Children’s home celebrates relocation

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wendell Davis and the rest of the BereanChildren’s Home board members set out on a mission to bring thechildren’s home from Albany, La., to Lincoln County several yearsago.

    After breaking ground in August 2010 on land donated to the cause,the institution’s first phase of construction is complete and thehome is now ready to open.

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    “Our mission is to serve any child who needs help,” said Davis,president of the board, Friday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for thenew home located on Berea Trail. “And it costs not a dime. There’sno state or federal funds because they tell us too much what todo.”

    Davis said the board members voted years back to relocate fromLouisiana to be closer to its support base of Mt. Olive Church ofChrist in Brookhaven.

    “You can’t really supervise something like this that’s 85 milesaway,” he said, referring to the home in Albany, La., where theprogram started in 1979. “So the board members voted to move a fewyears ago.”

    The non-profit organization receives support from Church of Christchurches locally as well as donations from about 30 states.

    Through its private funds, the organization was able to constructphase one of the new home, which Davis said cost about $1.9million.

    Included in phase one of the project are four separate buildings.An administration building has a reception area, offices for thedirector and counselors, as well as a library with computerstations and a conference area. A cafeteria building will serve asthe dining hall and fellowship area.

    Two other buildings will be the homes for children and houseparents. Each home has eight rooms, a common area and houseparents’ quarters opposite from the children. Each child will havehis or her own room.

    Dollar donations account for most of the organization’s funding forthe project. However, some of the resources used to compose theinstitution were donated in the form of hardwood floors andtelevision sets, according to board member Ronnie Lofton.

    Davis said the funding for phase two of construction will largelycome from the sale of the land in Louisiana no longer in use by theorganization. Because of that, construction can’t start until theland is sold.

    Included in the details of phase two is building two new homes onthe property to house eight children each and bring the totalnumber of children the institution will help to 32. Davis alsohopes to build a gymnasium and a baseball field.

    “We’re hoping to sell the land down there, and that will allow thenew buildings to be built,” Davis said.

    In the meantime, the new children’s home already has a few childrenlined up to come, pending a visit from the Health Department nextweek, Davis reported.

    He and the other board members hope to create an encouragingenvironment where children can “mature spiritually, intellectually,emotionally, socially and physically.”

    Beatrice Allen, who said it made sense to give the land to such aworthy cause, donated 10 acres for the new institution.

    “They (the board) needed a place. Kids needed a place. And I hadthe land,” she explained. “You’d be surprised at the number of kidswho don’t have a home. I see it a lot. It will be a great place forthe area.”

    Children staying at the home will get up every day and eatbreakfast together in the cafeteria, have a prayer and board theschool bus to go to nearby Enterprise Attendance Center.

    “We want these kids to start the day off the right way,” Davissaid. “These new excellent facilities will hopefully be servinglong after I’m gone. And the children in need will be in goodhands.”