Alaska Baptist Family Services (ABFS) has successfully provided services to children for over 60 years in our community. The agency’s mission was formulated at the first Alaska Baptist Convention in 1946 and involved collaboration between three established Southern Baptist Churches in Alaska. In response to Alaska’s diphtheria outbreak, which left many clients in the state without caregivers, the churches wanted to “Serve Children and Families in the Spirit of Christ” and the convention set out to establish an orphanage for clients in need.
Over the years medicine and peace meant that parents lived longer, and there were far fewer orphans. Instead of children losing their parents due to illness and disease, children were left with no one to care for them because they had been abused, neglected and rejected by society. Our Alaskan community began to require an array of services designed to meet needs that hardly existed in 1946. Therefore, in the 1970s ABFS redefined its mission and began providing therapeutic services to serve orphans of the living- children who had been abused and neglected to an extent that require their removal from their homes, or whose behaviors did not allow them to be successful in their home environment. Today, ABFS continues to “Serve Children and Families in the Spirit of Christ” by serving children who need residential care with 24-hour behavior rehabilitation services.