WHO WE ARE
Our mission is to glorify God by providing an environment where residents are given training and instruction in Christ-centered values, by helping to strengthen families, and by being faithful stewards of the human and material resources provided by Him. To best serve our residents and their families, we must base all that we do on Biblical truths and principles. Through the services we provide, we attempt to meet the children’s needs in the areas of physical, moral, mental, social, and spiritual growth.
Through the combined effort of James E. Laird, W.T and Edna Bush, C.B Billingsley, and the Church of Christ in Forth Smith, the Arkansas Christian Home began with two girls placed in the home of Jesse Burns. Soon afterwards the name changed to the Arkansas-Oklahoma Christian Home as awareness and need grew.
After a merger with the Jonesboro Christian Orphanage Home in 1934, the Arkansas Christian Home and Arkansas – Oklahoma Christian Home were incorporated as the Southern Christian Home. The trustees of the Home purchased the 40 acre property of the former Harding College with the intent “to provide for children who need love, sympathy, care, and the knowledge of the way of God.”
The board of directors established the tradition of holding a Homecoming event at Southern Christian on the first weekend of May by setting the schedule of the event for the 7th of May. Later in 1941 the Home purchased 10 more acres of land, and debated building school facilities on the campus. By 1947, a music and vocational teacher were on staff and providing training for residents at the Home.
The Spiritual Sword promoted continued support of children’s homes among the Churches of Christ in an era where congregational giving to para-church organizations was a matter of debate. During this time Harding College offered free tuition to Southern Christian Home graduates and provided the opportunity for many to receive college-level education.
Volunteers and staff built the gymnasium known as the Olen Ray Fullerton Gym on campus, and the Home continued to receive recognition for its educational programming. Of note particularly was “an outstanding chorus” under the direction of Lindell Housley.
After a long period of existing as a “wing school” under the public schools of Morrilton in the ’70s, Southern Christian’s focus shifted away from their educational programs. The cottage arrangement and the term “houseparents” began to be used at the Home.
Board of Directors
Dr. Carter Lambert
Stephanie Howell Cochran
Dr. Judd Adams
Dr. Brian Alexander
ppointed Chairman of the Board.
Dr. Kathy Helpenstill
Director of Children’s Services
Director of Finance
Alternative Learning Environment (ALE) Director
Sam and Jenalyn Wilson
Kevin and Shanna Lovell
Randal and Tracey Kern
Jim and Jennifer Wilson
Charles Lovelace, III
Social Services Assistant
Communication Executive Assistant