The Last Building
Of Orphanage Days
Will Hold Those
BY LISA WARREN
The Hutchins family has been a long-time fixture at Holston United Methodist Home for Children.
The Rev. Charles Hutchins is vice president of development and church relations at Holston Home, and his wife, Eva Gray, is the author of a historical reflection of the children's home, entitled "Haven in the Hills."
Together, the couple have dedicated themselves to the ministry of children and families for more than 55 years.
On Thursday afternoon, Holton Home honored them and their service with the dedication of the "Charles and Eva Gray Hutchins History House."
The historic brick structure, which has been used in several capacities through the years, is the oldest building that was part of the original Holston Home orphanage in Greeneville.
Built in 1928, the house has served as the residence of Holston Home superintendents and was once a youth group home.
In the early 1960s, the house even served as the home of Charles and Eva Gray Hutchins.
"During the time that we lived here our daughter was born, so this house has always held great significance for us," Eva Hutchins noted.
ARCHIVAL RECORDS SITE
The stately house will now serve as a museum for Holston Home archival records and other memorabilia of the children's agency.
The Hutchins History House will also provide office space for the agency's alumni resources staff.
Founded in 1895 as an orphanage in Greeneville, Holston Home has today grown to serve on a daily basis more than 400 children and their families throughout East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
In addition to providing on-campus residential housing for youth, Holston Home today also provides foster care and adoption services, special education, child care and other programs.
Several individuals from the community as well as Bishop Mary Virginia Taylor, of the Holston United Methodist Conference, attended the dedication ceremony at the home's front entrance.
Mary Margaret Denton, chairperson of the Holston Home board of trustees, welcomed everyone in attendance.
"One of the things that I like about Holston Home," Denton said during the ceremony, "is they know when to tear things down and build new things and they know when to keep old things that are still valuable and historic and functional. So today, we're here to bless and dedicate an 'old thing' that has been renewed."
Bradley Williams, executive vice president and COO, said that the Lord is "delighted when we show our faithfulness and exercise faith in a way that we can use us."
The Hutchins History House, Williams said, is being dedicated as a way "to reflect back and be reminded of those who were faithful" to the Holston Home ministry.
"It is my prayer that this house will serve as an encourager to each of us to bring glory to our God in the way that we serve children and families, not just now but for many years to come" Williams added.
Holston Home president and CEO Art Masker said that the historic house holds significance for those who grew up on the grounds of the Holston Home orphanage.
"As the last building from the orphanage days, it is significant that this building will now serve as the archival records place from the orphanage days, and it is significant that it will now house offices for our alumni, who will be able to come here and to claim this little piece of the old orphanage as part of their own," Masker said.