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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).




My relative Edward Mills was at the Thomasville Orphanage in Dec. 1926. I am trying to determine when he went to the orphanage and when he left.

Thank You


Hello Mary Helen,

Thank you for visiting NCpedia!

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.

Kind regards,

Molly Goldston, NC Government & Heritage Library


My parents worked there in 1969-1970, I remember standing on the front porch of the Durham house singing along with and acting like I was Tommy Roe!. I remember one girl there who was hit by a car one day going to the recreation center. It is weird and hard to believe that I only have three memories of the place now.
1. Acting like a Rockstar, the stage was the front porch. Today, 07-25-2021, I rode by there and there is an actual stage built there now.
2. The girl getting hit by the car goin to the recreation center.
3. One night hearing the sound of someone digging in dirt and tossing it off the shovel, The next morning I went outside with our dog Winston Churchill the Thrid and I found a pentagram, star, drawn in the dirt outside of my window and while my mom, dad and others were looking at it, I caught a man trying to carry Winston away. I get chill bumps thinking of all the nights after that I would hear the digging noises and have very vivid nightmares with demons in them. I saw they need a maintenance man there now so, I am going to apply tomorrow.


I’m hoping you can help me. Upon doing genealogy research I’ve discovered that my great Uncle Zeb Trivett died from pneumonia at age 10 on March 10, 1906. I’m wondering if his grave was marked? I also would someday like to visit where he is buried and I’m wondering if this is a possibility?

Thank you for your assistance,
Donna Carter



I did a quick search on and believe I found him as information  seems to match. 

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library


My father, Kenneth McCoy Scott, was adopted from your home by Bessie Durham Scott and her husband Byron in the mid 1920’s. His birthday was May 30, 1925 or 1926.
Is it possible to get his birth records?
Thank you so much for your help.
Lloyd Scott (Ms)



This is not the website of the Baptists Children's Homes, but rather an encyclopedia article about the home. 

To get a copy of a birth certificate, you need to contact the Register of Deeds in the county where he was born. 

Thank you, 

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library


My Grandmother and her siblings lived at an orphanage in Durham at 1105 Main Street around 1919-1920 as their parents went through a bad divorce. I would love to find out what orphanage that was and if I could get any records.


My grandmother Winifred Sails and her sister Helen were in a orphanage near Wilmington NC around 1933. I have no idea if this is it but I remember she got a news letter that helped her keep in contact with the kids they grew up with. If anyone recognizes them. I would love any info I can get! Thanks!


I don't know if you can help but maybe can suggest something..My Grandmother Leila Helen Vollers (adopted last name) supposedly remembers being on a train and waving to her sibling..I am assuming "The Orphan Train." I believe Leila lived at the Oxford Orphanage..Leila was born in 1899 and was adopted by Lewis Henry Vollers and Susan Vollers of Wilmington, N.C. They also adopted (a little bit later) Clayton John..they called him Johnny. Leila use to rock him at the orphanage and cried when the Vollers took her home first, without him...I think she was there somewhere between 1899 to 1910..I think she was old enough to remember being on the train so 1904-1905 actually being there. There is adoption on both sides of my maternal and paternal side..Dad was given to my grandfather..that's another "battle." Leila's life has always fascinated me, but alas she died in 1954, 2 years before I was born from a "broken heart." Her name was Leila Helen Vollers Chason Spencer born August 1899..Can one even obtain birth certificates from adoption...In this age of computer miracles is it even possible to trace her life..

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