Children’s Homes dedicates facility
J. Blake Ragsdale, BCH Communications
December 13, 2010

Children’s Homes dedicates facility

Children’s Homes dedicates facility
J. Blake Ragsdale, BCH Communications
December 13, 2010

Bitter wind and melting snow did not deter 250 of Baptist

Children’s Homes of North Carolina’s (BCH) friends from gathering Dec. 5 to

celebrate the opening of Britton Ministries, a new group home in Ahoskie to

serve as many as nine boys and girls who are at risk for abuse or neglect.

The new home is a dream shared by friends in the northeast

that dates back to BCH’s origins in 1885, when the first BCH resident in

Thomasville came from that area.

BCH photo

BCH President Michael C. Blackwell cuts the ribbon to dedicate Britton Ministries facility in Ahoskie, the final public celebration in BCH’s 125th anniversary observance.

“It may sound cliché, but the building of Britton Ministries

has been a labor of love between BCH and North Carolina Baptists in Hertford

County and the surrounding area,” said BCH president Michael C. Blackwell.

“This home has been on the hearts and in the minds of our supporters and

friends for well more than a decade.”

According to Blackwell, BCH has come “full circle” by

building Britton Ministries in 2010, the year of BCH’s 125th anniversary. In

early 1885, churches comprising the Chowan Baptist Association in Ahoskie,

known today as the West Chowan Baptist Association, agreed to give a $1,250

donation towards establishing BCH’s first location in Thomasville. Baptists

from the same association gave to found Britton Ministries.

“The church and community support we have received has been

unparalleled,” Blackwell said. “It makes a remarkable difference when you have

such a strong relationship in place. Going forward, that continued relationship

will be very meaningful to the children who will come to call Britton

Ministries ‘home.’”

Ahoskie resident Mary Presson became the very first BCH

resident on Nov. 11, 1885. John Mitchell, pastor of Ahoskie Baptist Church (now

First Baptist), escorted nine-year-old Mary by train to her new home at the

Thomasville Baptist Orphanage.

“It is a God thing that we dedicate Britton Ministries

on December 5 the day after Mary Presson’s birthday and the day before the

anniversary of her death,” said Mary Anne Britton Croom, whose family donated

the property. “I hope the children who come here find hope, love, joy and

peace. This is holy land on which we stand.”