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The founders of Mainstay Farm posing in front of a large fir tree from the Christmas tree farm at Mainstay.

our beginning


We moved to Cleburne in 1989 because of a desire to live and raise our family in the country. We named our place Mainstay Farm based on the Scripture, 1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”


An older photo of a father holding his daughter in the snow.


We began growing Christmas trees six months later. It was at a Spring Christmas Tree Field Day that we learned that a mainstay is actually a bamboo stake used in the Christmas tree industry to hold a seedling up straight: it marks the seedling; it protects the seedlings roots from wind-waller; it gives the seedling stability, disciplining it so it will become what it is intended to be.

For our family, the Living God is the Mainstay of our lives. He is doing these same things for us. Encouragement to you wherever you are with your relationship with God. We are glad you are here.

— Jim and Marianna Wilson

The Mainstay Farm welcome sign hanging off an old muscle car sticking out of the ground.


We found our farm one Sunday afternoon while driving the country roads near Burleson. At the time Marianna and I only had one daughter, Carmen, 22 months old. We lived in Fort Worth but wanted to raise our family in the country connected with agriculture; this was our dream. When we came upon the place it was overgrown, had poor fences and a small farmhouse that needed attention. It was part of an estate vacant since 1985, formerly a peanut farm. Marianna wanted it the moment she saw it. But me?….. I loved our home in Fort Worth and was already comfortable with life as it was going. A self-inflicted financial stretch would be painful, I thought.

This was a serious decision and we earnestly prayed about it. Within three days we put a contract on the place contingent on the sale of our Fort Worth home. 

Ninety days later it had not sold, so we asked the landowner if he would extend again for 90 more days. “OK, just once,” he agreed. At the end of the 90 days, nothing changed. Marianna’s dad, an attorney-farmer in Tennessee, had an idea: call the seller and ask if he would set the closing for a firm date in 60 days?… “because we would have money by that time.” So that’s what we did. With this hard deadline, we asked God daily to bring a family who needed our home to come look at it. As our closing date came close, it happened. A family gave us a contract and and both closings happened within days of each other. After closing, we met the family and found out our home was a huge answer to their prayer as well.

An older photo of an older gentlemen with four younger girls at Mainstay during Family Pumpkin Days for Young Life.


Mainstay Farm is a financial supporter of Young Life Ministries. It is a great ministry and we’d like you to know about it.

One Saturday during our Family Pumpkin Days is always Young Life Day, during which 20% of the gate proceeds go to Young Life Ministries. Young Life (YL) is a Christian evangelical mission reaching high school students on many campuses in all 50 states and 40 foreign countries. Fort Worth YL has over 70 volunteer leaders and 6 full-time staff members. The ministry was started by Jim Rayburn in 1939, who as a church youth minister saw the high school as a mission field. Rayburn believed “Every teenager has the right to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” He felt that if kids weren’t coming to their local church, someone must go to them.

The Wilson family gives to Young Life because we feel an urgency for kids to trust Jesus Christ as their personal savior. We know that Jesus is relevant for every day life.

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