A History of Caring for Children and Families in Need

BCHFS: A history of caring for children and families in need since 1918

Baptist Children’s Home & Family Services has been caring for children and families in Illinois since 1918.

Baptist Children’s Home began 1918 in response to a need in Illinois to care for dependent children who were orphaned as a result of WWI and the great influenza epidemic that struck Illinois.

Illinois Southern Baptists had the dream of building an orphanage but it was the hard work of three men who made the dream a reality. The pastor of Carmi First Baptist Church, D.F. Marlin, and two of his deacons—Eben Renshaw and John W. Hall led the charge to raise the money needed to build the orphanage.

Through the years, the Children’s Home’s ministry has evolved in response to the needs of children and families. No longer a need to care for orphans, the mission changed to focus on the dependent, neglected and/or abused children. In 1995, our name changed to Baptist Children’s Home & Family Services to better reflect that we are more family-focused in our work.

Today, BCHFS is a multi-faceted family crisis center consisting of five ministries that work together to protect, heal and restore struggling children and families. Whether it is helping teens in trouble, young women with unplanned pregnancies, or Christian counseling services – BCHFS has been helping those who need it most reach their full potential.

BHCFS and the five entities that make up our mission:

  • Baptist Children’s Home (BCH) Residential Care – Carmi, IL; BCH Residential Care is a Christian juvenile group home for troubled teens. Residents live under the care and guidance of Christian houseparents and receive individual, group and family counseling. Our goal is to restore the family and return the child to the community, better equipped to deal with life.
    > Learn more.
  • Angels’ Cove – Maternity/Adoption/Foster Care – Mt. Vernon, IL; Angel’s Cove is a residential maternity home for women facing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. The Angels’ Cove staff provides young moms with the best in prenatal care, counseling, parenting classes and life skills training. Angels’ Cove also offers licensed and Hague Accredited adoption and Foster Care services. Believing every life is precious, we strive to provide women with loving alternatives to abortion.
    > Learn more.
  • Pathways Counseling Services – Ten Locations throughout Illinois; Pathways Counseling Services provide low cost professional, confidential, Christian counseling to individuals, couples and families. BCHFS currently has Pathways Counseling offices located in Benton, Swansea, Vandalia, Chatham, Edwardsville, Carlinville, Wood River, Harrisburg, Effingham, Salem and Carmi, Illinois.
    > Learn more.
  • Safe Families for Children – Southern IL; BCHFS is proud to serve as implementers for Safe Families network in Southern Illinois. Safe Families is a national movement of compassion that is preventing child abuse by encouraging the Church to resume its historical and Biblical responsibility for vulnerable children by becoming part of the support network for these children’s parents.
    > Learn more.
  • Latreia International Uganda Missions; Latreia International is our ministry to third-world orphans in Uganda, Africa. BCHFS sends annual work teams to provide care and relief to the 50+ orphans of the Bukeleba Babies Home in Uganda and Arise Africa International.
    > Learn more.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
– Matthew 25:40