The weekend’s “Top Story” in the Hammond Daily Star is a great article about the beginning of Phase II construction… Read More
April 15, 2016 – Ruston, LA Following the Spring meeting of its Board of Directors, Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home held a ceremony on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 to name the W. A. J. Lewis, II Building.
W. A. J. “Billy” Lewis, II of Ruston, served for decades on the Home’s Board of Directors, holding various offices, including that of Board President. Mr. Lewis’ foresight in the 1980’s guided the Home into serving children whose needs could not be met in less intensive treatment centers. He led the Home to the construction of a 24-bed emergency shelter care and diagnostic center for adolescents which was completed in 1989. Mr. Lewis served and led during the home’s transition from simple caretaking to the provision of therapeutic treatment environments. Mr. Lewis understood the future would not be the past and during his tenure as Board President (1970 to 1987), the Home took the final steps in its transition from orphanage to residential treatment center.
Members of Mr. Lewis’ family were in attendance to witness the program and to celebrate with the Home’s administration, staff and numerous current Board of Directors members. Following an invocation by the Home’s assistant chaplain, Ms. Rebecca Deich and a Scripture reading by Rev. Bob Deich, Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Mr. Robert Temple, Chair of the Board of Directors offered words of welcome. Mr. Terrel DeVille, former CEO and now President Emeritus, shared a brief history of Mr. Lewis’ unselfish service to the Home. Mr. Rick Wheat, President and CEO, presented the building to be named and rededicated. Rev. Bob Burgess, Life Member of the Board of Directors, representing the Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, announced the official dedication and naming. Rev. Ken Irby, Shreveport District Superintendent, offered the benediction and words of blessing.
Following the ceremony, a tour of the facility was conducted for members of the Lewis family.