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Trio of opportunities spotlight a full events calendar

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

Events quickly filled the calendar once pandemic restrictions were eased. Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH) staff, caregivers and children are eager to greet friends when they return to the ministry’s various locations. “Having churches and friends on our

grounds creates an excitement like nothing else,” says BCH President/CEO Michael C. Blackwell. “Not only is their support vital for carrying out our many ministries, but their presence is a reminder to our children that there are scores of people that care about them.” Several new events are joining returning ones. Highlighting those opportunities are the River Hill Refuge Groundbreaking, Hope Harvest, and Bike for Hope.

River Hill Refuge Groundbreaking

The groundbreaking and community celebration on September 11 marks a milestone for BCH as it prepares to build three new homes in Cleveland County. River Hill Refuge is part of the organization’s growing foster care ministry where each home will have a set of BCH recruited Christian foster parents who care for as many as five children at one time. The foster parents will care for the children the same way as other foster parents, except live in these BCH-owned homes. “We want a huge crowd to come and celebrate this historic project,” Blackwell says. “We have long desired a presence in this area of the state as the needs are tremendous.” The day will include lunch beginning at noon and the groundbreaking program at 12:45 pm. For more details, contact Alan Williams at 336.474.1277 or You can also register at

Bike for Hope

Lewis Smith, BCH’s director of development for the western area and a bicyclist, is getting behind the handlebars for “Bike for Hope.” “God has given me a heart for children and a passion for cycling that I am able to use to raise support and inspire others,” Smith says. The fundraiser takes place throughout the month of September. Lewis will ride his bike on a safe, perimeter road at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord. While he may not be

able to pedal as fast as the NASCAR race cars that compete at the

speedway, Smith has a finish line of his own he is training to reach. His goal is to cycle a total of 600 miles in a series of 12, 50-mile stages throughout September. There are several options for friends wishing to sponsor Smith:

- Major Sponsor (All 12 Stages)–$2,400

- Six Stage Sponsor (Six Stages)–$1,200

- Stage Sponsor (One Stage)–$200

- Mile for a Child Sponsor:

Make a contribution of your choice. To give online, visit and choose “Bike for Hope” from

the Direct My Gift menu. Checks can be mailed with “Bike for

Hope” in the memo to BCH, P.O. Box 338, Thomasville, NC 27361. For more information, contact Lewis Smith at or 828.421.9300.

Hope Harvest Barbecue & Bluegrass

“Hope Harvest” on October 2 is an autumn event that will take place underneath the trees on the scenic Mills Home campus in Thomasville. The family-friendly evening by an outdoor stage features the contemporary Christian band “Guilford” featuring Parker and Hannah Webb. Christian bluegrass band Caroline featuring Caroline Owens will also perform. A catered meal is provided by local favorite BBQ Joe’s and, as a bonus, guests arriving early beginning at 4:00 pm can be treated to a campus tour and an opportunity to shop at Fancy Finds, BCH’s resale store where profits benefit the ministry. There will also be fun children’s activities. “It’s an opportunity to support BCH while seeing the ministry up close during an incredible evening we have planned,” says Karen Slate, BCH director of development for the greater Triad area. “There is an opportunity to give at the event and to be a part of our silent auction which will raise some much-needed support.” For more information, click on or email Karen Slate at

By Blake Ragsdale, Managing Editor

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