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Cottage Parents Story: The Cummings go from singing in a bar to singing in church

Updated: Mar 29

Scott Cummings usually sports a smile unless he is “pulling your leg” with eyebrows furrowed and a gruff nod. “I’m a cut-up,” he confesses with a chuckle. Scott and Connie Cummings have been Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) cottage parents for 15 years, offering love and care to hundreds of teen boys.

“Every boy who steps through the front door of Drake Cottage is going to be asked three questions,” Scott says with a solemn voice. “The first is, “Ford or Chevy?” The next is, “What is your favorite college basketball team?” And the final is, “What NFL team do you pull for?”

The University of Kentucky blue Ford with the San Francisco 49ers’ bumper sticker sitting in the cottage driveway could offer clues, but the three questions are not meant to have a “right” answer. “Although it never hurts,” Scott says, elfishly admitting there may be an innocuous allusion about sleeping on the porch if an answer is too offensive.

“Scott’s questions are a tool he uses to engage the boys,” Connie says. “He never tires of finding ways of connecting with them.”

While Scott spends time with the teens in the yard, in the shop, or on camping trips, it is the kitchen where the boys meet with Connie. “Boys are always hungry. Many windows into hurts have been opened over freshly baked cookies. It’s a commitment to building relationships that make the difference—relationships that last longer than the time a boy lives in Drake Cottage.”

Connie and Scott could never have imagined they would be cottage parents the night they first met in the parking lot of a community grocery store. Their lives were going in different directions and neither had been saved. The couple blended their families and married.