Board of Trustees Elects Russell Martin to be the Next President of MBCH

News Release:
April 23, 2014

Dr. William A. Vail (right), Chairman of the MBCH Board of Trustees, congratulates Russell L. Martin on his election as President of Missouri Baptist Children’s HomeThe Missouri Baptist Children's Home Board of Trustees elected Russell L. Martin to be the next President of MBCH during their meeting on April 22. Dr. Raymond R. Kenison had announced his retirement at the January Board meeting and the Board voted then to name Martin the "Interim President" while they sought a permanent individual for the leadership of the Home.

"It's time for us to look forward and see what God wants to do next with MBCH," said Dr. William A. Vail, Chairman of the Board. "We really thought that it might take a little while in looking for the next President, but in our Executive Committee meeting on Monday night (April 21), the Lord just led us to make a decision and not to wait around to name the next President of MBCH. We had a time of prayer together seeking God's direction, and as we prayed and talked together, God led us to a unanimous decision that Russell Martin needed to be named the next President. It was with joy and pleasure that we presented this to the Board on Tuesday, April 22 and they unanimously confirmed what we felt was God's will."

Martin comes to this position with a long history of dedicated and effective service to the Children's Home. He joined the staff of MBCH in June, 1977 as the Business Manager. For more than thirty years he has worked side-by-side with President Kenison to make God's vision for the Children's Home a reality. As the agency grew, Martin began playing a bigger and bigger role in the leadership of Missouri Baptist Children's Home – becoming the Executive Vice President and Treasurer in 1997 and the President of MBCH Children and Family Ministries in 2003. He also serves as the Vice President and Treasurer of the MBCH Foundation, MBCH Properties and the MBCH Professional Development Institute. When The LIGHT House affiliated with MBCH Children and Family Ministries, Martin was named President of that agency.

"I am humbled by this move by the Board," Martin said. "When Bob Kenison announced his retirement plans, I said I would not seek this job and I haven't. I believed it was vital to allow God do His work and follow His direction. The way the Board came to this decision so quickly and in such unanimity demonstrated to me that this is God's will for my life and for MBCH at this point in time."

Not only has Russell Martin been a leader in the growth of MBCH, he is also influential and highly respected throughout the child welfare community. He is a member of the Board of the Missouri Coalition for Children's Agencies, serves as Treasurer of the Missouri Alliance of Children and Families and is an Accreditation Commissioner for the Council on Accreditation.

Russell Martin and his wife, Shirley, have three sons – Brian, Trevor and Jordan – and five grandchildren. He has always been as dedicated to serving in his local church as he has been to his ministry at MBCH. Martin has been a deacon and Sunday school teacher and has served on the personnel and finance committees of his church.

"Just as Bob Kenison has always said, I know that the real work of MBCH is done by wonderful Christian staff members throughout the State," Martin said. "MBCH is only able to make a difference in the lives of children, youth and families because our staff truly believes that they are missionaries in the field of child and family services. Without a firm foundation of faith in God and a call to ministry, we would be just another child care agency. We know that we can only excel as we follow the leadership of Jesus Christ and allow the Gospel to be the guiding light of our work."

Martin will officially become President of Missouri Baptist Children's Home on July 1, 2014.

Afternoon with the Stars

Time is running out. Call now! Tickets are still available for an "Afternoon with the Stars".  Clay Cooper, one of Branson's biggest stars, has graciously donated his theater for the event being held Saturday April 26, from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Don't miss this opportunity enjoy a variety of Branson's best entertainers while supporting the ministries of Missouri Baptist Children's Home.

Tickets are $35 each.  Call Cindy Roberts at 800-264-6224 extension 304.  For more information on Afternoon with the Stars and to see a list of entertainers click here.

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.

In-Home Services

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.

Adoption Services

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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