ABHCM members are rooted in a long American Baptist tradition of compassionate care and advocacy for justice.
In 1895, two retired Baptist missionaries responded to the plight of abandoned and homeless children by establishing the Chicago Baptist Orphanage. Those leaders were following in the footsteps of many American Baptists in the 19th century who boldly worked toward abolition of slavery, homes for older adults, schools for freed slaves, hospitals for those in need and settlement houses for new immigrants.
In the 20th century, American Baptists continued this legacy of social justice, participating in the women’s suffrage movement, the civil rights movements and refugee resettlement.
American Baptist congregations began forming ministries of care in response to the unique needs of their communities. Orphanages transformed into services for children and families addressing issues of juvenile justice and foster care, new retirement communities opened offering a continuum of care, and innovative programs were created for individuals with disabilities. These ministries organized to form the American Baptist Homes and Hospitals Association.
Today that organization has been renamed American Baptist Homes and Caring Ministries to denote that our services are continuing to grow as we create communities and transform lives.