Following the Civil War, members of the Presbyterian Church in Alabama, recognizing the large number of widows and orphans in Alabama, decided to open a children’s home to provide these children with food and shelter, an education, and a foundation of faith in God. After several years of struggling to raise the money needed to open the doors, the Home accepted its first children in 1868.
The 80-acre campus in Talladega, Alabama has grown tremendously since the 1800’s, transforming itself from a children’s orphanage into an accredited and well-respected organization serving homeless children and families in crisis from throughout Alabama and the Southeast. The Home opened its own school, now named Ascension Leadership Academy, in 1997 to meet the educational needs of its residents and the greater community.
Today, the Talladega Campus includes residential cottages, school buildings, a gymnasium, dining hall, counseling center, and transitional housing.
1864 – Synod of Alabama adopted a proposal to establish a home for children.
1868 – Presbyterian Home opened in Tuskegee and received its first children into care.
1892 – Needing more space to grow in a more central location, the Home moved to its current location in Talladega, Alabama.
1961 – State Department of Pensions and Securities (now Department of Human Resources) licensed the Home as a child-caring agency. The Home did not receive State funding until 1989.
1973 – The Presbyterian Home for Children became an agency of the Presbyteries with the State of Alabama (Synod boundaries realigned).
1989 – The Moderate Care Residential program opens.
1983 – The Presbyterian Home for Children becomes an agency within the physical boundaries of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley and reaffirms its connection with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) through the three presbyteries within Alabama, including Sheppards and Lapsley, North Alabama and South Alabama Presbyteries.
1997 – The private school is founded to provide education to the children of the Home.
2004 – The school opens to private-pay students from the community.
2014 – Transition to Adult Living Program starts for young adult women.
2015 – Secure Dwellings Program for homeless children and their female caregivers opens on campus.
2015 –Thrift Store opens.
2017 –Family Bridges program opens.
2017 –Sunrise Center opens serving as a homeless day shelter in North Alabama.
2017 –Supportive Housing program opens and begins operating housing units in Central and North Alabama