Sunrise Children’s Services first originated as Louisville Baptist Children’s Home in 1869 and then became known as the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children.
“We went through a renaming a few years ago and changed our name to Sunrise to be more reflective of the families we are serving,” said Sunrise Director of Marketing Melissa Bailey.
Sunrise opened its Owensboro program in 1995, initially offering with foster care services. Since then, they have added family prevention services and independent living for adolescents ages 18-21 years old who have aged out of foster care.
“Today, we serve more than 330 clients in the Owensboro area through our three programs offered there,” Bailey said. “We currently have nearly 30 employees working in Owensboro including therapists, case managers, foster care specialists and more.”
Sunrise Foster Care and Independent Living Supervisor Rick Ferguson, finds his job to be as much of a ministry as he does a vocation.
“While working with children and families in the foster care system can be challenging, it is also a great privilege,” Ferguson said. “I have been able to watch children who need love, and parents who have love to give, come together to create beautiful families. It is wonderful to be a part of an organization that strives to minister to the hurting in the way that God intended.”
Kenny Williams, vice president of Sunrise Community Based Services strives hard each day to carry out the Sunrise mission established 150 years ago.
“Sunrise’s Family Services program is about meeting individuals, couples and families where they are physically, spiritually and emotionally and setting forth a plan to walk together with them until they are ready to walk by themselves again,” Williams said. “This is the very foundation of how Sunrise began 150 years ago and what we build upon every day in our ministry.”
As the agency celebrates its 150th anniversary, each location throughout Kentucky has had its own individual celebration, with the Owensboro office holding theirs the first week in June.
Sunrise’s “Dreams of Hope Tour” kicks off on June 30 at Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville.
“This is the church where Sunrise’s roots began in 1869 when several ladies recognized a need for orphan care due to children losing their parents in the Civil War,” Bailey said. “The Dreams of Hope Tour will make a stop in Owensboro this fall.”