Children’s Homes growth reflects needs
J. Blake Ragsdale, BCH Communications
November 01, 2010

Children’s Homes growth reflects needs

Children’s Homes growth reflects needs
J. Blake Ragsdale, BCH Communications
November 01, 2010

Baptist Children’s Homes

(BCH) began with a single campus in 1885. Since then, the children’s homes has

not only evolved from its orphanage roots, but has multiplied its outreach

across the state.

“Throughout the decades, BCH

has strived to always remain vibrant and vital,” said BCH President Michael C.


“In the early 1900’s it

became apparent that the needs of North Carolina children and families could

not be adequately served through one location.”

Under the watch of longtime

BCH general manager Martin Luther Kesler, the children’s homes received a

1,200-acre farm and residential home located in Kinston. It became Kennedy

Home, named after benefactors, William Lafayette and Emily Kennedy, and was

BCH’s first expansion of its services.

Today, BCH has expanded into

18 North Carolina communities stretching its residential network from the

mountains to the coast.

“We consider the entire

state our mission field,” Blackwell explains.

“North Carolina children and

families face daunting daily challenges.

“We not only have to be

prepared to meet the variety of needs, but we have to be able to meet the needs

where they are.”

With the establishment of

Britton Ministries, a new group home in Ahoskie for as many as nine boys and

girls, BCH has a physical presence in all areas of the state.

“The broadness of our

outreach still comes as a surprise to many of our constituents,” Blackwell


“Though we work hard to

communicate the scope of the ministry, often our friends only identify with the

BCH location in their area. People are amazed to learn just how much we offer.”

BCH’s child care network

includes four residential campuses, four group homes, two wilderness camps for

at-risk boys and girls, a residential ranch, three five-star Weekday Education

centers, and a home for single, teenage mother and their babies.

The agency also operates

nine group homes for developmentally disabled adults.

In 2011-2012, BCH looks to

add two additional group homes in Raleigh as a part of its Developmental

Disabilities Ministry.

Related stories

BCH celebrates rich history — 125 years

Guest column by Michael Blackwell: There’s still a place for children’s homes: Don’t let anyone fool you