A grand opening is set for April 19 at the new Sellers Maternity Home here.
BATON ROUGE – A
grand opening is set for April 19 at the new Sellers Maternity Home here.
eight-bedroom, eight-bath, two-story, 10,000-square foot, brick home set on 22
acres in the ‘central community’ of Baton
Rouge, donated seven years ago to the Louisiana
Baptist Children’s Home by Stanley and Marlene Cheatham. Also on the property:
a smaller house, which is to be used by relief house parents, and an office
behind that, for family counseling and intakes.
“It’s a gorgeous
facility and we have plenty of room for expansion,” said Darrell Washam,
director of development and public relations for the children’s home. “It was
Mrs. Cheatham’s desire that it be used as a maternity home; she has an interest
in teenage pregnancy.”
There’s more to
it than that.
For the last five
years the Baton Rouge facility was used as a group home for up to eight
youngsters, but trustees determined at their February meeting, after months of
trying to find appropriate relief house parents (to give a break to the
full-time caregivers,) that the children would have an even more supportive
environment if they were part of the rural Monroe facility’s main campus
environment and its more extensive staff.
were looking at declining use of the maternity home in the northern part of the
state, when, they said, 80 percent of Louisiana’s
population lives south of Interstate-10. Up to a dozen young women could stay
at the Tallulah campus of Seller’s Maternity Home, but in recent years the
facility hasn’t been used to capacity.
changed so much,” Washam said. “Unwed mothers stay at home more than they used
to. … But there’s still some who need residential care, and eight is a good
number to take care of at any one time.”
facility is being sold, Washam added.
with the way this has all come together for the better all the way around,”
Washam said. “We look forward to using this new facility to help girls in our
state who are facing a difficult situation in their young lives.”
Home first opened in January 1992. It ministers to young women facing crisis
pregnancies by providing, at no cost, residential and medical care as well as
professional counseling and education in life skills while they await birth.
“The relocation of
Sellers to our Baton Rouge
campus will provide us with the opportunity to reach more young women facing a
crisis preg-nancy and save more unborn children,” said LBCH Executive Director
Perry Hancock. “The Baton Rouge
property will also allow us to expand our services in the near future to
include an extended care program.”
A grand opening
is set for 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, at the new Sellers,
37158 Denham Roadin Baton Rouge. Everyone is invited to the open house, set for 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Washam paused to
thank First Baptist Church of Tallu-lah for the ministry church members
provided to the young women staying for the last 14 years at the Tallulah
campus of Sellers’ Maternity Home.
“First Tallulah has been wonderful to us,”
Washam said. “They’ve ministered to us
from the very beginning and we can’t
thank them enough. They had Bible study with the girls at different times, outings for them, they’ve just done
lots of things for us through the years. Brother John Rushing – pastor at first
Tallulah – has been a great pastor to the girls, visiting them in the hospital
when the babies were born or when the girls were sick.”
acknowledged the blessing the young women staying at Sellers’ have been to the congregation.
enjoyed over the years being able to
minis-ter to the girls, and we really hated to see the home be closed here, but
we certainly understand the circumstances,” Rushing said. “I know Brent and
Sarah Ryland were a great blessing to us in bringing the girls [to First
Tallulah for Sunday school and church.]”
house parents at Sellers, also will relocate to Baton Rouge.
“It really was a
joy through the years to have individuals come in,” the pastor continued. “A
few of the girls accepted Christ and were baptized. A few have come back with
their babies to visit with us. It’s so refreshing to see that many of these
girls are doing very well now. They have jobs and seem to be so happy with
In Baton Rouge, the young women staying at Sellers Maternity
Home will attend Zoar
located about a mile from the home. Kevin Hand is pastor.
Children’s Home, founded in 1899, ministers to children and their families of
all denominations and all nationalities throughout the state of Louisiana.
A maximum of 120
youngsters live on the main residential campus in Monroe. Up to eight women ages 21 and younger
can stay at the Baton Rouge Sellers facility.
contributed to this report.