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Generations of Alumni Celebrate our 75th Anniversary!

Family Ministries celebrated its 75th homecoming and the dedication of its newly constructed school, Stokes Academy, on Saturday, October 18th.   ...


Family Ministries celebrated its 75th homecoming and the dedication of its newly constructed school, Stokes Academy, on Saturday, October 18th.    We welcomed a gathering of about 500 people to the dedication ceremony and an afternoon of festivities.

Several key figures for the ministry shared the history behind Free Will Baptist Family Ministries, the dedication of the employees, the services provided by volunteers and foster parents, the support of the community of Greeneville and Greene County, the people who have donated of their time and financial giving, the alumni and the at-risk children and families that the ministry serves on a daily basis.

Alumni from California, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia and Tennessee were present from the homecoming event.  Alumni from the 1940s-era to the present attended.

Everyone was invited for a luncheon of chicken and barbeque, sides and desserts.  Immediately following lunch, an afternoon of celebratory activities included music from South Raised Gospel Group and 9-year-old fiddler Carson Peters, multiple carnival-themed games and inflatables, face-painting, hot chocolate, snow cones and fresh popped pop corn.  Concerts bookended the day’s festivities.  There was also a guided hay-ride tour of The Oaks Retreat Center, a walking tour of Niswonger Cottage, and a favorite with all our guests – trained rides provided by Rev. Lynn Neas, pastor at Union Chapel FWB Church.

Homecoming marked an important day for Family Ministries.  The celebration represented 75 years of serving at-risk children and families.

....alumni oldest

Robert Compton participates in the dedication ceremony of Stokes Academy.  Mr. Compton was the oldest alumnus present.  He was a child at Family Ministries’ orphanage from 1946 until 1959.


A group of alumni help Executive Director Rev. Frank Woods, third from left, cut the ribbon during a dedication ceremony Saturday for the new Stokes Academy where residents can earn high school diplomas or GEDs.


Friends enjoying food and fellowship at our Homecoming Celebration.  Left side:  Kellie Rivera – alumnus, Trish Griffith – former house parent, Diane Garber – FWBFM development assistant, Courtney Laney – FWBFM receptionist, Travis Collins – FWBFM custodian.  Right side:  David & Connie Roy, former house parents, Gabe Bilicki Roy – alumnus.




























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Greeneville, TN 37743
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It was here that that wounds of the past were healed and a love for adventure was instilled that released me from being place-bound. It set me on a path to a wider experience. Right here I developed a concern for other people and learned to accept love as well as give it. In this very place, a desire was born in me to pass on the message that had made my life glad....
Trula Cronk, first child to live at "The Children's Home" in 1939

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A happy foster family