BCH breaks ground in Ahoskie
    May 5 2010 by Blake Ragsdale, BCH Communications

    AHOSKIE — Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina (BCH) broke ground April 25 for a new group home in Ahoskie.

    Named Britton Ministries, the home will provide residential services for up to nine children.

    Before nearly 200 guests packing St. Johns Baptist Church, Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn said, “Your vision and dedication to establish a home in this area is to be commended. Children deserve to be able to share in every good thing life offers.”

    BCH photo

    Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina leaders break ground on a new group home in Ahoskie.

    BCH President Michael C. Blackwell said the groundbreaking marked a “full circle” for BCH, which traces its historic ties to the area to early 1885 with the Chowan Baptist Association in Ahoskie, known today as the West Chowan Baptist Association.

    During that time, area churches that comprised the association agreed to give $1,250 towards establishing BCH’s first location in Thomasville. Chowan was the first Baptist association to contribute.

    Later that year on Nov. 11, John Mitchell, pastor of Ahoskie Baptist Church (now First Baptist), boarded a train with nine-year-old Mary Presson of Hertford County. Mitchell escorted the girl on a 200-mile journey to her new home in Thomasville. Presson became the first child ever admitted into BCH’s care and Nov. 11 is considered the official date of BCH’s anniversary.

    Today, the church’s efforts to assist with Britton Ministries draw similar parallels to BCH beginnings. The morning of the groundbreaking, Blackwell recounted Presson and Mitchell’s historic trip at First Baptist Church in Ahoskie.

    At the end of the service, Pastor Daniel Glaze presented Blackwell with a check from the church for the Ahoskie-based home.

    “It’s astounding to witness churches in this area pledge their support for the new group home,” Blackwell explained. “Their faithful and sacrificial support of BCH is just as it was 125 years earlier.” Connaritsa Baptist Church in Aulander recently contributed $10,000, a substantial amount for the small congregation and the largest contribution in the church’s history.

    “Connaritsa has always been a supporter of Baptist Children’s Homes even though its ministries were away from us,” said John Tayloe, deacon chair at Connaritsa.

    “Once we became aware of BCH’s plans to build a home in our community we knew we needed to be supportive.”

    BCH looks to complete its $780,000 fundraising campaign for Britton Ministries soon and hopes to have the home built early next year.

    “We are so grateful to the Britton family as well as our fellow Baptists and community friends for making the dream of this much-needed home a reality,” Blackwell said.

    “I can think of no better way to celebrate Baptist Children’s Homes’ 125th anniversary than to establish Britton Ministries and offer hope and healing to children and families in northeastern North Carolina.”

    Since 1885, Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina has helped children and families. BCH began with one campus, Mills Home in Thomasville, but now provides services in 18 communities across the state.  

    Blackwell on road
    Blackwell spoke with a crowd at the annual Woman’s Missionary Union of North Carolina meeting on April 16-18.

    He pointed out that leader Ruby Fulbright “can be as soft as velvet” and “tough as nails.”

    Blackwell and the Fulbrights were in seminary together at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in the 1960s. Blackwell thanked women of the WMU-NC because of the “many things we’ve done together. Women have been … truly the heart of (BCH).”

    Blackwell shared one story about the power of the WMU-NC.

    In 1988 Food Lion’s leaders offered to give a percentage of receipts to the Baptist Children’s Homes. WMU got the word out about the challenge, and Food Lion had to give a check for $64,000 to BCH. 

    (EDITOR’S NOTE — Ragsdale is director of communications for BCH. BR Assistant Managing Editor Dianna L. Cagle contributed to this report.)
    5/5/2010 7:31:00 AM by Blake Ragsdale, BCH Communications | with 1 comments

Brent Hobbs
I was in the area this morning so I drove by and was glad to see construction vehicles working to prepare for the building. I hope this will be an effective ministry in our area.
5/5/2010 4:09:42 PM

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