IRONTON, Mo. — Even as The Baptist Home celebrates its 100th birthday, administrators and trustees are planning for its future — both to minister to older adults at home and abroad.
In Missouri, trustees and staff have been studying the possibility of opening a fourth facility for more than a year, Chief Executive Officer and President Steven R. Jones said. They are focusing on the central part of the state, primarily between Jefferson City and Columbia near Highway 63.
Trustees voted during their November 2012 meeting to move ahead with the mid-Missouri campus. Generally, it has taken from five to seven years from the first motion until a facility opens.
A preliminary marketing study has been done, and administrators have narrowed a possible location from 23 possible properties to just a few. Jones said a “founding administrator” is needed. “In the past, we have hired an individual who could do development as well as work to get the facility started.”
The approach will start smaller than in the past. “We want to begin a little differently,” Jones explained. “We will not start with a large building but will begin with an individual living community.”
Later, a small institutional, more home-like unit or cottage would be added for assisted living. As the need arises, a small nursing-care facility and other small buildings would be added.
“We have been methodical…so as not to overextend,” he said. The Baptist Home does not borrow money nor does it accept government assistance to continue its ministries.
Most care facilities accept government funding through tax credits, Medicare and Medicaid. “Because others can take advantage of government programs, they can concentrate on capital needs,” he said.
“We’re privately financed by donors. We really limit ourselves, especially in growth and expansion and capital needs,” Jones added. “We think that helps us to maintain Christian values…. If we took government funds, there is a strong possibility we would have to change some of those values. Ours is a family-centered, Christian value system that controls our care and operation.”
The Baptist Home is committed to continuing sharing its expertise in other countries through global aging missions. Turned over to The Baptist Home Foundation, the ministry will assist wherever possible.
The Home continues its relationship with the Baptist House of Mercy in Belarus. The Belarusians are learning how to raise funds, and the Foundation is providing a matching grant. Right now, the Baptist House of Mercy raises about two-thirds of its support.
In addition to its ongoing relationship in Belarus, the global aging missions ministry is assisting in Moldova, Ukraine and China.
Currently, the ministry is partnering with Churchnet, University Heights Baptist Church in Springfield and the Missouri Baptist Foundation to help a Chinese pastor with a small facility for older adults.
The Home is working with Ridgecrest Baptist Church in St. Charles to help with retreats and provide medicine for seniors in the Ukraine. With First Baptist Church of Ellisville, It also is assisting a pastor to complete a master’s degree in senior adult ministry and helping with his project.
In Moldova, the Baptist Home Foundation has supplied money for food for a year for a feeding program, and has helped with heating assistance for the Tabatha House in the northern part of the country.
“We like to do partnerships…. We like to plug in,” Jones said. “Our strength is in partnering…. Our goal is that with partners we want to demonstrate the love of God to seniors around the world.”
He added that they also work closely with Future Leadership Foundation.
“We’re very excited about the future of The Baptist Home and the challenges facing us,” Jones said.