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‘Children’s Home’ exhibit brings special visitors

Darlene Carrigan, laughingly, said she didn’t urge her friend and co-worker to retire, but she is blessed to now be the administrative assistant to Rod Marshall, president and CEO of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes in Birmingham.

Carrigan and Sandra Rasberry, who recently retired from the ABCH, were in Troy on Thursday to visit the Pioneer Museum of Alabama to view the display of photographs and memorabilia from the Baptist Children’s Home that was located in Troy.

Rasberry and Carrigan understand and appreciate the role the Children’s Home played in providing a loving and caring home for children whose parents, for various reasons, could not provide for them.

“At the ABCH, we continue to pray every day for the children whose lives were shaped in many ways at the Children’s Home,” Carrigan said.

The ladies expressed their appreciation to the museum’s board and staff for keeping the memory of the Alabama Children’s Home front and center at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

“We have a display in the ABCH in Birmingham but nothing like this,” Rasberry said. “But I expect, after seeing this display, Darlene will do even more.”

The Children’s Home opened in Troy in 1923 and played an important role in the lives of the children it served for nearly 70 years. The Children’s Home and its children were a vital part of the Troy community throughout those years.

Barbara Tatom, Pioneer Museum of Alabama director, said, the Baptist Children’s Home, has a rightful place in the history of Troy and Pike County and at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

While in town, Carrigan and Rasberry also had lunch with friends and made a surprise visit to a Troy resident who grew up in the Children’s Home.

Raymond Ledford was surprised when Carrigan and Rasberry walked into his barbershop and presented him with special gifts – a print of the Chapel at the Alabama Baptist Children Home and a Christmas ornament featuring a pen and ink drawing by Ruth Walker of First Baptist Church of Troy.

“Once a member of the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home family, always a member,” Carrigan said in presenting the gifts to Ledford.

Ledford said the Children’s Home was his home and it was there that he learned the value of hard work and importance of teamwork and where he experienced the love of a family.

“What I learned at the Children’s Home has carried me through,” he said. “There, I had family. All of us were family and we still are.”

And, in true Raymond Ledford fashion, he shared a fish story or two with his visitors before thanking them for the surprise visit and the gifts.

He sent a message back to his friend, Rod Marshall, who initiated the visit, that it’s time for another family reunion for the children at the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home in Troy.