The Journey of Royal Oak Ministries
In 2006, Brienne Robertson found herself with a nine year-old daughter and twin six-month old boys. Despite the hardship of unexpectedly being a single mother, she was blessed to have an education, a job, and her own home. Recognizing this was not a common scenario for many women, it became her heart's purpose to help other single mothers. How many of these women are left despondent - without money, home, jobs, or hope? There must be a safe and secure place for single mothers to better learn the necessary skills in parenting, finances, and relationship-building tools. In addition, this vision had to include the opportunity to further (or complete) their education so that prospective future jobs would provide better security, and a sense of accomplishment. More importantly, a place where they could thrive in their God-given talents and dreams.
The first step for this vision would be to find a location for these single mothers - one that could provide on-site training, safe care for their children, and possible short-term transitional housing during the process. Without exception for five years, almost every vacant building and acreage in Titusville was investigated as a potential ministry site. Key elements had to include: safe neighborhood, access to bus routes or walking distance to shopping, access to schools, abundant room for outdoor physical exercise, land to develop the training facility, and a church for spiritual growth.
In the fall of 2011, an active pursuit of an abandoned church seemed to be the perfect location for this vision and met all the 'criteria'. Disappointed, the property was sold to another party. In hindsight, the property did not provide enough room for the future ministry God wanted. Why would God lead Brienne on this journey, only to end in disappointment? The summer of 2012 revealed the answer when Brienne's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer - and then she received the same diagnosis in 2013. God in His infinite wisdom knew what lay ahead for her family and the timing was not right – at least right now.
Using this unexpected 'pause' in the pursuit of a property, Brienne realized that knowledge and experience would be required to develop this ministry with excellence. Determined to lead by example and expertise, Brienne completed her Master's in Education and Doctorate of Education through Liberty University, all the while teaching full-time as a middle school teacher. As community involvement was equally important, Brienne assisted Park Avenue Baptist Church with two "No Limits" Nick Vujici crusades, two high profile concerts (Pianist Dino Kartsonakis and Annie Moses Band), and outdoor services at Sand Point Park. In 2015 - 2016, she was an administrator for "40 Days of Generosity" that raised funds to build the Titusville Splash Pad, and over $42,0000 for an emergency family shelter. In response to the increased attacks on law enforcement, "Lives on the Line" was formed in 2016 under the leadership of Pastor Sandy Robertson (her father), which she now operates as an annual rally to honor our First Responders.
In the fall of 2016, Brienne's then 18-year old daughter, rented a self-sufficiency apartment in the Royal Oak Lodge, a building adjacent to the abandoned Royal Oak Golf & Country Club. Finding that the units were something similar to what she envisioned for single mothers, Brienne began praying about this building for my vision. As clear as if speaking with a friend, a voice whispered, "This is it". Brienne felt like Moses looking across to the Promised Land! The large country club buildings had offices, a banquet hall, overflow rooms, café, pro-shop, commercial size kitchen and more! An Olympic size pool and bath houses were once the boast of the community. Over 149 acres would provide more than enough space to fulfill a grand vision! The ministry name was appropriately called Royal Oak Ministries, confident that this was where the future ministry would reside.
Acknowledging that only by God's miraculous hand would this property become hers, Brienne was thrilled to enter an agreement with the owner in exchange for covering the cost of his current legal fees, find him new legal counsel who would be successful in winning the lawsuit, and assume the responsibility of all the liens. Spring of 2018 brought ROM (Royal Oak Ministries) closer to fruition, as the attorneys were successful in their defense in the case against owner. Unfortunately, once the property was free of a legal battle, the owner reneged on his agreement with ROM. After eight months of trying to negotiate with the owner, ROM hired well-known attorney and entered into a new lawsuit to enforce the rights to the property in January 2020. As of January 2022, there are several strategic legal negotiations in the works, and ROM is fully believing that God if faithful to complete that which He has started.
Fully restored to good health and remarried to an incredible and supportive husband, Brienne is currently involved in other ministries and organizations: the worship leader at New Covenant Fellowship, board member for Hope for North Brevard, member of the North Brevard Coalition of Human Services, chaplain for the Titusville Police Department and Titusville Fire Department, and new Executive Board member for the Titusville Chamber of Commerce - each which have helped establish her credibility as a leader in this community. Brienne is confident that with a well-balanced leadership team, ROM will be a successful ministry of restoration, hope and transformation.
With God, all things are possible!
Visionary and Founder of Royal Oak Ministries