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BCH launches new campaign

July 8, 2014

By Blake Ragsdale

Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) is taking steps to ensure North Carolina children and families can count on the 128-year-old ministry well into the future. In the presence of its staunchest supporters, BCH publically launched a multi-million dollar capital campaign during a kick-off event held June 10 at Mills Home
in Thomasville.

Dubbed Sharing Hope…Changing Lives, the initiative is BCH’s first capital campaign since 1997.

“We intentionally named the campaign after our vision statement,” said BCH president Michael C. Blackwell. The campaign is the third in his 31-year tenure. “In only four words, this statement shares the powerful heartbeat of the campaign as well as the ministry of Baptist Children’s Homes itself.”

The financial goal for Sharing Hope...Changing Lives, which ends in January 2016, is $21,300,000. The funding allows BCH to meet a variety of immediate needs while strengthening its foundation for the future. 

“Longevity is an integral part of the BCH legacy – a legacy that began in 1885,” Blackwell explained. “It’s the highest honor, and greatest responsibility, to ensure that the ministry will continue to be a haven of hope for children and families who turn to us now – and in generations to come.”

Attendees at the kick-off were introduced to Blackwell’s campaign leadership team which includes BCH’s executive vice president, development and communications, Brenda Gray and Cargill Associates senior vice president Paul Blevins. Blevins was a part of BCH’s two previous capital campaigns. BCH trustee Jerry Jordan and his wife Evon from Oakboro are campaign co-chairs. Paul Broyhill, Chairman of the Broyhill Family Foundation in Lenoir, serves as honorary chair. The family founded Broyhill Furniture and provided the funding to establish BCH’s Broyhill Home in Clyde.

“The Broyhill Family Foundation gives to many wonderful causes, but BCH is a favorite and primary interest,” Broyhill said to attendees. “There are children in situations so difficult they are almost impossible for us to realize.”

The new campaign will impact BCH’s locations in 19 North Carolina communities. Brenda Gray shared the three areas of focus with the group: renovations at BCH’s statewide locations, ongoing operational support, and building the organization’s endowment.

“Without this campaign, children will go unserved – boys and girls who need to know they are precious to God,” Brenda Gray shared. “We must sustain this ministry for the children of today and of tomorrow.”

The silent phase of Sharing Hope…Changing Lives started in June 2013 with the approval of BCH’s Board of Trustees. Nine divisions comprise the campaign. The state is sectioned into six geographical divisions. The final three include BCH alumni, staff members and trustees.

The staff and trustee campaigns were launched at the start of the silent phase. Other gifts were also solicited privately from corporations, foundations and other statewide supporters in preparation for the public launch.

“I’m excited to report that 100% of BCH’s trustees have given to the campaign, and they have exceeded their $4 million goal,” Gray said. “Also, BCH staff members have more than doubled their $100,000 goal by giving $212,000.”

Jerry Jordan said the goal was to raise 60% of the total funds prior to the public phase.

“Today, we have raised 62% of our goal for a total of $13,288,333,” Jordan shared as the room erupted in applause. “We can’t believe we’re at this point. We are so blessed. We’re off to a good start.”

The six geographic and alumni campaigns are launching as a part of the public phase. The Western, Eastern and Triad divisions began with the public kick-off. The Triangle, Sandhills and Metrolina divisions start in the first quarter of 2015. The alumni campaign, chaired by Kennedy Home alum Jim Dyer and Mills Home alum Clifton Lambreth, begins in August.

“Some of you in this room today contributed to BCH when I was a resident at Kennedy Home from 1954-62,” Dyer said. “And I thank you.”

Blackwell is energized by the initial swell of support, but recognizes that the hardest work lies ahead.

“The remainder of the campaign will take effort and participation from all our supporters,” Blackwell said. “Not only are we charged with caring for the daily needs of our residents, but we have to maintain the homes we provide for them. As with any home, roofs need replacing. Heating and air units must be repaired.

“We must be able to provide for our children, and by the grace of God we will.”

For more information about participating in the Sharing Hope…Changing Lives capital campaign, contact Brenda Gray at 336-474-1230 or

Visit involved/campaign