ESTANCIA (BNM) - Nearly two years after receiving the property of the former Immanuel Baptist Church in Estancia, the New Mexico Baptist Children's Home and Family Ministries has begun renovation on the property, to make it suitable for use as its second campus.
Plans for the Estancia facility include: turning the fellowship hall and Sunday School wing into residences for 12 children and house parents; converting the worship center into an all-purpose room for worship, sports and other activities; and building a space for volunteer lodging.
Construction began in July following several delays, including a January 2018 electrical fire, which destroyed one of the property's buildings. Then, in March 2019, after finalizing the necessary permits, a snowstorm hit the Estancia Valley, resulting in muddy conditions, which caused further delay. Construction is slated for completion by mid-2020.
The residential hall will consist of six rooms, each with the capacity to house two school-age children. There will be a large common area living room and two apartments for house parents and their children. The worship center building - which was undisturbed by the fire - holds offices, classrooms and meeting rooms. There is space to accommodate NMBCH board meetings, and the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department currently uses the rooms for agency meetings. There will also be private rooms to meet with parents when the need arises.
In July, First Baptist Church, West Albuquerque's Golden Girls quilting group delivered 12 handmade quilts and 14 handmade jump ropes for use by the children. Josh Faucett, NMBCH's administrative assistant, met with the group. They were given a tour of the facilities and an explanation of the plans for the new campus before leaving the quilts and jump ropes in a storage room to be available when the campus opens.
NBMCH moved the steeple from Immanuel Baptist to the Children's Home at the Portales campus, adding it to the campus' new chapel building.
This year, the Children's Home is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The celebration will coincide with the Baptist Convention of New Mexico's annual meeting in October. Part of the annual meeting will take place at NMBCH's Portales campus. Randy Rankin, president of the Children's Home, will display the names of every child who has lived at NMBCH during its 100 years.