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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Baptist Children's Homes

Durham Building, Baptist Orphanage, Thomasville, N.C.; postcard published by American News Co., New York, N.Y. From the North Carolina Postcard Collection, UNC Libraries. by Glenn Jonas, 2006

See Also: Free Will Baptist Children's Home

Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina, Inc., founded in 1885, is one of the largest residential child care facilities in the South. The idea to establish an orphanage was first brought before the North Carolina Baptist State Convention in 1884 but was rejected primarily because of the cost of such an enterprise, the existence of the Oxford Masonic Orphanage (which Baptists had helped organize), and the tendency among many North Carolina Baptists to reject any type of missionary efforts beyond the local church. Within a year, however, supporters of the idea had appointed John Haymes Mills as the first general superintendent and commissioned him with the task of raising money and finding a site. A site was selected in Thomasville, and the first resident of the Baptist Orphanage was admitted in 1885.

Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina, Inc., became an important ministry of the Baptist denomination, receiving a great deal of support from the North Carolina Baptist State Convention. In the early 2000s, the organization had 12 facilities throughout the state, aiding more than 1,200 children and their families through residential group care, crisis emergency care, maternity services for unmarried women, and other support programs.

Additional Resources:

Baptist Children's Home of North Carolina:

Image Credit:

Durham Building, Baptist Orphanage, Thomasville, N.C.; postcard published by American News Co., New York, N.Y. From the North Carolina Postcard Collection, UNC Libraries. Available from (accessed June 8, 2012).




Dear Ms. Burns,

Thank you for this intriguing question. I would suggest contacting the State Archives. You can find their contact information here:

Best of luck with your research!

Mike Millner, NC Government & Heritage Library


I was there in the mid 50s. I hated it then but have come to thank God they were there.


My great grandmother was an orphan there and I remember when we would go the first Sunday in August to the big reunion ,it was such a joy to see everyone getting together ,my great grandmother has passed since then and my mom's family still goes every year and are going today.


My grandparents were employees at mills home in Thomasville nc from 1951-1972. They lived in a house on campus on Watson circle, she was a seamstress at the sewing room and he the groundskeeper. Their names were George Don and Minnie Dare Greer Campbell. The House was long ago demolished and nothing was ever put in its place. As a young boy I have many fond memories of spending the weekends with them and being involved in the church that was across the street from where their house was located. The reason for bringing all this up is there is a book that was published about the mills home alumni and the homecoming events that spans over a period of years with a lot of photos of them and others during their time with the home. This hardback book was available for purchase at a homecoming event around 15 years ago. My mother who lives in Thomasville have tried to get each of us a copy and was working with a lady named Lib at the time but it never happened but would still love to buy 2 copies if there are any left. Thank you for your consideration
Donny D. Campbell


Hi Donny,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia and especially for sharing your history and interest.

I have replied to you at the email address you included with your posted comment and have connected you via email with Reference Services at the NC Government & Heritage Library.  A librarian will contact you shortly to help you try to locate the book you are interested in.

Best wishes,

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library


My mother was in Thomasville orphanage sometime in 1940s probably 1945-1950. She has passed away now but I would like to know when she was there exactly. I am trying to trace family history for my grandchildren. Her brother and sisiter where also there. Any help would be appreciated.


Hi Sharon,

Thank you for visiting this article.

Here is the link to the website for the Baptist Children's Homes of North Carolina --  They will be able to tell you if they have any records from Thomasville that you can access.

I am also connecting you by email with Reference Services at the N.C. Government & Heritage Library.  Genealogy librarians may also be able to suggest additional resources that are available to help you locate information.

Good luck and best wishes,

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library


How do I find the someone who was put in an orphanage in Thomasville, NC in early 1920-1929. I have his name and only know he was place in an orphanage because the family could not care for him. He lost an arm while at the orphanage. I am doing research on this family. I can submit more info if this is a source than could help me. Thanks for your consideration and help.


Hi Faye, I've just sent an email connecting you with Reference Services at the NC Government & Heritage Library. For additional information about Reference Services, please visit Someone in Reference Services will be in touch with you soon about your questions.


Emily Horton, Government & Heritage Library, State Library of NC

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