Bruce & Beverly Murch
Covenant Farm Puppies is Bruce & Beverly Murch, married for 38 years, parents of nine children and grandparents of 20 grandchildren as of 2019. Nearly all of our children and grandchildren live in our community, and several of them have had a part in the breeding business over the years since we started in 2007.
We strive to run our business according to Biblical principles of honesty, integrity, and transparency. We have a network of over 2500 families on Facebook, of which 400+ actually own a dog they got from us. We love having an ongoing, long-term relationsip with all of our dog owners via social media.
We met in 1979 in Bible college in upstate New York, where Beverly was born and raised. Bruce was born in Connecticut, and his ancestors go back to the Mayflower. We have lived here in Virginia for 20 years now, and consider ourselves Virginians. Lord willing, we will die and be buried here, surrounded by our huge family.
Bruce & Bev started out in full-time ministry almost immediately after marriage, becoming group-home parents for problem kids in Ontario, Canada. Bruce was associate pastor in several churches during the 1980s in Georgia and Massachusetts, until he founded Project Rescue of Western Mass. in 1989, an anti-abortion, street-level ministry that involved temporarily closing abortuaries, and having sidewalk counselors on site to offer help and alternatives to women and girls who showed up and could not get in. That resulted in being either in court or in jail for the next 6 years. Beverly was the rock during those years, the constant in the Murch Family. Many hundreds of unborn babies were saved, some of whom we held in our arms later.
Beginning in 2000, shortly after our move to Virginia in late 1999, our entire family undertook street ministry in tours all over the country with other like-minded Christians. Our homeschooled children grew up sharing their faith on college campuses, in rallies and on street corners, and did so until they got to the age where they started getting full-time jobs and starting families of their own.
Wanting to be good stewards of the 112 acres God entrusted to us, we embarked on a modest farming operation. We raised beef cattle and had a couple of milk cows, along with a pair of guardian donkeys and a couple of mares. It was a lot of work, and it was great for our kids. For 15 years, they had a vast play yard, along with farm animals and hard work. Our land's fencing was over 20 years old, and we were constantly chasing our cows back home, sometimes driving them home over two miles. Once the dog breeding was well underway, it was obvious to us that the income from the farm animals in a year was easily dwarfed by by just a couple of litters. Once we sold off all the cattle, and adopted out the donkeys and horses though, we never stopped missing the spring calves playing in the field, and the donkeys teasing for carrot or sweet feed.
In 2007, a ministry friend of ours, Dennis Green of Old Dominion Labradors, donated a puppy to us to help us get a small breeding program started, in order to supplement our income for ministry work. Not wanting to wait until the puppy (Shelby of Covenant Farm) was old enough to breed, we purchased a breeding-age chocolate female Lab (Liberty of Covenant Farm), and used Denny's stud for our first litter of purebred Labs! Liberty just passed away in October 2018 at 13 years old.
Covenant Farm with its beautiful 112 acres, and at least a half hour away from everything, began to be more work than we could manage as we got older, and all the kids eventually moved out to work and start their own families. In 2016, we made the decision to phase out breeding Labs and Mastiffs altogether, significantly reduce the number of dogs, and breed exclusively Mastadors in the second generation. It took over a year to make the gradual change. We moved to a smaller farm a little closer to town, on a property with two homes, in which some of our family usually lives next door.
We love the breeding business. It is the very best business we have ever been involved with. We have been title examiners, group home parents, owned a printing company, an auto detailing business, and did fine woodworking to supplement income. Never have we had such a fulfilling work as raising healthy puppies of a unique breed for loving families. We continue to follow our puppies and their families throughout the lives of their pets, and sometimes beyond, having established a bond. We are still friends with folks that bought puppies from our very first litter.
The Murch Family in the fall of 2017. Family photos are obsolete every few months! As of March 2019, there are 16 grandchildren and five more to be born this year!