On Tuesday, October 27th, at 11:00 a.m., friends, vendors, dignitaries, city officials (including the Mayor), and the Shelby Chamber of Commerce president, gathered at Hallelujah Acres for the official opening of the villages of Hallelujah Acres. SHELBY STAR ARTICLE (LOCAL NEWSPAPER) SHELBY --- George Malkmus testifies that changing his diet changed his life, in fact, probably saved it way back in 1976. Diagnosed with colon cancer, he shunned meat, embraced carrot juice and immersed himself in studying what the Bible has to say about health. He kept on studying. Years later, to share more widely what he’d learned, he opened a little 11-feet wide with enough seats for 16 customers, vegetarian café in Tennessee in 1992. In 1997 the former pastor moved his ministry to Cleveland County, opened Hallelujah Acres on South Post Road to a skeptical community. Now his organization trains health ministers around the globe, 9,000 so far, and is preparing for the November 12 grand opening of Hallelujah Acres Canada. This week, his focus is closer to home, celebrating the opening of Phase 1 of the Villages of Hallelujah Acres, a 150-acre community based on principles of the healthy lifestyle he touts worldwide. "We do not believe there is a similar community in the world today," Malkmus told well-wishers at Tuesday’s ribbon cutting. "It’s unique and has everything to encourage healthy living and Hallelujah Acres teachings of the principles of how to live healthy." The plan includes estate and garden sites, condominiums, a fitness center and Olympic-sized swimming pool, walking trails, bike paths and a community organic garden. After that, developers are looking toward a 1,000-seat amphitheater, a conference center and hotel, restaurant and shopping. Paul Malkmus, the founder’s son, said, "These things start with just ideas and conversations, hand-written, chicken-scratched notes, but completing the dream takes much work and dedication." He publicly thanked collaborators and vendors who have been involved in the project so far. "This economy is not the most favorable to development and builders," but the contributors and the venture’s financial backers showed no hesitation, he said. "People have faith in this," he said. "I actually know two people who have already sold their homes and moved to Shelby just waiting for us to build the condos." Questions: 866-295-0230 | On the Web: www.villagesofhacres.com.