By Janese Bennett
Falcon Children’s Home opened its doors in 1909 when it accepted Thomas and Mary Ward into care. Today, the Home operates under the auspices of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) and encompasses almost 300 acres, 12 residences and various other facilities for education and activities. As a fully licensed facility of the state of North Carolina, Falcon Children’s Home provides foster care, education and a transitional living program for children who are not permitted to live in a normal family environment. The recently opened Marvin and Joyce Whitfield Campus provides a maternity home and mother and baby apartments for young women. Adoptions are also available through New Life Christian Adoptions.
In 1947, IPHC Women’s Ministries Director Lila Berry had the vision to begin a “harvest train” bearing food and commodities. An orphan herself, Mrs. Berry saw this as an opportunity for the women of the Church to bless the children’s home during the holiday season. This collaborative effort between IPHC Women’s Ministries and Falcon Children’s Home continues to bring joy to children as they line the streets of Falcon, North Carolina for the annual parade which begins at the Town Hall and concludes at the J.A. Culbreth Memorial Auditorium for the annual children’s program.
This year excitement filled the air as dignitaries and guests gathered for the special service. Falcon Children’s Home Superintendent Joseph Leggett welcomed each of the special guests and expressed his appreciation for the overwhelming support of the community, church and alumni. Special recognition was given to the top giving churches for 2014. IPHC Women’s Ministries conference directors led by the national Women’s Ministries Director Samantha Snipes presented over $494,000 in cash and commodities for the children of Falcon Children’s Home.
IPHC General Superintendent Doug Beacham surprised everyone by making a grand entrance on a Harley Davidson with Gary Burd, director of Mission M:25. Beacham recently joined Rev. Burd and other riders on the 50CC Diaper Run from Jacksonville, Florida to San Diego, California to collect diapers for Royal Home Ministries and raise awareness for March for Life. Burd presented 30,000 diapers and over $6,000 cash that was collected during the 50-hour bike ride. Bishop Beacham reminded the crowd that God has a plan for every life, “God has a plan, and we are that plan.” He commended Falcon Children’s Home and Royal Home Ministries for their work in supporting life and encouraged churches to become involved in this important cause.
The highlight of the annual Harvest Train celebration was the program presented by the children and staff. This year was no exception as the program, “Before the Judge” written by Buck Hodge, told the story of Garland Slate who came to Falcon as a young boy in 1969. Garland had experienced a difficult childhood and his parents were no longer able to care for him. At Falcon, he found a loving, nurturing environment and lifelong friendships, including his wife, Jane Hudson, and best friend, David Gilchrist. Most importantly, Garland accepted Christ as his Savior and committed his life to serving Him. After attending Holmes Bible College and Bob Jones University, he later completed an additional degree in Accounting. A successful businessman, father, and husband, Garland places a high priority on giving back to the community. He currently serves on the Falcon Children’s Home Alumni Board, provides mentoring for residents of the children’s home, and teaches Sunday school at his local church. At the conclusion of the program, Superintendent Joseph Leggett presented Garland and his family with a special gift in appreciation for his service to Falcon Children’s Home.
The International Pentecostal Holiness Church is blessed to have an established ministry such as Falcon Children’s Home that embodies the message of Christ to minister to those who are hurt, lonely, poor and in need. To support this ministry or receive more information, please visit Falcon Children’s Home.
Photo Credit: Janese Bennett