EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Ronald Mackey, vice president of community engagement at Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries.
Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries is in a dynamic growth cycle unlike anytime in our history. In the span of three years, we have grown from four campuses (Arcadia Valley, Chillicothe, Ozark, and Ashland, which is under construction) to eight campuses (adding Smithville, Independence, Adrian, and Vandalia)—with ongoing negotiations to potentially add more campuses. The addition of new campuses does more than just expand our ministry locations to more areas of the state. This expansion will more than double the number of seniors for whom we are providing care. Additionally, this expansion introduces our ministry into the world of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration.
Not only are we adding new campuses, but each of our existing campuses are seeing significant expansion and improvements. At our original campus in Arcadia Valley, we are converting the second and third floors of the Riggs Scott building into senior living space. Both floors are being designed to provide independent living at a very modest price point to meet the needs of a new generation of aging seniors. The third floor will be specifically designated for retired pastors, missionaries, and educators who need a lower level of cost. At our Chillicothe campus, we are adding a 16-bed skilled nursing facility and seeking to create assisted living suites within the current floorplan. At Ozark, we are adding two 12-unit one-bedroom cottages, one of which will be designated as memory care to meet the needs of our residents with memory issues.
Every Baptist Homes campus is seeing significant improvements as we seek to meet the needs of the next generation of aging seniors. To do this, we are embarking upon a new capital campaign to raise the funds necessary for this bold expansion. The Welcome Home campaign is seeking to raise $18 million over the next two years with gifts payable for up to five years. We have been conducting this campaign quietly for the past year and have already raised $4,100,000, or 21%, of the total campaign goal.
In the next several months, you will be hearing about this campaign through our volunteer-led Steering Committee which is comprised of Baptist leaders from across the state. We are prayerfully hopeful that this plan to expand the ministry reach of Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries will be well-received and that God is already preparing you, your family, and your church to join us in this endeavor to provide Christlike care for the aging to more seniors across the state of Missouri.
What can you do? Pray that God will open doors to people and organizations who can support this effort. Pray that God will direct your heart as to how you can participate and support this effort. Finally, pray that Baptist Homes & Healthcare Ministries will be found faithful and worthy of God’s blessings on this effort.