Terrel Deville, President Emeritus
Terrel Deville, President Emeritus

As they say the time has come for my final President’s Message. It is a happy occasion, and yes it is time. There are so many cliches that I could quote and they would all be true. The recurring theme is all of the last times I have experienced in recent days, such as the last time to write this message as President of the Children’s Home.

By June 30, 2011, my last day at the office, it will have been forty-three years and five months since I first reported to work. Carol and I were married one month and thirteen days later. We have spent all of our adult lives in ministry here at the Home. I have jokingly said that since I never left the Home I must not have ever grown up. Some may agree with that. However, I will no longer be able to make that claim. It has been a great blessing to have been allowed to do what I have done all these years. To have been able to raise my own children within this loving community, which we call the Children’s Home, was special. To have been able to contribute to the growth of children entrusted to our care has been a gift from God that is worth more than I can express.

One of the questions I am asked is, "how many children have you cared for throughout the years." Truly I have never totaled the numbers. I am sure it has to be several thousand who came here during my stay. What I do know is that, while having a major responsibility for them while they were here, they also helped me grow in ministry. It has never been about the numbers except to make certain that we have helped all that we can help.

I am very much looking forward to this year’s Annual Homecoming which will take place the last weekend of April and the first Sunday in May. I understand that several of the youngsters that helped train me during my early years will be here to help celebrate my departure. That will be fun. I am also looking forward to the receptions that are being held in honor of my retirement. My family and I are looking forward to these events which will allow us to recount memories of experiences and relationships which are dear to us.

As I presented my final Administration Report to our Board of Directors meeting on April 5, I stated that I am certain that if I did my job well all will be well with the transition of leadership. Mr. Richard "Rick" Wheat has been selected by the Board to assume the responsibility of President and Chief Executive Officer as of July 1, 2011. I have had the privilege of working with Rick for more than 20 years, and I know that he has a great passion for the Home. The Home is lucky to have someone of his experience, intelligence, vision, and integrity. I wish him good luck and God’s blessings. I also know the staff that he will be leading. They also have a similar passion for the Home’s Ministry.

In his response when selected by the Board as the new President/CEO, Rick stated, "What I know is this: we have a very healthy, engaged Board of Directors, and our hundreds of staff across Louisiana will continue providing compassionate care to the neediest, acting as the hands of the church in active ministry to families and children. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. It will not change."

My prayer is that all of us who have partnered with the Home, making its Ministry possible, will not change and that with the change in leadership we will be even more committed to seeing it succeed by offering our time, talent, and financial resources.

I plan to remain in a supporting role when asked to do so. While on the staff, as humanly possible, I have sought to be a servant as Christ taught us to be. My focus for all these years has been on doing God’s will. That will not change. God’s Will Be Done.

Respectfully yours,

Terrel DeVille

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