On October 16, Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) houseparents Betty and Will Porter received the prestigious Catherine Hershey Houseparent of the Year Award at the annual Coalition on Residential Excellence (CORE) Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.
When I received the notice from CORE CEO Don Forrester asking for nominations for the annual award, I immediately thought of the Porters. After conferring with BCH Statewide Director, Child/Residential Services, Linda Morgan, a team worked quickly to submit the Porter’s nomination. Information was compiled that reflected all the reasons that the Porters were outstanding candidates – even in the face of stiff national competition.
I was thrilled when notification arrived stating that the Porters were to be the recipients of this year’s houseparent of the year award.
It was an honor to travel with Betty and Will to the awards event. I can’t tell you how proud I was to stand up in front an audience from all over the nation – many who are nationally recognized experts in the field –– and introduce the Porters. It was humbling to see the long list of names that had been nominated and for our own Will and Betty to have soared to become this year’s brightest.
But no one was more thrilled or humbled than the Porters themselves.
“Wow,” Betty says. “What an honor –– we just appreciate it so much. It was incredible to be in such great company that night – all stars in service to children and families.”
The Porters have served as BCH houseparents at Broyhill Home in Clyde for 31 years. As part of BCH’s commitment to quality service, houseparents benefit from a vast array of trainings. Over the past ten years, the training has focused on how we help children deal with trauma. The training has helped staff as they work closely, and on a daily basis, meeting the needs of hurting children and families. Through the commitment of those like the Porters, BCH perpetuates a culture of excellence, support and love.
“Being a houseparent can be hard work,” Betty admits. “We committed our all – our grown sons were just boys when we began at Broyhill. To be at this place now in service has been amazing.”
In BCH’s residential program, the people who have been called to be houseparents are truly missionaries. They present examples and are literally the hands and feet of Jesus. Many of the children in care have never heard or experienced the unconditional love of a Mighty Savior who longs to know them. These missionaries (aka houseparents) have the wonderful privilege of telling the old, old story.
“Being in God’s will and serving Him in all that we do” Betty says, “and then feeling His favor in this way is truly humbling.”
Article Written By Keith Henry, Chief Operating Officer