October 6, 1999

Human welfare work
touched 37,602 children last year

___By Dan Martin
___Texas Baptist Communications
___Texas Baptists are in the hope business.
___Through the four child care institutions affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Texas Baptists brought hope to more than 37,602 children last year
___When parents, step-parents, grandparents, friends and other family are factored in, the BGCT institutions likely touched hundreds of thousands of lives with loving, caring, giving, helping ministries.
___"We celebrate hope," said Homer Hanna, interim president of South Texas Children's Home in Beeville. "We celebrate in a ministry committed to giving hope to individuals and families in crisis."
___Four child care institutions are connected to the BGCT through the Human Welfare Coordinating Board:
___bluebull Baptist Child and Family Services, San Antonio.
___bluebull Buckner Baptist Benevolences Children and Family Services, Dallas.
___bluebull South Texas Children's Home, Beeville.
___bluebull Texas Baptist Children's Home, Round Rock.
___Each ministers in a number of settings around the state.
___Texas Baptists officially entered child care almost 120 years ago. It all started when "Father" R.C. Buckner received the first children and Buckner Orphan's Home was launched in 1880. Buckner was described as "the most loved man in Texas," because of the work he started and his own great character.
___Today, Buckner Baptist Benevolences still operates under the umbrella of the Human Welfare Coordinating Board of the BGCT.
___"Services now often take the form of parenting classes, family counseling, as well as a statewide network of foster care and traditional housing programs," said President Ken Hall.
___Buckner also operates adoption and maternity services, building on a rich history which began as the first official adoption occurred in 1884.
___Buckner has centers in Laredo, Beaumont, Longview, Dallas, Odessa, Lufkin, McAllen, Midland, Amarillo, Lubbock and Burnet.
___Baptist Child & Family Services, based in Beeville, started in 1945 as the Mexican Baptist Children's Home in San Antonio. It now has sites in San Antonio, Tyler, Gonzales and Northern Mexico.
___In addition to residential care, emergency care, foster care, after care, community support and outreach services, Baptist Child & Family Services also operates the innovative Breckenridge Village for mentally challenged people in Tyler.
___Kevin Dinnin is president and CEO.
___South Texas Children's Home began in 1951, when a 637-acre ranch near Beeville was donated for the establishment of a children's home.
___It began operation in 1952, and through the years has provided care for more than 5,800 people on campus and 26,000 off campus.
___South Texas Children' Home has service locations in Beeville, Goliad and Corpus Christi.
___Homer Hanna is interim president.
___Texas Baptist Children's Home in Round Rock also began in the 1950s when a contribution of land and funding gave birth to the multiple service child care agency.
___The ministry touches nearly 2,000 children each year through long-term group residential care, foster family care, single-parent family care, emergency shelter care, community services for at-risk and runaway youth and other types of family assistance.
___In addition to its main campus in Round Rock, near Austin, the institution provides services at Miracle Farm, a 265-acre facility near Brenham.
___Jerry Bradley is executive director.
___These ministries all fall under the umbrella of the BGCT's Human Welfare Coordinating Board, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month.
___In the coming year, gifts to the Texas Baptist Cooperative Program will provide $6.2 million in funding for BGCT human welfare ministries.


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