SALT LAKE CITY — Timothy Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad, and Glenn Beck, founder of Mercury One's The Nazarene Fund, announced a new partnership Monday with the goal to earn $25 million to save more slaves on a worldwide scale.
"It's horrifying what is happening. ... We know that we need to go global. We are announcing tonight that we save slaves all around the world with special emphasis on the Middle East. In the next 12 months we would like to raise $25 million dollars," Beck said in a video posted on GlennBeck.com. "We are going to cut the heart out of darkness. We will change the world."
As part of the announcement, Beck named Ballard as the new CEO of The Nazarene Fund, which seeks to liberate captive Christians and other religious minorities held in terrorist-controlled, hostile regions in the Middle East and Africa. Ballard will also continue as CEO of O.U.R. because their missions are similar, he said in an email to the Deseret News.
"Many of these victims are trafficked for sex, labor and organ harvesting. O.U.R. focuses on child sex trafficking throughout the rest of the world. Since the missions are different, but similar enough, with plenty of overlap, Glenn Beck asked me to take over the Nazarene Fund," Ballard said in the email. "The organizations will run as separate entities, but will work together and leverage each other’s capabilities. As CEO of both, I can ensure the alliance is solid."
Beck, a media personality and best-selling author, founded the nonprofit charity Mercury One in 2011. This organization established The Nazarene Fund in 2015 to give humanitarian aid and educational assistance to Christians in the Middle East. To date, The Nazarene Fund has raised more than $17.5 million and helped to rescue thousands, according to thenazarenefund.org.
"Trafficking and terror are only growing throughout the world. Millions of captive men, women and children need to be liberated. By expanding our mission, to include running two separate organizations with similar but different missions and specialities, we will be able to rescue and restore more people," Ballard said. "And that’s always the first and last question we ask ourselves: 'How can we rescue and restore more suffering people?' This is the answer.”
In timing with the partnership announcement, O.U.R. is selling prints of a new painting by artist Jon McNaughton titled, "Underground Railroad." The painting, commissioned and designed by the Slave Stealer Foundation, depicts men and women, including Ballard and his wife, carrying rescued children along a railroad with historic abolitionists on one side (Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and others) and modern abolitionists such as entrepreneur and life coach Tony Robbins, TV personality Montel Williams, actor Ashton Kutcher, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Rep. Mia Love, among others.
One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to fight human trafficking and promote liberty, Ballard said.
For more information on the painting and how to order, visit ourpainting.org.
Last May, Beck and Ballard traveled to Thailand, the Deseret News reported.
In addition to his work with O.U.R., Ballard is a best-selling author of several books related to American history.