Terrel Deville, President Emeritus
Terrel Deville, President Emeritus

By the time this message is published, I will have started my forty-fourth and final year of ministry as a member of the staff of Louisiana United Methodist Children and Family Services, previously called the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home when I first started. Yes, the time has come for my retirement.

At a Board of Director’s meeting 5 ½ years ago, I announced my plans to retire on June 30, 2011. It seems like only yesterday. In my mind, it seems like only yesterday that I was interviewed for the position of Activities Director and Part-time Social Worker by Rev. Harry Ezell, the Superintendent of the Home back in January of 1968. Upon Rev. Ezell’s retirement on November, 1, 1973, the Board of Directors, led by Mr. W.A.J. Lewis, Chairman, appointed me as the Superintendent with the new title Executive Director. The title changed again back in 1994 to President and Chief Executive Officer.

Interesting fact: when I retire, the Board of Directors Chairperson will be Mr. Richard Lewis, the son of Mr. W.A.J. Lewis. The Lewis family has contributed a rich and fruitful service to the "Home" as I like to call it. So have many others throughout the Home’s 109 year ministry to Louisiana’s children and families; a ministry in the name of Jesus Christ, through the support and witness of the Methodist people primarily in Louisiana, but also around the world. Support of the Home now includes many other supporters beyond the realm of the church; from all walks of life. This is a witness to the power of God that what is done here, not only on the main campus in Ruston, but also on the Mandeville and the Sulphur campuses, along with all of the Regional Family Plus Offices, providing hope for the future and most important – love at the present to all we come into contact with, is indeed what we must be about.

This will not change with my retirement. Just as ministry flowed forward after Rev. R.W. Vaughan, Rev. C.B. White, Rev. Harry Ezell and now as I retire, my replacement will keep the ministry of the Home flowing forward as long as it is God’s will to do so.

Later this year, I will have several opportunities to share my journey of 43 plus years. Years full with rich experiences, memories, and relationships that have shaped who I am today. I will wait to do so at those occasions. However, let me close this message by sharing that this past year, even though one of the most challenging that I ever experienced, has been one of the most rewarding. Various reports will be published that I am certain will be proof positive. We are truly blessed and I remain seeking to be God’s instrument of service.

Respectfully yours,

Terrel DeVille

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