Rachel Meier Peck and Justin Peck Receive Young Alumni of the Year Award

October 11, 2023

Graduates of Houghton University are often well aware of the dramatic and unexpected changes God brings into their lives. These changes often leave alumni grateful for the well-rounded liberal arts education undergirded by deep spiritual development they received at Houghton.

The story of Rachel Meier Peck and Justin Peck, both of the Class of 2013, showcases God’s faithfulness amid extraordinary change. In Rachel and Justin we see two open and willing hearts ready to tackle unexpected and challenging work for the advancement of the Kingdom. Rachel completed a degree in Communication along with a minor in Music and was a member of the East Meets West honors cohort in her first year. Justin entered as a business major with an interest in human resource management.

Justin began his career at Tractor Supply, eventually working in human resources at national headquarters. Rachel spent a few years gaining experience in marketing and public relations before starting her own marketing consulting firm in 2016.  In 2014, Rachel and Justin launched a family farm, Cedar Creek Farms, which they still operate today.

In 2018, everything changed for Rachel and Justin. A chance encounter brought them face to face with the desperate needs of marginalized women in their community in Nashville, Tennessee. They found women, often trapped in abusive situations or abandoned by their families, who were in desperate need of authentic community to provide safety and stability and to help them plan for a brighter future.

What began in 2018 as a ministry to two women has expanded into serving over 250 women in the Nashville region through an outreach now known as 431 Ministries. Rachel serves as the Executive Director of 431, and together with Justin they have grown their ministry to encompass four paid positions and the ownership of their own building. In 2020, Justin left his decade long career with Tractor Supply to take on the position of Director of Operations for 431 Ministries.

This past year Justin and Rachel raised more than $325,000, enabling 431 Ministries to serve women in crisis through long-term mentoring programs, specialized retreats, events designed for single moms, transitional housing for vulnerable women ages 18-21, Bible studies, life skills classes, and a wide variety of supports and services for women in the midst of divorce. Together, Rachel and Justin have taken seriously the scriptural commandment to care for widows and orphans.

Their work is only beginning. In 2023, they’ve set a goal to increase their outreach by over 70%, aiming to minister to the hearts of 431 women over a four-county area in central Tennessee.

For their incredible impact on the lives of women in Nashville and beyond, and for their dedication to Kingdom work, it is our privilege to name Rachel Meier Peck and Justin Peck Houghton University’s Young Alumni of the Year.