Member Update January 19, 2018
100-Year-Old Hephzibah Ministries Announces Bold Redesign
Macon, GA: Dr. Dan Berry, Hephzibah Ministries Board of Directors chair, today announced that Hephzibah Ministries, Incorporated, located in Macon, Georgia, is revising its ministries to reach greater numbers of youth and families
“For 118 years, Hephzibah Ministries has been serving the needs of children and families who are homeless, orphaned, abused and neglected,” Berry said. “In spite of consistent and sacrificial support provided by our faithful donors and volunteers, Hephzibah Ministries’ ability to sustain its ministry as currently configured is untenable. Hephzibah leaders are taking significant steps now to ensure this vital ministry can continue.
“Revenue essential for operations has been and remains inadequate. During the past 20 years, changes in the regulatory environment have greatly restricted Hephzibah’s ability to generate sufficient income to support its residential model and prevented it from expanding its ministries to serve more broadly throughout its North American constituency,” said Berry.
“The Hephzibah Board of Directors, through much prayer and many tears, agreed that it is time for a new season of ministry through Hephzibah Ministries,” Berry said. “We thank God for all that has been accomplished through souls saved and lives changed, and petition God for discernment and blessing upon what is yet to be.”
On January 5, 2018, the Hephzibah Board of Directors unanimously voted that Hephzibah Ministries, Inc. begin the process of discontinuing the current mode of operations and work toward liquidating the property assets with a plan to reestablish a ministry model that will allow for continued assistance to children and families in need.
HMI Board minutes state that the revised ministry/ministries be designed to operate in a model that will be intentionally designed to create a ministry that will allow for a renewed connection with Hephzibah’s North American constituency, be established in a manner that will allow for the continuation of the more than a century of ministry to children and be flexible enough to meet ever-changing requirements governing child care.
“On behalf of The Wesleyan Church, I commend the Hephzibah leaders for this bold move of faith,” said Dr. Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church. “When considering Hephzibah’s history, you note the many times and ways the ministry transitioned to meet emerging needs in changing regulatory environments. Throughout all the adjustments of all the years, Hephzibah’s mission to serve children and families remained steadfast. To continue to fulfill that mission is at the heart of the Hephzibah Board of Directors’ decision to re-vision. I am thankful for their faithfulness and excited about the future of Hephzibah Ministries.”
Reverend Peter Bagley became HMI interim chief executive officer following the December 31, 2017 retirement of C. K. Chitty. Bagley, a nine-year employee of Hephzibah previously serving as HMI executive director, will lead Hephzibah Ministries, Inc. through the re-visioning process.
About Hephzibah Ministries, Inc.: The ministry, housed on 210 acres, was founded in the early 1900’s as Hephzibah Orphanage. The orphanage was later renamed Hephzibah Children’s Home when the number of orphans decreased and the need for residential foster care increased. In 2005, Hephzibah Ministries, Incorporated was formed overseeing two subsidiary agencies – Hephzibah Children’s Home, Inc. and Hephzibah Behavioral Health Services, Inc. Hephzibah Ministries, Inc. is an auxiliary ministry of The Wesleyan Church.
SAVE THE DATE 2018 Georgia Conference on Children and Families October 17-19, 2018
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