About Us: History
Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (PCHAS) is the result of the January 2002 merger between Presbyterian Children’s Homes (PCH) and Presbyterian Children’s Services (PCS). The mission of Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services has been to provide a variety of Christ-centered services to children in need and their families – with the goal of ending the cycle of family breakdown.
The seed of Presbyterian Children’s Homes was planted in 1903, when Leontine Hector Blaney contacted the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Dallas. Ms. Blaney was dying of tuberculosis and was concerned about the care of her four children. The Ladies Missionary Society of First Presbyterian Church rented a home in Dallas, and the Synod of Texas of the Presbyterian Church in the United States assumed management of the home in October 1903. The home quickly filled with orphans in need of care, including the Blaney children.
In 1905, the Files family donated a large plot of land in the Files Valley, east of Itasca, where our oldest continually operating campus remains today. The Synods of Oklahoma and Arkansas later joined in support, and a strong relationship continued between PCH and these synods and their successors. The first written confirmation of the covenant relationship between PCH and the synod was adopted in 1984 and renewed without change in 1989. PCH developed and maintained programs in areas throughout Texas.
It was in early 1916 that a group of concerned, caring Presbyterians responded to a need and opened Reynolds Presbyterian Orphanage and School in the small West Texas community of Albany. The home served needy children in that area under the direction of the Presbytery of Abilene until economics necessitated a move to Dallas in 1923, and the agency came under the care of the Presbytery of Dallas.
The campus in Dallas weathered the difficult 1920s and ’30s and continued to serve children in that location until 1960, when it relocated to a new campus in Waxahachie. With a new home, the organization got a new name as well: United Presbyterian Homes. To more adequately identify with its origin and purpose, the name Presbyterian Children’s Services was approved by the Synod and the PCS board of trustees in 1989. Written confirmations of the covenant relationship between the synod and PCS were adopted in 1986 and 2001.
Following the reunion of the UPCUSA and PCUS in 1983, Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Presbyterian Children’s Services continued to operate as separate agencies. The 1990s saw a time of greater collaboration between the two agencies, resulting in a complete merger on January 1, 2002, and a new name to reflect its complete continuum of care: Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services.
Today, PCHAS is an independent ministry commissioned by Synod of the Sun, Presbyterian Church (USA) to provide a variety of Christ-centered services that minister to the spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social needs of children and families. The synod’s region includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
PCHAS operates within a covenant relationship with the Synod of the Sun. Through the agreement, both entities vow to demonstrate mutual concern and support for one another. PCHAS agrees to work cooperatively with other Synod institutions, and in turn the Synod promises to advocate the role and programs of PCHAS to congregations, governing bodies, individual Presbyterians and others.