JEFFERSON CITY – The Baptist Home Corporate office is pleased to announce that as of Jan. 19, 2021, The Baptist Home can operate as Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries. While not a legal name change, the ability to do business as (DBA) Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries will pave the way for expansion into other areas of healthcare, which include hospice initiatives. A newly updated logo, illustrating the name change and replacing “the” with a diamond for each campus, has been designed and will be used in all communications.
The decision to pursue a DBA name change instead of a legal name change was not made lightly. Discussions were held to address increasing concerns that The Baptist Home name no longer adequately represented the growth of the ministry to include four campuses. Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries was a more descriptive and effective way to communicate the presence of multiple campuses. Also, a commitment to faithful stewardship was a factor in making the decision to explore the DBA name change. Registering a legal change would have cost thousands of dollars as compared to only $7, the minimal state fee to register a business name as “doing business as.”
President Rodney Harrison shared, “One of the most common questions since becoming president has been ‘When will the name reflect this ministry has more than one home?’ The new logo reflects this ministry is not just one home. The addition of healthcare ministry is a reflection of our desire to expand into areas such as hospice, which will bring our unique brand of Christlike, compassionate care into the homes of Missouri Baptists if and when that need arises.”
The Baptist Home ministry has assumed many different names over the course of its 108-year history. The Missouri Home for Aged Baptists was the charter name given to this brand-new ministry in 1913 by its founders, Dr. Milford and Mary Riggs. In his writings, Dr. Riggs would later refer to the ministry lovingly as The Home for Aged Baptists or simply the Home.
In what is now referred to as the “darkest day in Baptist Home history,” April 19, 1935, the 175-acre property of The Home was sold on the Iron County Courthouse steps. R.L. Barger, an Episcopalian and partner in Fletcher Barger Ins. Agency, purchased the entire property for $131. On April 25, a group of men and women met at the request of R.L. Barger to discuss the formation of a new corporation to care for the aging members of Baptist churches. Resulting from this meeting was a new name and a new charter for The Home for Aged Baptists which was approved in June 1935. In 1977, the legal name of The Home changed again to The Baptist Home, the same name inscribed on the granite cemetery entrance by founder, Dr. Milford Riggs (The Story of The Baptist Home).
Yet, despite the numerous name changes, the culture of providing quality, Christlike care to the aging has never wavered. Former Administrator and Executive Director of The Baptist Home Ed Goodwin was the first leader to have responsibility for multiple Baptist Home campuses. During the celebration of The Home’s 75th Anniversary, Mr. Goodwin spoke eloquently about the parallels between soldiers and Christians. He said, “Today the battle is against the illness, loneliness and loss experienced by aged warriors in The Baptist Homes. We are accepting the role that has been thrust upon us, to hear and answer the plea of the elderly Baptists in the churches of Missouri for homes in their senior years. It is through God’s help that we are here today, it is through His help that we will stay.” (The Baptist Home, Oct-Nov-Dec, 1988)
And, if history is any indication, the distinctively Christian care provided to the aging under The Baptist Home ministry umbrella is, indeed, here to stay.