The Baptist Home celebrates 100 years - Word&Way

The Baptist Home celebrates 100 years

IRONTON, Mo. — Well-wishers braved cool weather — some traveled through snow to get there — to celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Baptist Home on May 4.

One of the events of the day at Ironton was the dedication of the late Kenny and Verna Rhoades Park on the Arcadia Valley campus. Verna (right), poses with Ironton campus administrator Sherri Snider and Kenny’s auction partner and brother-in-law Don Akers (left). The two men were fixtures for the annual auction on campus that benefited the ministry.

Rain showers held off during most of the daylong festivities, some held under roof in the Riggs-Scott Building. The centennial program, a concert, a park dedication and others were outdoors.

Staff provided some residents and guests blankets during the main program under a large tent as leaders and former leaders re­counted significant events in the life of the 100-year-old ministry that now features various living options for seniors on campuses not only in Arcadia Valley but in Chillicothe and Ozark.

Former administrators John Burney, 1953-74, and Larry Johnson, 1997-2005, recalled their own leadership with challenges and accomplishments, as well as their predecessors: the late D.J. Scott, 1932-53, and Ed Goodwin, 1974-95, who now lives in Virginia.

Bill Riggs and Mary Lou Riggs-Palmer recalled the dedication and lives of TBH founders Milford and Mary Riggs, who opened a rented house with furnishings and food but no additional operating funds and welcomed the first resident on May 6, 1913.

John Burney

Dr. Riggs promoted the ministry and led fundraising tirelessly. They raised four sons, and she taught Sunday School, was active in women’s suffrage and temperance movements, and was a Missouri delegate to the Demo­cratic National Conven­tion.

Through the years, the ministry survived crisis after crisis to keep its doors open to aging Baptists from across the state, including financial challenges, keeping up with state regulations, sometimes leading the way in ministry to the aged and expanding to reach more and more people.

Visitors enjoyed a chapel concert by Final Authority, a men’s quartet, and an outdoor concert by The Lesters.

The event included a magic show, blacksmith demonstration, activities for children, lunch with residents and homemade ice cream.