Alumni

Methodist Home for Children has a strong community of “brothers and sisters” who lived together on campus after the first building opened in 1901. Children stopped living on the property after a 1979 decision to sell the land and expand into community-based programs. Since then, the children have lived in group homes or foster homes.

The campus alumni return for reunions each year at MHC headquarters, still located on a portion of the original orphanage property, and they share their memories in Spotlight magazine.

» Read a News & Observer article about alumni and their Easter reunion.

Terri and Mona

Published in Fall 2015  |  Living away from home and apart from their mothers, two 8-year-old girls bonded in a big way when they met at Methodist Home for Children 48 years ago. Mona and Terri did everything together. They were best friends—strength and sanctuary for each other under some difficult circumstances. The girls lost touch after they left MHC, and each went on to build her own life. They hadn’t spoken in decades when Mona … [Read more...]

Kramer Jackson

Published in Summer 2015 | The circumstances of my journey to the Methodist Orphanage in Raleigh are not unlike those of many children who grew up there. My father died a sudden and tragic death in May 1941, leaving behind a 23-year-old widow with three children. At 2½, I was the middle child with a 6-year-old sister, Ruth, and a 2-week-old brother, James. Our mother was devastated by our father’s death. With a 4th-grade education, no … [Read more...]

Joe & Dorothy Reel Pearce

Published in Fall 2014 | Joe Pearce swears that when he lived at Methodist Orphanage/Methodist Home for Children, he raked a million leaves. “And I mean a million,” he repeats firmly. His family lived in rural Wake County near Zebulon, and Joe came to the orphanage in 1957 with two younger brothers. His yard chores spanned almost all of his eight years at MO/MHC, though Joe discovered the secret to the system before he left in 1965. “After … [Read more...]

Wade Smith

Published in Summer 2014 | Wade Smith was born near Enfield in Halifax County to “a poor, very poor” sharecropping family. He was the only one of six children in his family to complete high school, much less college, he says, because of Methodist Orphanage. Wade was 10 years old in 1950 when his parents ended their 27-year marriage, and his mother and a county welfare worker arranged for him to go to Methodist Orphanage with his two younger … [Read more...]

Billy & Peggy Griffin

Published in Fall 2013 | My story—my place in Methodist Home for Children’s history—actually begins in 1917 with an 8-year-old named Ray Griffin from Beaufort County. This boy was my father. His mother died giving birth to his sister, and his father was left alone with no wife by his side to raise six children. So the Methodist church in Washington, N.C., reached out to the orphanage to see if it could take some of these children, and my father, … [Read more...]

Colleen Murray Bunting

Published in Summer 2013 | The sixth of seven children from a Nash County family wracked by death, illness and other “sad circumstances,” Colleen Bunting came to Methodist Orphanage at age 7. Her younger brother, Stanley, arrived two months later. Moving to the Raleigh campus: I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was March 17, on a Friday. I was living, temporarily as it turned out, with an aunt (one of my mother's sisters). I knew … [Read more...]

Ruth Ann Salmon Thomas

Published in Fall 2012 | “Can I have a hug, too?” A second-grader has stopped in front of Ruth Ann Thomas and waits while she gives hugs in the hallway of Anderson Creek Primary School. Behind him, more hands go up for hugs, and it’s clear that “Miss Thomas” is a magnet of warmth and affection at this Harnett County school south of Lillington. Quiet and humble, full of smiles and encouragement, Thomas is a clerical assistant who’s worked more … [Read more...]

Robert Carter

Published in Summer 2012 | It was late afternoon on Feb. 2, 1951, when 9-year-old Robert Carter first stepped onto the grounds of Methodist Orphanage (MO). His sister had brought him to Raleigh and he had no idea—until she drove off without him —that MO would be his home for the next seven years. It took several teachers and students to restrain the distraught youngster as he realized he wasn’t going home. “I didn’t respond too well,” Carter … [Read more...]

King Gibson

Published in Fall 2011 | By late August in west-central Canada, leaves are starting to turn and farmers are racing to harvest the wheat, barley and canola crops planted just three months earlier. “They say this area gets 90 frost-free days each year,” says Methodist Orphanage alumnus King Gibson. “But I’ve never seen more than 80 or 85.” At age 74, Gibson still works daily on his 1,000-acre small-grain farm and cow/calf operation near … [Read more...]

Janice Roebuck Myer

Published in Spring 2011 | In December 1950, 7-year-old Janice Roebuck arrived at Methodist Orphanage (MO) in Raleigh along with her sisters Minnie and Alice and brother Steve. A younger brother, John, was placed a few miles away at the N.C. School for the Blind. The five Roebuck children were the youngest of nine and their father, a Bertie County tenant farmer, was unable to keep them after their mother died. Janice remembers she wept almost … [Read more...]