BCH dedicates building
February 8 2002 by Lynn Goswick , BCH Communications

BCH dedicates building | Friday, Feb. 8, 2002

Friday, Feb. 8, 2002

BCH dedicates building

By Lynn Goswick BCH Communications

THOMASVILLE - Administrators at Baptist Children's Homes (BCH) of North Carolina and relatives of William "Red" and Mabel Nolen officially dedicated the newly-renovated and renamed Nolen Administration building at Mills Home Jan. 22.

The renovations were made possible by a gift from the Nolens, a couple from Gastonia with long-time ties to Baptist Children's Homes. When Mabel Hoke Nolen was a young girl, her parents brought her and her sister, Mary, to visit Mills Home.

Michael C. Blackwell, president of BCH, and Mrs. Nolen believe the year was about 1922, two years after the administration building was completed.

"What a joy it is now 80 years later that the building now bears the Nolen name," Blackwell said. "Do not tell me that God is not in the middle of this."

Blackwell commended the Mills administration staff, who worked around the renovations, which began in late October and lasted more than two months.

Jennifer Shore, a former Broyhill Home resident who has returned as a child care worker, said she knows from experience that a child may not remember the first people he or she meets on campus, but the youngster will remember their first impression of the campus and buildings.

"And now the Nolen administration building is going to have implanted a lasting impression" on the children who come to Mills Home, she said.

John Graham, a long-time friend of the Nolens, said he had worked with the couple on several projects, including the preservation of Mrs. Nolen's childhood church in Gastonia and the couple's 1999 gift to BCH to fund a room in the Michael C. Blackwell Cottage on the Mills Home campus.

"Their love of this institution grew out of their faith ... their Baptist faith and also the fact that they never had children themselves."

But Blackwell suggested the couple's gifts gave them honorary parenthood at BCH.

"They probably now have about 2,000 kids," he said. "They really do have children."

"Red" Nolen passed away on Jan. 29, one week after the dedication service.

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2/8/2002 12:00:00 AM by Lynn Goswick , BCH Communications | with 0 comments
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