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BGHNC schedules chapel’s 20th anniversary celebration, Christmas open house

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina warmly invites the community to a special Christmas open house celebrating the Leamon Rogers Memorial Chapel’s 20th anniversary on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m.

“We were truly blessed to be able to build this facility on our campus thanks to the generosity of this community and special friends of Boys and Girls Homes from across the state,” said Director of Community Engagement Dr. Mason Fuller Smith, who was serving as the campus chaplain at the time of the chapel’s construction. “Being able to celebrate 20 years of worship and community in this building feels right.”

While details of the free to attend event are still coming together, certain elements of the program are confirmed.

“We will have a performance by the BGHNC Praise and Worship Team,” said Smith. “We will also have a community choir under the direction of Rev. Eddie Fort.”

Fort has been the Minister of Music at First Baptist Church in Whiteville since August 2004. With more than 40 years of music ministry experience, he has served churches in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and Kentucky. He has served on the faculty of Music Week at Caswell sponsored by the Music and Worship Team of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. He has also served on the faculty of Children’s Music Camps in Georgia, Florida and Whiteville.

Former BGHNC President Bill Thompson will share a history of the chapel, including the connection to Leamon Rogers and stories of the construction process.

“This will be a special opportunity for our community to come together in celebration of the longstanding support of this worship space,” said BGHNC President/CEO Ricky Creech. “It will also be one of the first fully open to the community events held on the main campus since I arrived in October 2020. I am looking forward to having this chance to welcome the community in celebration.”

The event will include all appropriate COVID precautions in place at the time, including masks and physical distancing.

For more information about the event, contact Dr. Mason Fuller Smith at or 910-646-3083.

About Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina, Inc., has been helping children since 1954. Since then, more than 7,500 children have benefitted from the services of the not-for-profit, 501(c)3 agency. Its mission is to provide a comprehensive array of services for children and youth who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family dysfunction. BGHNC offers adoption, family and therapeutic foster care, free children’s therapy, as well as residential care on the campus at Lake Waccamaw. The campus features a SACS-accredited school with a middle and high school curriculum, vocational education, recreation facilities, farm, chapel and cottage life. As many as 320 children are cared for through the residential, community-based services, and school program provided by BGHNC at any given time. BGHNC operates its program, services and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws. BGHNC is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation. To learn more, visit

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