Raymond R. "Bob" Kenison Announces Retirement Plans
At the January 28 meeting of the Missouri Baptist Children's Home Board of Trustees, Raymond R. "Bob" Kenison announced his plans to retire as President of both the Children's Home and the MBCH Foundation. His retirement from the Children's Home will be effective June 30, 2014. He will retire from the MBCH Foundation on December 31, 2014.
Kenison joined the staff of Missouri Baptist Children's Home in January, 1978 as a development officer. In October 1980 he became the Administrator (now called "President") of the Children's Home.
During his lengthy tenure at the helm of MBCH, the Children's Home has grown from an agency primarily providing services in the St. Louis region to a state-wide agency with campuses in Bridgeton, Peculiar and Mt. Vernon and regional offices in Jefferson City, Kansas City, Joplin and Springfield. The Children's Home has also grown into a family of corporations which include Missouri Baptist Children's Home, MBCH Children and Family Ministries, MBCH Foundation, MBCH Properties and the MBCH Professional Development Institute.
A number of events designed to honor Bob Kenison and his legacy at MBCH will be scheduled throughout the year.
Russell Martin, Executive Vice President of Missouri Baptist Children's Home and President of MBCH Children and Family Ministries will become the interim President of the Children's Home on July 1.
Pregnancy Services of MBCH Children and Family Ministries
As an agency committed to the sanctity of human life, MBCH Children and Family Ministries offers a variety of services to those experiencing unplanned pregnancies – both campus-based and community-based.
On-Campus Group Living
The Lowe-Frillman Campus in Bridgeton offers two maternity cottages and one maternity shelter for women who need a safe place to live during their pregnancy and after delivery. This ministry provides the support and information necessary for these clients to make good decisions for themselves and their babies. We provide schooling, life skills training, parenting instruction and nutrition classes. If the father of the baby is involved, we offer classes for him as well.
If the young woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy is able to live in her own home, workers will connect the young woman to services in their community. We make certain they are receiving medical care and other necessary assistance to ensure they maintain a healthy pregnancy and birth. We also help establish a support network in the community to assist after delivery.
If the mother chooses to make an adoption plan, we will assist in every phase of the adoption process. We have a pool of approved families from which the birth mother is able to select the family for her child. MBCH Children and Family Ministries places the baby in the adoptive home and can provide support both to the birth mother and the adoptive family.
First-hand accounts are the most convincing when it comes to the results of the Pregnancy Services ministry. Below are testimonies from some of those involved.
“The pregnancy program has enhanced the lives of young girls many times that I have witnessed. In particular I have seen girls come in and just be completely overwhelmed with all the challenges they were facing in life at the time and this program has given them some sort of hope for their future. A lot of girls have succeeded in the program and I have watched them grow as moms as they learned the basics of life and utilized those things to project growth in their own life as they moved forward. Most benefit from the program and you can see the change and difference that it makes in their life. The fact that I have been able to share the Love of Christ with them and see His love reflected in their lives, is one more reason to be part of such an amazing organization.” MBCH Children and Family Ministries Staff Member
“The finance classes have helped me budget better and, by doing that, I have been able to do more for my baby. It [MBCH Children and Family Ministries] has provided me with shelter and everything that I have needed to provide for my daughter and myself. I like that the program has guided me with making my appointments and helping me with everything that I wouldn’t have done on my own or known how to do. The program has given me hope for my future because it provides me with things that I have lacked growing up in my own family. The staff has loved me and treated me with respect in helping me be a better person and mother.” A current resident
“It’s a safe place to sleep, knowing that you are protected by people who love you. It provides you with meals, that otherwise you may not get. The program gives you things to teach you how to survive in a world where no one else is willing to help. They help you with basic needs and make sure that you are cared for. There is staff that is there 24 hours a day to help you and guide you. This place gives you hope for a future and doesn’t judge based on the decisions you have already made. Even on days when you don’t want to smile, somehow this place makes you.” A current resident
“My name is Jamie and I am 16 years old. When I came to MBCH Children and Family Ministries I was 6 months pregnant and mad at everyone. I was always running away from home and had a bad relationship with my mother. While I was at MBCH Children and Family Ministries I learned several things from the program. The first is that I learned that God loved me even with the mistakes I made. While I was in the program I learned parenting skills, attended school, participated in individual therapy and family therapy, participated in daily devotions and attended Church. The program helped me restore my relationship with my mother, which allowed me to return home to her. I will be always thankful for the relationship with God that I gained, the relationship with my mother that was restored, the relationship with MBCH Children and Family Ministries Staff, and the skills that I learned to parent my son.” A former client
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