ray Horst’s childhood ambition to be a farmer changed directions. Today, he works in the shadow of the snow-capped Cascades, walking the corridors of Mercy Medical Center of Mount Shasta as chaplain.

“I was born and raised on a farm,” Horst says. “I never planned to go to college or leave the farm.” But others saw more in the young farm boy and began to push him in other directions. “Others knew I could be more outgoing,” he says. “I became a judge at a Future Farmers of America event. Next I found myself in college, and then in Germany serving with the military.”

The speakers overhead come to life in the hospital as Horst says the morning prayer. His duties will take him throughout the community in a day. He will make rounds to encourage patients, interface with staff and provide transportation. He even takes time to build a ramp to help a patient who needs better access into her home. With a contagious enthusiasm, Horst touches lives.

“I returned from Germany, no longer a farm boy,” Horst says. His time off touring eight European countries gained him a larger view of the world. An FFA teacher encouraged him to be involved with Youth for Christ, leading to seminary and a church plant in Nebraska. In 1985, the Evangelical Free Church in Northern California called him to serve, and Horst moved his family to Mount Shasta.

In 2005, Horst served on the advisory board of the hospital. Three part-time chaplains covered the hospital and a vacancy opened. Horst volunteered, received training, and began working 10 hours a week. His hours grew. He went to additional training at Rogue Valley Medical in Medford. As his skill and personality began to show exceptional abilities, his job became full-time.

“My job as chaplain is different from most chaplains,” Horst says. “I recognized there were many other needs I could meet and created a niche for myself using my gifts.” Horst leads financial counseling seminars, counsels the dying, phones distressed patients and even leads memorial services. His hours are anytime and anywhere. When called at odd hours for emergencies, his response is always, “I’ll be there.”

“We are a spiritually based hospital, with the goal of treating the whole person,” Horst says. “I’m able to listen patients, communicate with their doctors and make sure people are heard.”

Talk to anyone who works with the chaplain and they will tell you he brings a unique atmosphere to the hospital. He sings in a barbershop quartet, singing for patients on Valentine’s Day. He rides motorcycles with the Christian Motorcycle Association. He finds places for pets, hotel rooms for travelers and counsels staff whenever they need him.

The farm boy has never disappeared. In his yard are three antique tractors Horst has restored. During his training at Rogue Valley, he met an instructor who owned farm land. “I lease 600 acres in Tulelake and grow oats and barley. It’s my spring vacation,” Horst says.

The chaplain instigates smiles and exhibits a can-do attitude and a deep spirituality that brings comfort and reassures. The boy who once plowed fields now tills the soils of hearts. Sister Anne Chester, who oversees Horst, says, “If all of us had the same attitude, we would transform the world.”

In Print, Community profile gary vandewalker Taryn Burkleo Farm to Faith Meet Mercy Mount Shasta's Captain, Ray Horst Christian Motorcycle Association Anne Chester
  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/19/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Vine and Dine for Parks

    10/19/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    The Redding Parks Foundation invites you to come and enjoy Vine and Dine at Redding's City Hall. ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Vinyl Night

    10/19/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Vinyl Night! Join us downtown the first and third Thursday of every month. We are going to ditch ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/23/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/24/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/25/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • The Reformation at 500

    10/25/2017
    10:20AM

    Simpson University invites the community to join students, faculty and staff for a four-day comme...


  • Shasta College 2017 Human Library Event

    10/25/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    This event is sponsored by the Office of Student Equity and Inclusion; come to the library and we...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    10/25/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesdays and get $3 off a growler fill! Come by the brewery a...


  • Kids' Turn

    10/25/2017
    06:00PM — 07:30PM

    Kids' Turn is a six week workshop held one night a week that offers divorce education and childre...


  • Joan Osborne

    10/25/2017
    07:30PM

    Joan Osborne has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the great voices of her generation --bo...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/19/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Vine and Dine for Parks

    10/19/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    The Redding Parks Foundation invites you to come and enjoy Vine and Dine at Redding's City Hall. ...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Vinyl Night

    10/19/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Vinyl Night! Join us downtown the first and third Thursday of every month. We are going to ditch ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/20/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    10/20/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • REDDING-Come see the dramatic theatrical event of the Fall season! This October Shasta College is...


  • The Wildcat Granfondo

    10/21/2017
    07:30AM — 07:00PM

    The GranFondo has its roots in Italy and loosely translates to "big ride." Riders ranging from el...


  • Return of the Salmon Festival

    10/21/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Free event for the whole family including children’s activities, natural resource information, an...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/21/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Art & Soul Festival

    10/21/2017
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    JOIN US for the 2017 Art and Soul Festival at the Center for Spiritual Living 1905 Hartnell Ave...


  • Enjoy Makerie

    10/21/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Meet us at the Makerie! Where hand-selected artists, musicians, farmers and craftsmen will share ...


  • The ASPCA & Subaru have teamed up to help find homes for shelter animals! If you’ve been wanting ...


  • Congressional District 1 Candidate “Meet & Greet” Location: Community Room Shasta - County P...


  • The Alyssa Araiza Wings of Angels Organization 16th Annual Spaghetti Feed Fundraiser is hosted ea...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    10/21/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • French-Italian-Jewish-Greek-German-Irish Andy Ooley, Bob Cosindas, Pat Karch


  • Off the Charts with Pat Karch

    10/21/2017
    06:30PM — 09:00PM

    Music featuring ; French-Italian-Jewish-Greek-German-Irish And paired with delicious wine!


  • REDDING-Come see the dramatic theatrical event of the Fall season! This October Shasta College is...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/22/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Beginning Encaustic Workshop

    10/22/2017
    11:00AM — 04:00PM

    On Saturday and Sunday, October 21 & 22, Mt. Shasta artist Cathy Valentine will teach a workshop ...


  • Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser For Krystal Marie

    10/22/2017
    05:00PM — 06:30PM

    Please join us on Sunday, October 22nd from 5-6:30pm as we host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for...


  • REDDING-Come see the dramatic theatrical event of the Fall season! This October Shasta College is...


  • Travis Tritt

    10/22/2017
    07:30PM

    Country soul singer Travis Tritt was one of the leading new country singers of the '90s, blending...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/23/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/24/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/25/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • The Reformation at 500

    10/25/2017
    10:20AM

    Simpson University invites the community to join students, faculty and staff for a four-day comme...


  • Shasta College 2017 Human Library Event

    10/25/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    This event is sponsored by the Office of Student Equity and Inclusion; come to the library and we...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    10/25/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesdays and get $3 off a growler fill! Come by the brewery a...


  • Kids' Turn

    10/25/2017
    06:00PM — 07:30PM

    Kids' Turn is a six week workshop held one night a week that offers divorce education and childre...


  • Joan Osborne

    10/25/2017
    07:30PM

    Joan Osborne has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the great voices of her generation --bo...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/26/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • The Reformation at 500

    10/26/2017
    10:20AM

    Simpson University invites the community to join students, faculty and staff for a four-day comme...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/27/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • The Reformation at 500

    10/27/2017
    10:20AM

    Simpson University invites the community to join students, faculty and staff for a four-day comme...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    10/27/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Fly Fishing Film Tour

    10/27/2017
    06:00PM — 10:00PM

    The world's best fly fishing films are coming to the Cascade Theater on Friday, October 27. The ...


  • Nocturnes: Nightfall Illuminated

    10/27/2017
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival continues its seventh season with a program celebratin...


  • Search for the Spawning Salmon

    10/28/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join Department of Fish & Wildlife biologist Matt Johnson for a walk along Clear Creek to observe...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/28/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • The Reformation at 500

    10/28/2017
    10:20AM

    Simpson University invites the community to join students, faculty and staff for a four-day comme...


  • Halloween Goat Yoga Party

    10/28/2017
    04:00PM

    Come celebrate Halloween with costumed-goats, yoga, costume contests (including a dress-a-goat co...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    10/28/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • GNRM HARVEST OF HOPE

    10/28/2017
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    SPONSOR A TABLE EARLY AS THEY GO FAST FOR THE GOOD NEWS RESCUE MISSION’S NINTH ANNUAL HARVEST O...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    10/29/2017
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Silver Screen Classics Party

    10/29/2017
    06:00PM

    A Movie, A Party, An Experience! Party at 6:00pm, Film at 7:30pm Combine your love of film w...


Enter to Win!

 
Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living
Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors