It’s our 120th anniversary!
Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS) is the result of several mergers of children’s agencies. The first merger involved two Texas children’s agencies, Presbyterian Children’s Homes (PCH) and Presbyterian Children’s Services (PCS).
Presbyterian Children’s Homes (PCH) was founded in 1903 when a young mother dying of tuberculosis, Leontine Hector Blaney, met with the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas and arranged for the care of her four children upon her death. In response, the women of the church rented a home, hired a matron and created an orphanage. In 1905, the ministry moved to Itasca, Texas. The campus still operates today as PCHAS’ Itasca Foster Care Village.
A few years later and not too far away, the Presbytery of Abilene started a separate home for orphans in 1916 called the Reynolds Presbyterian Orphanage and School in Albany, TX. This ministry moved to Dallas in 1923 and then to Waxahachie in 1960. In 1998 its name was changed to Presbyterian Children’s Services (PCS). The Waxahachie campus is still in operation and serves foster families, families experiencing trauma, struggling single parents and youth who have aged out of foster care.
In 2002, these two beloved Texas children’s agencies merged to create Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS). The name changed again when PCHAS began providing the Child & Family Program in Baton Rouge (2014) and the next year in New Orleans. The agency with a long history deserved a long name: Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services of Texas and Louisiana.
The second merger occurred on January 1, 2010 when PCHAS merged with an adoption agency, Homes of St. Mark. Located in Houston, with ties to the Episcopal Church, it became PCHAS' Foster Care and Adoption program. A long-reaching outcome of this merger was that PCHAS invested more in cultivating connections between biological and foster parents, for the benefit of the child.
Lastly, in 2018, PCHAS of Texas and Louisiana merged with PCHAS of Missouri to operate under the name Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS). The Missouri organization traced its roots back to 1914 in Farmington, Missouri, where Presbyterian pastors and elders founded an orphanage for children whose parents died in mining accidents. The Farmington Children’s Home grew to include numerous homes and a working farm. Over the years, additional programs were added to help foster children, young adults and families.
In 2023, Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services began its 120th year of service. Its 12 programs in 27 service locations serve an estimated 4,500 children and families with Christ-centered care and support throughout Texas, Missouri and Louisiana. We invite you to partner with us as we bring love and hope to children and families in need.
Here again is the link to 2023 History of PCHAS, full of photos and anecdotes from our first 120 years. This is a PDF that you may read online and share with friends and family. Thank you for your interest in our past, present and future.