The Cherokee Home for Children celebrated their 50th Year Anniversary on September 28, 2008 during a ceremony at the Church of Christ church building on the campus. Danny Duggan, Executive Director for 21 years, welcomed the group who attended this event followed by prayer by Doug Suggs.
Delton McGuire, PR Director, gave a history of Cherokee Home for Children which included reading an article in the Christian Chronicle interviewing L. Haven Miller about the Homes small beginning. McGuire mentioned that he would have interviewed Miller himself at this 50th celebration; however, L. Haven Miller died several weeks ago. The vision started in 1956 when there was concern for homeless and abused Latin American children and no children’s home at that time would accept them. There were several sites considered, but the present 25.8 acres was selected and bought for $1,000 from Mr. & Mrs. Dennis Dean. The first cottage was completed in September, 1958 and 12 children had a Christian Home and house parents.
Kenneth Kuykendall, a Board Member since April 8, 1958 gave comments as one of the “oldest” involved in the starting of Cherokee Home for Children. It was truly a small start because donations were mostly merchandise, food items and for example, chickens for eatin’ and chickens for eggs. Everything was accepted with great gratitude as God answered prayers for every need. There was need for restructuring in 1976. Some of the changes made were to accept children of all nationalities which was a state requirement to receive state funds.
Three years later the oversight of the home moved to the Eldership and Board of Directors of the Austin Avenue Church of Christ in Brownwood, Texas.
Kuykendall ended his comments saying that Danny Duggan is the best Executive Director the Home has had and has done the most.
Charles Perry, a school teacher in Cherokee, has many memories of students from the Cherokee Home for Children. Perry was very proud of a boy from Cherokee Home that he taught in the 5th grade. The boy recently visited Perry and told him he was thankful for his guidance and being raised in the Home because it probably kept him out of prison. Since graduation he has served his country and just got out of the military.
J. Fred Perry, Board Member, was asked to give impromptu comments. He has seen the Home facilities grow and remembers that in the beginning everyone attended the Church of Christ church in San Saba. The church is an all-purpose building including a basketball court. He testified that there is a great Christian atmosphere and thankful to be part of the 50th year celebration.
A presentation was made by Danny Duggan for the dedication of the L.E. & Vi Jones Plaza, the wonderful new Plaza that transformed the outside front entrance to the church.
A presentation was made by Danny Duggan for the dedication of the Mary Daughtry Patio located across from the church under the shade of big trees. Beautiful wood benches outline the elevated patio circle area with tables in the middle for eating, visiting and enjoying the atmosphere.
The people who provided the Plaza and Patio are thoughtful, generous and have provided special needs for Cherokee Home for Children. And, what a privilege to re-dedicate the Home on the 50th Anniversary. The entire staff is first dedicated to the Lord and then dedicated to the children and their needs. The motto is: Meeting them where they are.
Kent Comolli gave the closing prayer before the reception of fellowship, cake and punch.
During the celebration a picture video played the entire time showing activities, events, duties (including gathering those chicken eggs) and fun. At the present time there are 28 children plus 4 children belonging to houseparents.
Robert Baugh and his wife and two children attended the celebration. He is employed as one of the Ministers on campus. Robert came to the Cherokee Home for Children when he was 3 years old with his five sisters. He was adopted at the age of 4 1/2 and his sisters grew up at the Home.
Cherokee Home for Children is rededicated to many more years of fulfilling their mission...
- To provide a Christian Home environment for children dependent upon others for care.
- To promote their growth physically, emotionally, educationally, and spiritually.
- To develop the child in the teaching of God’s word.
- To guide the young person toward a devoted life of good citizenship in the world and ultimately in the Kingdom of God.