The Baptist Home has been a sanctity of life ministry since 1913. Although many focus on abortion as the principal sanctity of life concern, Baptists affirm “the sanctity of life from conception to natural death,” (BFM2000, Article XV). Consequently, advocating for the aging, serving in a Christlike manner, and providing biblically informed resources for the family and the church relating to aging is our purpose. To do less, would be to fall short of the mandate to honor the aged (Leviticus 19:32).
In writing this inaugural column, I thought it prudent to provide Missouri Baptists an update on “Happenings at the Home.” In April 2019, The Home was formally restored as a ministry of the Missouri Baptist Convention. On behalf of Missouri Baptists, let me say once again, “It is good to be home.” This past April, I was elected as the seventh president of The Home. At this meeting, the board also approved a task force to oversee a process to prepare The Home for a bright future and establish a main office at The Baptist Building in Jefferson City. To date, the task force process has involved over 50 employees of The Home, area pastors, and TBH Executive Committee. In future columns, I look forward to highlighting the work of the task force.
Since early 2020, the leadership of The Home have engaged in focused prayer for our residents and caregivers during this current pandemic. As of this writing, The Home has not experienced any cases of COVID-19.
I would be amiss not to address a few misconceptions about The Baptist Home.
• Misconception One: Residents have to sign over all assets to The Home prior to admission. This common misconception is rooted in the past. There was a time when residents received 100% benevolent care in exchange for 100% of their assets. This is no longer the case.
• Misconception Two: There is a multi-year waiting list to get into The Home. Although this was true in the past, with the addition of campuses in Chillicothe, Ozark and Ashland, the days of endless waits are gone. Depending on the level of care needed, some locations have immediate openings.
• Misconception Three: The Baptist Home only serves Missouri Baptists. There was a time when admission to The Home required MBC membership and a nomination for residency by the local church. Today, the quality care provided by The Home is aimed at serving Missouri Baptists. However, other Christian faiths are welcome at The Home. Consequently, friends or family members who may not be members of Missouri Baptist churches may make application.
There are also several realities that should be reinforced.
• Reality One: The Baptist Home is not a Medicare/Medicaid provider. As a not-for-profit benevolence ministry, The Home serves through a combination of private pay and benevolent care. Benevolence support offsets the cost of care for 70% of the residents requiring assisted care.
• Reality Two: The majority of residents are from Missouri Baptist churches. Although the requirement to be a member of a Missouri Baptist Convention church was lifted in 2006, over 90% of residents are Missouri Baptists.
• Reality Three: The Baptist Home is not just a nursing home! From the luxurious new independent living homes in Ashland to the affordable apartments in Ironton, TBH offers a wide range of senior housing to serve the needs of Missouri Baptists.
For more information about The Home and the growing number of resources available, go to www.thebaptisthome.org or call (866) 454-2709, toll free.