The Childhaven Story
In the beginning, the original orphanage was begun as a work of the The Rebekah Assembly, I.O.O.F. (International Order Odd Fellows) of Alabama. The original four story structure was dedicated on April 15th, 1910 as The Alabama Odd Fellows Home. This structure remains the centerpiece of the Childhaven Campus. By 1923, records indicate that the Home had 97 children, and was cultivating 200 acres of farm land. But, the numbers began dropping and as the Great Depression struck, financial problems forced the closing of the home in 1937. In the Fall of 1938, all the furnishings and equipment were sold at public auction. The records indicate that the remaining children were placed back with their families. Following the close of the home, the structure was used as a boarding home for a short time, and then was abandoned.
In 1948, interested Christians purchased the property, and Childhaven came into being. Renovations were begun, and Childhaven was incorporated. Since that time, the tradition of caring has been a way of life at Childhaven. The property has undergone many additions and renovations. The Childhaven Campus now includes nine large Residential Cottages (group homes,) a full size gymnasium, a maintenance facility / shop, a pool, a Campus Minister’s residence, as well as the original building that is the centerpiece of the Campus. This building was gutted by fire in 1964, resulting in the loss of the fourth floor. Through the efforts of the brethren, and the community, with a little help from the insurance company, the building was saved and rebuilt. In 1995, this centerpiece was formally named the Brock Center, in honor of
the Brock family. Barney Brock was the first superintendent at Childhaven. Today, we stand on the strong foundation built by his hard work! The Childhaven property also includes the original 250 acre farm, which is in full production. In recent years, the Brock Center has been completely restored and renovated through the generosity of Dr. Chester and Martha Hicks. Martha grew up at Childhaven, and the Brock Center was her first home at Childhaven! Today, the Brock Center is used for a multitude of Childhaven functions, from training to birthday parties! It is also is available for community and business functions. Contact the Childhaven business office for more details!
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The Childhaven ministry is made up of the following programs:
* Residential Care: Located on Campus, serving primarily teens.
* Foster Care: Through foster homes, located across the Northern half of AL, serving younger children.
* Transitional Living Program (Vocational / Technical Training) : Also located on Campus, serving children who have graduated from High School, but elect not to attend college.
* Independent Living: The next phase is moving from our campus into their own apartments. We help make that transition and then monitor / work with them for at least six months – (actually for life!)
* College Program: Childhaven will provide a college education to any Childhaven Child at a Christian College or University.
* The Genesis Project: Serving maternity teen clients and teen Mothers and their babies. Program is designed to teach / mentor parenting skills, and to guide these young Mothers towards making the best decisions for their babies. A maternity client can come, give, birth and remain at Childhaven.
* Family Care / Continuum of Care: This program serves the entire family, not just the child. Childhaven coordinates a broad continuum of services serving at risk families. Most of these families have not lost their children into foster care, but are at high risk of losing their children. The Continuum of Care program works in Cullman and in Madison counties.
All children are involved with church through regular church attendance, involvement with all church activities, and other activities Our NUMBER ONE goal is to help each child see God as their loving Father, and thus develop a strong personal faith. This goal is ever kept before us, as we open our weekly staff meetings with a devotional and prayer, and often make have special prayer for children who are struggling.
Childhaven Mission Statement:
“Childhaven exists to bring every child into a lifelong relationship with God through His Son, Jesus the Christ by meeting that child’s every need.”
“ Childhaven is committed to sharing God’s love with children andfamilies by providing opportunities for growth in life and in Christ.”
* Childhaven believes in the importance of a loving family and that allchildren should be afforded the opportunity to be a part of their God givenfamily.
* Childhaven believes that everyone deserves to live in anenvironment where they feel physically and emotionally safe.
* Childhaven believes everyone has intrinsic value and deserves tobe treated with dignity and respect, each treating others as they would liketo be treated.
* Childhaven believes that everyone deserves to live in anenvironment where they are encouraged to improve their relationship withtheir families and God.
* Childhaven believes in providing an environment of culturalacceptance.
* Childhaven believes that everyone should be afforded theopportunity to meet their fullest potential.
* Childhaven believes that everyone can recognize and learn fromtheir challenges and weaknesses, while learning the art of forgiving othersand accepting God’s gift of forgiveness .