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Mills Home Church welcomes first new pastor in three decades

For the first time in three decades, there is a new pastor at Mills Home Baptist Church preaching and ministering to the boys and girls at Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) flagship campus in Thomasville. Luis Quintanar became the pastor at Mills Home Baptist Church during two special installation services in February. The first part took place during the church’s Sunday morning worship service on February 19. The second half was during the mid-week service on Wednesday, February 22 so that all Thomasville area staff members could attend and meet Pastor Luis an his wife Stephanie.

“This is a historic moment for the spiritual center of Mills Home,” says BCH president/CEO Michael C. Blackwell who presided at the service.

“The last time a new pastor came to this congregation was more than 31 years ago when we welcomed Randy Stewart.” Randy Stewart pastored from 1991 until retiring in 2020. His wife Diane, who served in the church alongside Randy, passed away earlier

that same year.

“I appreciate those who have presided here and delivered messages of hope, salvation and forgiveness during this period of interim work,” Blackwell shares. Luis was one of several BCH staff members that filled the pulpit. He and Stephanie began as cottage parents at Mills Home in January 2022. They provided care while modeling the unconditional love of Jesus to the vulnerable boys and girls living at Stokes Cottage.

When Luis filled in at the church services, others in attendance saw something special. “When we started looking for a pastor, we put in a lot of thought and prayer, but it needed to be God’s timing,” says Regina Keener, Director at Mills Home. “Luis filled in one Sunday and a staff member told me he should be our pastor. Then he filled in on a Wednesday and I heard the same thing from another staff member. It all flowed from there.” The next step began with a knock at the Quintanar’s door. “I opened the door and it was Regina asking if I wanted to be the pastor,” recalls Luis. “At first, to be completely honest, I didn’t. “

Luis and Stephanie loved serving in their cottage, building relationships with the children and caring for their daily needs. It made the idea of doing anything different, even becoming the

church’s pastor, challenging to consider. After much prayer and conversation with Stephanie, God changed Luis’ mind. “I said, ‘I want to make Your will my will, Lord, so that I can follow it with everything that I’ve got,’” Luis shared with the congregation at the Wednesday installation service. “I am committed to BCH. I’m committed to the kids here because I love every single one of you so much. I would do anything for you.”

In addition to his pastorate responsibilities, Luis and Stephanie are also serving with BCH’s foster care ministry helping to train other couples to be foster parents through the EVERY CHILD initiative.

“The thing you notice when you step onto the Mills Home grounds are Oak trees. Pastor Luis, I want you to stand tall and to be a mighty oak,” Blackwell proclaimed at the service. “I want our children here to realize that God loves you and that Jesus is the way to salvation.”

Written by Blake Ragsdale, Managing Editor of Charity & Children

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