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Florida United Methodist Children's Home Dedicates Two New Homes

Florida United Methodist Children's Home Dedicates Two New Homes

On September 20, 2011, there will be a Dedication ceremony for two new residential homes, at 12:00 noon on the campus of The Florida United Methodist Childrens Home. These two homes will allow the home to care for approximately 16-20 more children in need.

As part of the Florida United Methodist Childrens Homes Master Plan, adopted in 2002, the two homes are part of a trio of homes built using a similar floorplan. The first to be built was Gayler Home, in 2007. It utilized a square footprint, rather than the long rectangular footprint of the older homes on campus, making it much more efficient in use of space and more family-oriented. It also has a lofted family room and dining room, giving a nice sense of openness.

Funds for a second home were included in the capital campaign adopted by the Florida Conference. One newly built home will be named for Sarah A. Hunt, a pioneering African American woman who built a home in Daytona Beach for orphans and the indigent elderly in the mid-1920s. Known for many years as Mother Hunt, she was a talented and generous woman with a great warm heart.  As she came by horse and wagon from South Carolina to Daytona Beach, she picked up several orphan children along the way.  She was a tireless fundraiser and would seek donations throughout the Daytona Beach area.  She was known for carrying her market basket around the streets and stores to raise the funds needed to operate her orphanage.  In 1971, The Sarah Hunt Methodist Childrens Home and The Florida United Methodist Childrens Home became one, and her home was given to Bethune-Cookman University.

In March 2011, Sallie Shelton Culver, a former Board Chair, called the ground breaking a great day which makes Hunt a living part of the history of FUMCH. She is not here in body, but her spirit lives on.

Another home was funded completely, including furnishings, by Trish and Dan Bell of First United Methodist Church in Coral Gables, who are both serving on the Board of Trustees for the Childrens Home. Trish Bell explains, We both recognize how valuable to us our own Christian homes were in shaping our adult destinies, so we could not imagine a more worthwhile gift than making available to more children in desperate need the loving, Christian parenting that the Childrens Home so wonderfully provides.  

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Dan Bell added, I cant imagine growing up in a world without loving parents and a home.

Building of the two new homes was begun in March 2011 by McCree General Contractors & Architects.

The dedication ceremony will commence at 12:00 noon on the campus of the Childrens Home, and will be followed by a tour of the new Homes and Hors Doeuvres for the Trustees and invited guests.

Each home costs $1.5 million to build, furnish, and supply with a van (this does not cover operating costs)
Each home contains a safe room in case of a tornado or hurricane
The home will be located adjacent to Gayler Home, near the tennis court and pool on the Childrens Home campus

For more information please contact Deborah Dunstan, Strategic Communications Coordinator, at 386-668-4774, or

Note: The Florida United Methodist Childrens Home was established in 1908 in Enterprise, Florida on the banks of Lake Monroe. The Childrens Home provides services to families and to children from birth into adulthood. Our Residential Care Program provides school-aged children who have been victimized by abuse, neglect or family trauma a family-style home, education, counseling, recreation and ministry opportunities. The Home, along with providing Foster Care, Adoption Services, an Emergency Shelter, an Independent Living Program and Child Care to the public, is supported primarily through the generosity of churches within the United Methodist Florida Annual Conference, individuals and their legacy gifts. For more information visit

The Dr. Phillips name has been a major economic and philanthropic presence in the Central Florida community since the turn of the 20th century. Dr. Phillips Charities (Dr. Phillips Inc. and The Dr. P. Phillips Foundation) honors the legacy of the Phillips family and its support of organizations that live up to the motto "to help others help themselves."  With nearly $14 million in grants and program related investments made in fiscal year 2011 to Central Florida nonprofits, Dr. Phillips Charities continues to respond to the needs of the Central Florida community by directly touching the lives of thousands of children and families each year.