Reposted from Tulsa World By Bill Sherman Tulsa World | July 8, 2017 | Download in PDF
The Oklahoma United Methodist Children’s Home in Tahlequah will hold an open house next weekend to celebrate its 100 years of ministry to children and youths.
The Centennial Celebration and Reunion will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. July 15 at the Children’s Home campus just north of Tahlequah High School. The event will include a free lunch at noon, building tours, an alumni reunion and display of memorabilia from the past century. There will be miniature horses and games for children.
To RSVP or obtain more information, go to circleofcare.org.
The Methodist Children’s Home began in 1917 as the Methodist Orphanage in Britton, a town later annexed by Oklahoma City.
In 1942, the building was condemned by the fire marshal and 157 children were bused to the ministry’s current location in Tahlequah.
Since then, the ministry has cared for thousands of young people. No longer an orphanage, it now has a campus-based foster care program with four to six children, mostly grade-school age, living in each of five cottages.
Foster parents who live in the cottages full-time are all certified by the Department of Human Services.
The Methodist Children’s Home also has a residential facility, Preparation for Adult Living, with about 20 young people ages 16-24 living in
dormitories while they pursue their education and learn life skills like budgeting and practical shopping.
Some are in college, others in vocational school, said Sarah Steffes, vice president of development for the Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care, which oversees the Children’s Home.
“These older youth learn skills necessary for a successful transition from supportive care to independence as adults, including completion of postsecondary education,” she said.
Steffes said the Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care is an umbrella organization of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church that oversees children’s and youth ministries statewide.
In addition to the Children’s Home, the Circle of Care runs Pearl’s Hope, a transitional living facility at the Frances E. Willard Ministry Center in Tulsa for women with children; the Holsinger Home, a stand-alone facility in Enid for about six foster children and their foster parents; the Oh Be Joyful Farm in Coweta, two homes on 20 acres that offer foster care; and the Boys Ranch in Gore, which also offers foster care.
Steffes said that all foster parents with the various United Methodist programs are volunteers. Some care for children in their own homes; others live in one of the homes supported by the Circle of Care.
Staff Writer Bill Sherman
Bill has been the World’s award-winning faith and values writer for 17 years, writing some 4,000 articles on all aspects of religion. A University of Wisconsin alum, he is in the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. Phone: 918-581-8398