By Message staff
MONROE, La. (LBM) – The Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home and Family Ministries, on March 16, dedicated a new cottage and broke ground on a new apartment complex that will serve homeless mothers and their children seeking to start a new life.
LBCHFM staff, board members and donors also celebrated on April 14 the completion of a renovated cottage that will provide temporary housing to Louisiana Baptist pastors and Southern Baptist missionaries in transition.
MARY’S PLACE COTTAGE
Mary’s Place will house homeless women and children for up to 12 months at no cost to the residents. Through its HomePlace ministry, the women may work toward their high school equivalency certificate and receive life and employment skills training through the Women’s Learning Center, a ministry of the LBCHFM.
Residents living in this cottage will experience an array of amenities to provide a true home environment for the women and their children as they transition to independent living.
This is the third new HomePlace Cottage to open since 2016, joining Maggie’s Place and Irma’s Place.
Mary’s Place is named after Mary Martin Fowler, sister of the late Jonathan Martin, who organized the Brenda Hall Abney Golf Classic in fall 2005. Abney was a resident of LBCHFM, and, while attending Louisiana College (now Louisiana Christian University), Jonathan and Maggie Martin sponsored and unofficially “adopted” her into their family.
After Abney’s death to cancer in January 2005, Jonathan Martin started the golf tournament in her memory. Over the course of 15 years, the tournament has raised more than $3 million for such projects as LBCHFM’s Children’s Learning Center, the building of a perimeter fence, three new HomePlace cottages, and many other projects.
In his remarks, LBCHFM President and CEO Perry Hancock emphasized that Mary’s Place will be much more than a place for transitional living, but also will serve as a location where families can experience the unconditional love of Christ and the peace, healing and hope that only Jesus can provide.
“I can honestly say I have never met business and community leaders who are more passionate about helping people than the Martins,” Hancock said. “The “Martin Way” aptly describes this family. Giving is a way of life for them. They make investments in helping people and the result is changed lives. We are so grateful for their investment in our work here at the Children’s Home.”
Hancock also recognized a generous gift given to provide the living areas and furnishings for Mary’s Place by Roy and Kathy Martin, Carole and Lee Baxter, and Joyce and Bill Thibodeaux in memory of Marilyn Martin Robbins.
Fowler in her remarks noted how her brother “used his talents to glorify God.” She has followed his example and lives by the principle “to whom much is given, much is required.”
The ministry also broke ground on the Praise Apartments, a four-plex that will provide efficiency apartments for mothers and their children in their final phase of residency in HomePlace before moving to independent living.
Susan Martin Potter provided funds for the Praise Apartments named in honor of her parents, the late Ellis and Virginia Martin. Potter stated: “My hope is these families give God the glory and forever praise His holy name.”
HOPE COTTAGE RENOVATION
The LBCHFM, a month later, marked the renovation of Hope Cottage that will house the Minister Care Residential Program. This ministry will provide housing for Louisiana Baptist Convention ministers in transition and for Southern Baptist Convention missionaries on stateside assignment, transitioning to a new ministry, or retiring from missionary service. Housing is provided at no cost for up to twelve months on the LBCHFM Monroe campus. Professional Christian counseling will be available through Granberry Counseling Centers. Vocational ministry assessments will also be avail