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Charity & Children continues to tell story after 130 years

Fireworks celebrate 130 years of telling the story

Fireworks grab people’s attention.

The whistles and bangs reverberate as sparkles of light and color fill the sky. The aerial choreography heightens anticipation for what is to come or signals a hooray for a job well done. This year marks the 130th anniversary of Charity & Children. It is an occasion to celebrate.

Baptist Children’s Homes founder John Haymes Mills knew the value of telling a story. So in 1887, two years after establishing Mills Home, he launched C&C with the inaugural July 14 issue. Mills, who served as the first editor, understood the power of communications and placed C&C at the center of his friend-building strategy.

Over the years, Charity & Children has remained true to “telling the story” and has been received like a beloved letter from home, held by literally millions of hands. Its words have brought tears to the eyes of its readers, instilled and shored up convictions of advocacy for the weak while moving hearts to lend their prayers and finances for the cause of hurting children.

While print is fading into a wave of digital information that seems to flood every nook and cranny of life, C&C is an anomaly that is welcomed in mailboxes and its reach grows, increasing readership yearly. In 1935, C&C was the most widely read and quoted Baptist paper east of the Mississippi River. Its 30,000 circulation was second only to the Texas Baptist Standard’s 41,000 among Southern Baptist publications. Today, as many as 62,000 C&Cs are printed and distributed every issue with subscriber numbers surpassing those of three of the top five newspapers in the state. In North Carolina, the publication has few rivals among religious news journals. It is a publication rooted in the hearts of Baptists.

BCH president/CEO and C&C publisher Michael C. Blackwell says the name Charity & Children “is a symbol in and of itself. More people get the name of the paper correct than they do the name of the parent organization.” Blackwell says C&C has connected friends to BCH’s mission since the first word appeared in print.

“I am the voice...Charity & Children” was printed on the back of the paper’s historic centennial issue. The first paragraph reads: “I am Charity & Children, the official voice of the Baptist Children’s Homes, serving to keep thousands of North Carolina Baptists informed about their work in child care – inspiring, as well as informing, and reporting needs, as well as progress.” This work continues...

Share in the celebration of 130 years. Let the rockets resound in a colorful display. Join the great cloud of witnesses, past and present. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving. Anticipate the stories, read the words, respond, and give God the glory!

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