Illinois Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services (BCHFS) is committed to restore a positive direction for everyone they minister to, said Executive Director Denny Hydrick. Starting in 2020, that mission includes clients at the agency’s new pregnancy resource clinic in Mt. Vernon.
GraceHaven opened in November to offer testing, ultrasounds, and prenatal and parenting education. The mission is to provide resources that allow clients to choose life for their unborn children. In Illinois, Hydrick said, 116 pregnancies are terminated every day.
Reporting in Decatur, he recounted his words at the 2019 IBSA Annual Meeting, when BCHFS was just in the early stages of planning for the new clinic. “We believe this is a vital need and a public way to express God’s value of human life,” Hydrick said then, committing to messengers that BCHFS would stand its ground on issues of life.
“I said those words to you now knowing what 2020 was going to bring,” Hydrick said in Decatur. The current year has presented challenges no one could have anticipated, but he noted BCHFS’s various ministries have made pivots to continue to serve people in need. The agency served 1,130 people during the year through maternity care, residential services, counseling, and adoption.
Angels’ Cove Maternity Center, BCHFS’s long-standing ministry to pregnant women and their children, had to close for a few weeks earlier in the year. But the facility is open again and offering services tailored to each client, including a place to live for those who need it, prenatal care, parental education, counseling, and family care. And one Angels’ Cove client came to know Christ in 2020, Hydrick said.
Hydrick said the agency’s Faith Adoptions service is continuing to grow, striving to place children with loving, Christian parents across the region. Since March, BCHFS has worked with five birth moms, three of whom placed their children for adoption through the agency.
Pathways Counseling had to make one of the most significant shifts, Hydrick said, pivoting to a telehealth service so counselors in 13 locations across the state can continue to offer counseling to their clients.
At the Children’s Home in Carmi, BCHFS offers residential care for teens with behavioral challenges, often interceding before legal or state involvement becomes necessary. In 2020, Children’s Home staff had to quickly shift to a homeschooling model for their residents, after schools shut down due to COVID-19. “Because we’ve been spending a lot of extra time with our kids,” Hydrick said, “we’ve seen five salvations to date from that ministry.”
BCHFS made another pivot for their annual Fall Festival, which was canceled because of the pandemic. The annual quilt auction, a popular fundraiser for the agency, went online in 2020, with even more quilts up for auction.
Throughout his report, Hydrick thanked Illinois Baptists for supporting BCHFS for more than 100 years. “It’s worth celebrating that you as Illinois Baptists give above and beyond to support a ministry that is literally saving and changing futures, and impacting generations.”
Messengers to the meeting in Decatur approved a 2021 budget of $3,877,015.
Photo: Executive Director Denny Hydrick delivers a report from Illinois Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services, including the agency’s newest ministry, GraceHaven pregnancy resource clinic.