Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services announces the retirement of John H. Allen, Vice President of Operations, after 41 years of service.

Allen completed his last day of employment with the agency affectionately known as “the Methodist Children’s Home,” Thursday, June 28. Allen began his work at the Home in 1968.

A retirement celebration was held on his last day of employment, honoring Allen’s service and dedication to the Home. Many of the Home’s staff, current and past, were in attendance, as well as a large turnout of supporters from the local community of law enforcement and government agencies. Also in attendance were some of the Home’s youth, donors and members of the Board of Directors.

Rick Wheat, President and CEO of the agency, said, “John has literally done it all in the field of child welfare.  John Allen’s faithful ministry has been constant, unfailing and significant.  During my first year as CEO, John has served as the agency’s institutional memory providing the context and sharing the details required for healthy operations.  He has been a sounding board and has offered wise counsel.  John has been free with his opinions, generous with his wisdom, kind with his criticism, timely with his tips and always ready with solid advice.”

Terrel J. DeVille, President Emeritus of the Home who served as President/CEO alongside Allen for the duration of his career, said, “John was my right hand and my left hand. His focus has always been on the mission. It was always about the kids.”

Allen spoke, saying, “I can’t think of a better place to work. This is family. All of you are my family. I was raised in a Christian home and my mother and father taught us to serve others. I am proud of each and every one of you who are committed to the mission here. Terrel has been my friend, my mentor. We went from being a small family to a large family, but the important thing is to continue to be a family; continue to support each other. We do a great ministry. I will leave you with this: Go through each day loving those around you.”

Allen turns the reigns over to the new Vice President of Operations, Luke Allen, who was previously employed as the Executive Director of Willow Ridge Nursing and Rehabilitation in Arcadia. Wheat said, “Luke’s first day was June 18 and he hit the ground running.  Luke has the heart, head and hands to serve well and he has experience in each area of operations.  He has managed Medicaid-funded facilities, has worked as the Director of Human Resources for a medical facility with more than 400 employees, has managed multiple facilities simultaneously, and has experience stabilizing and leading nursing care facilities through fiscal and operational crises.  Luke has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.”  In addition to the degrees he has earned, Luke is a Licensed Nursing Facility Administrator.

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