In the late 1800s and early 1900s the Methodist Church in Louisiana became concerned with the large number of children who were without parents or homes. Their desire to provide food, clothing, shelter, and the love of Christ for these orphaned children led to the creation of the Louisiana Methodist Orphanage in 1902.
In 1904 the first residence was opened in Bunkie, LA. That same year, 40 acres of land in Ruston were deeded to the Orphanage Board; in 1906, the Orphanage was relocated.
The Depression caused severe financial distress for the Orphanage. The Superintendent’s 1935 report concluded, “…look to our Heavenly Father in confident hope that some way may be found, so that our great work may survive…”
In the early 1930s, a trend began, and by the 1940s Louisiana Methodist Orphanage was providing increased care to children from broken homes. In 1958, the Board of Directors renamed the Orphanage the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home, a name more descriptive of the needs served by the organization.
The organization was renamed Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services (LUMCFS) in 1993 to reflect its transition toward providing a broader array of services to children and families across the state.
In addition to three residential care campuses for children, LUMCFS’ Methodist Foster Care program is licensed to place 100 children with exceptional foster parents. Life Skills Training and transitional living services were expanded to serve youth aging out of foster care. The Family Counseling Center and Vocational and Career Educational Center for Adolescents offer a wide range of services. The Outdoor Wilderness Learning (OWL) Center offers children endless opportunities for wholesome, spontaneous joy.
LUMCFS, owned by the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, received EAGLE reaccreditation. When accepting the recognition, LUMCFS’ president and CEO praised “our staff members who care so well for children and families who cannot care for themselves.”
LUMCFS’s mission is to guide children and families home to experience God’s love by following the teachings of Christ.
Interested in contributing to our Heritage Series? Please contact, Ginny Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articles were compiled and edited by Bruce Rosenthal, consultant writer.