Under the leadership of Leon Gambrell and with great encouragement from Mr. and Mrs. Coe Howard, First Baptist Church, Portales began to minister to orphans in their area. Mr. Gambrell served as chairman on the committee to seek answers to the question of how Baptist of NM could meet the needs of orphans in NM.
Mr. and Mrs. Gambrell prepared to welcome orphaned children into the Baptist Orphan’s Home. They collected furniture and needed items from Baptist all over the state of NM. They were called to another ministry before the first children arrived.
Mrs. Mary Joiner, WMU state secretary and former missionary who served with Lottie Moon in China became the first matron of NM Baptist Orphan’s Home.
At the state convention held in Santa Fe, the Baptist Convention of New Mexico voted to assume direct control of the Orphan’s Home, after a request from FBC, Portales and to keep the NM Baptist Orphan’s Home in Portales.
The first children, a sibling group of four, were welcomed into the NM Baptist Orphan’s Home. The Baptist orphanage began in a 10 room house. They soon outgrew this location and moved to a 40 acre farm north of Portales.
After Mother Joiner left to care for her ailing son, Beulah Fonville took over as matron. Following her were Mr. and Mrs. WG MacArthur, Mr. and Mrs. William Couch, Mr. and Mrs. William Hunters, Mr. and Mrs. JT Riddle, Mr. and Mrs. WB Oldhams and Mr. and Mrs. CE Saxon. In 1930, Mr. and Mrs. WC Grant came to the Baptist Orphan’s Home and served as superintendent and matron for seven years.
February 3, 1937 saw the arrival of Walker and Dorothy Hubbard, who agreed to come for a trial period of one year and stayed for 34 years. They became known as “Daddy” and “Mother” Hubbard.
The Little Boys’s Cottage was added to the campus
Due to the generosity of Mr. Mark Owen, the Little Girl’s Cottage was added to the campus.
After outgrowing two locations, the Home purchased 160 acres south of town and later added to it for a total of 331 acres. A fireproof, brick building was completed in September 1924
The NM Baptist Orphan’s Home became New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home.
Another cottage was added to the campus.
Burt E. Edmison served as administrator of the Baptist Children’s Home.
In the 1960s, the vision of a new campus emerged due to the number of children entering care at the Baptist Children’s Home. The vision - this campus would be a community built around family-like cottages. After years of planning, groud was broken south of the Red Brick Building.
The first cottage on the new campus was completed. Hubbard Cottage, built in honor of Walker and Dorothy Hubbard.
A Commissary was built to store food and pantry items.
Grant Cottage, in honor of Mr. and Mrs. WC Grant, was completed.
Record Cottage, in honor or Mr. Henry Record, was built. That year, the Shop, also housing the laundry and clothing rooms, was completed.
A “Y” shape cottage, built in honor of Mr. Owen, was designed to house coed residents.
1981 - 1982
The Administrative Buildting, with attached 3 bedroom apartment, was completed in 1981. An additional 3 bedroom apartment was added on the northside of the Administrative Building in 1982. Near the commissary, a six room storage building was also added that year.
The underground gymnasium was built. It included several classrooms, a dining room and a kitchen.