our Founder 

Meet Steve Ware 

In 2010, Steve Ware founded Rivers Edge Retreat to serve homeless and underprivileged children in the Columbia area.  Though a successful businessman in the community, he identified with the campers more than most could. Decades before, he was just like them. In his younger days, he went through 30 foster homes himself, including 14 homes in the span of one tumultuous year.  Most of us can only imagine how terrifying and overwhelming that experience must be for a young teen, but Steve remembers exactly what it was like to be an underserved child. Despite this humble beginning, Steve managed to succeed academically, and even land himself a basketball scholarship at T.T.U.  Setting himself a personal goal to be a millionaire by his thirtieth birthday, Steve missed the mark by just one year, finding great success in owning car dealerships and many other ventures.

Despite this outward success, something was still missing, and he knew it was nothing that money could buy. At this point in his life, he heard the Holy Spirit’s calling his name and accepted Jesus as his personal Savior, finding the meaning his life was searching for.  Turning his focus from business to helping children who need it, Steve founded Rivers Edge Retreat.

Steve, now happily married to Kathy Ware, an elementary school teacher at Lake Murray Elementary School, is raising his four beautiful daughters and one son.  As well as serving the community at Rivers Edge Retreat, he also donates his time at the Rotary Club of South Carolina and United States Global Leadership Coalition based in Washington D.C.