Since 1890, Methodist Children’s Home has had an impact on many generations of children and families looking for a fresh start and opportunity to improve their lives. The pages of Legacy of Hope, a historical book released earlier this year, chronicles important stages in the life of the ministry while also sharing nostalgic memories for those whose journey led them to MCH.
The idea for Legacy of Hope began six years ago when the administration decided to create two important historical projects to celebrate the rich history of the ministry as they prepared for the agency’s 125th anniversary in 2015 – the Perkins Heritage Home Visitors Center and a historical book written in-house by staff members. Bryan Mize, formerly the director of public relations and now vice president for quality improvement at MCH, led the efforts.
The Visitors Center is an area in the Perkins Heritage Home where displays and artifacts show the history of the agency as well as highlight current programs and services for groups and individuals who wish to learn more about MCH. Mize said the Visitors Center laid the groundwork for the development of the book as he and his staff were able to collect and organize archives of historical information that were essential in his research for the book.
“I never thought when I came to MCH that I would have the opportunity to work on the Visitors Center and write a book,” Mize said. “It was a privilege to do both projects. The longer I’m at MCH, the more I appreciate the history and decisions that were made in our past that impact today. It helps me understand the decisions we make today will impact others years from now.”
Mize conducted research for the book by collecting information from previous MCH Board of Directors meeting minutes, annual reports from Methodist conference journals, Sunshine magazines dating back to the early 1920s, special publications, historical documents collected throughout the years, and items from Baylor University’s Texas Collection. He also incorporated stories and anecdotes from personal interviews and questionnaires with alumni.
“The goal for me personally is for employees to gain a better understanding of history at MCH and for alumni to be able to reflect on the time they lived here and were served by our programs,” Mize said. “Also, I want our donors to see the evidence of the ways their gifts have blessed this ministry.”
Mize said it was a challenge to determine the content of Legacy of Hope due to the rich history of the childcare agency and the hundreds of photos collected throughout the years. The pages include a chapter on presidents and administrators who led MCH, a decade by decade historical account, and a chapter on topics that have been important aspects of the agency. Legacy of Hope also incorporates photo galleries and a section highlighting the development of the campuses.
“The book’s content focuses on how we’ve made decisions to meet the specific needs of children, families and society,” he said. “That’s a significant part of our legacy – that we’ve been able to adapt and develop programs as needed while also steward the resources we’ve been given.”
Mize’s Legacy of Hope depicting MCH’s history follows books by Dr. Patricia Ward Wallace, a former MCH resident and Baylor University professor. Mize said he felt grateful to be able to write a history book that would be added to the collection of books from Wallace which have been tremendous resources to MCH for many years. He said he is thankful that he was entrusted with this project and for those who assisted in the effort.
“It was a privilege to work on this unique and important project and I appreciated the support of Tim Brown, MCH president, and Trey Oakley, vice president for development, throughout this process,” he said. “Producing this book was a team effort that required the work of many people, including three members of our public relations staff – Lindsay Blagg, Lindy Dehm and Nathanael Mosher – who made significant contributions through their time and talents.”
Mize said he hopes people are able to see how God has blessed MCH and its children throughout history and noted in his introduction that only God knows the impact of everyone who has given of themselves for the ministry.
“God called upon people to serve at a certain time and work together,” he writes. “We are all part of the Legacy of Hope, regardless of our role.”
For information about ordering your limited edition copy of Legacy of Hope for $30.00, email us at Development@MCH.org or call us at 1-800-853-1272.