Children’s Home keeps the faith as it helps the poor
Trustees hear quarterly report
By Allen Palmeri
April 19, 2005
BRIDGETON – The Missouri Baptist Children’s Home (MBCH) has lost the equivalent of three full-time staff positions in development/fund raising in the last 15 months, and another $626,000 is needed to finish a building project, but Children’s Home officials remain upbeat.
Bob Springate, chief operations officer, MBCH Foundation, Lee’s Summit, told board members April 26 that the situation is indeed serious but not beyond the realm of God’s providence.
“We need you to pray for our development staff as well as our development efforts,” Springate said.
Upon entering the Bridgeton campus, the first thing a visitor sees is the spiritual life center with its steeple and cross proclaiming it to be a church-like center. It exists as a reminder that the Children’s Home, which operates in the secular arena, served 5,551 consumers in 2004. Although funds are needed to finish the spiritual life center, the MBCH did have a clean audit report and is very optimistic about the future.
“I appreciate their passion to help children in need,” said Joe Ulveling, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) family ministries specialist, who attended his first MBCH board meeting as the official MBC representative. “The kids are hurt and abused, and they’re bringing them in and they’re loving on them. Their staff is just caring for them, and they’re sharing Jesus with them. So they’re helping them physically, mentally and spiritually.”
MBCH President Bob Kenison said that progress on tax credit legislation in the Missouri General Assembly this year has been encouraging. Tax credits are part of the long-term financial solution for the Children’s Home, he said, and the Republican majority in the Missouri General Assembly has been working on a bill that could, if signed into law by Gov. Matt Blunt, result in more money being donated to organizations like the Children’s Home. Kenison has lobbied representatives and senators for five years concerning the importance of this issue, and now bills are finally moving.
“This is really an issue that addresses the state’s need as well,” Kenison said. “The state has these children. They need to take care of them. They really don’t have the general revenue to expend. With tax credits, we’re able to let the donor determine where they want their money to go.”
At one point in his report to the board, Kenison held up a print version of The Pathway and pointed to an article about the MBC Nominating Committee seeking names to fill vacancies on boards. Kenison encouraged MBCH board members to participate in this process.
“We need some people in some of these areas,” he said. “The Nominating Committee likes to listen to somebody besides me.”
Kenison also said that if and when the MBC is ready to relocate and/or build a new building, it would be in the best interest of both if some space was provided in the new building for MBCH.
“This would give more of a centralization of our mission with the (Missouri Baptist) Convention,” he said.