Ebenezer Christian Children’s Home was started in Wilkes County by a group of concerned community members who saw the significant need for quality foster care for children who could no longer be with their parents due to abuse or neglect.
The first home opened in 1994 and quickly filled up and stayed at capacity.
“Our community witnessed the birth of a mission field right here in Wilkes County and the support has been the driving force in all Ebenezer has been able to accomplish,” said an Ebenezer spokesman.
“Through donations of individuals, families, estates and churches, the Ebenezer family has grown to include seven residential homes. The homes are run just like normal families, family meals around the table, devotions as a family, and the parents just switch out every other week,” said the spokesman.
All the homes are in Wilkes County, with the exception of the newest home in Siler City. It opened this past year.
“In the residential program, 613 children have been given a safe place to laugh, play and dream. The children we serve are from Wilkes and the surrounding counties, who are unable to be with their birth families due to abuse or neglect.”
Some children in foster care cannot be reunified with their birth families, and need a forever home through adoption. “The board saw this as the next step in serving the children placed in the care of Ebenezer and began the process of training, licensing, and supporting foster families.”
The first family licensed as a foster family through Ebenezer was in 2012. “Since then, the outpouring of love and devotion of these families in the service of children has been incredible.”
Over 275 children have been served in these licensed foster homes and 72 adoptions have been legally filed. Currently, there are over 65 licensed foster homes with Ebenezer, with several adoptions pending.
Foster parent training classes have had to be delayed several times due to COVID, but the next round of classes is scheduled to begin in March. If anyone has questions about being a foster parent, contact then Ebenezer office at 336-667-5683 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is www.EbenezerFamily.org.
Despite the challenges, the Ebenezer Family was able to be a part of 22 finalized adoptions in 2020.
Executive Director Jean Davis, one of the founding board members, shared, “It is humbling to see how God has used Ebenezer, this group of people to show His love to over 880 children. It is not just a number...each child has a story, their own strengths and needs, and we get to plant the seeds of love, that will hopefully change the trajectory of their lives.”
The need for quality foster care continues to rise in the communities.
Sherry Reeves, associate director, shared, “We have an amazing staff who have answered the needs of this group of children with such grace, daily showing their commitment to caring for the total child- physical, emotional, academic, and spiritual. This task was made even more daunting with the demands of COVID-19, including quarantine procedures that must be implemented for new children coming into care, to ensure the safety of all the children we serve, as well as remote learning and teaching the children here at the homes.”
Davis said the Ebenezer Family is excited to share expansion news. “We have been blessed with the donation of two tracts of land and feel lead by faith to create new safe spaces for children in need within our northwestern North Carolina communities. One home will be built in Hudson, and the other in Old Fort. Ebenezer is truly a mission in your own back yard, serving children in need from your community.”
Ebenezer is a non-profit 501©(3) organization and has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has hindered the ability to do in-person fundraisers.
“Despite these challenges, we are talking about expanding, because we see the need, and are willing to answer the call,” said Davis.
To support this project, a Virtual “Share-A-Thon” will be held Feb. 27, this broadcast on Facebook LIVE, YouTube and the website www.EbenezerFamily.org. The event will feature gospel and praise music, testimonies from members of our Ebenezer Family, who include staff, foster families, adoptive families, and former resident children served, and share more about the expansion and what the public can can do to be a part of the effort. This year’s theme is “See a Need, Plant a Seed.”
Davis stated, “Twenty-seven years ago, we couldn’t imagine how this ministry would grow, and how many children we would be able to serve. We just knew we were planting seeds of love with the hope that it could help children who so desperately needed a safe and loving home. Join us on Facebook LIVE at 1pm on Saturday, Feb. 27 to hear all our exciting news and how you can be a part of this worthy undertaking. You can help us by joining and sharing the event as it is happening this Saturday.”
To support the expansion, pledges can be called in at (336) 927-6480 or (336) 452-2402 or by going to the website at www.EbenezerFamily.org.