The History of Baptist Community Ministries
This year, Baptist Community Ministries (BCM) celebrates 25 years of service to the Greater New Orleans region. But our service to the community actually began in 1926 with the opening of Southern Baptist Hospital. The hospital, a leading regional medical center, was located in the heart of Uptown New Orleans. For several generations, the hospital provided excellent healthcare to patients of all faiths.
Due to the changing healthcare landscape in New Orleans, a decision was made to sell the hospital in 1995. The proceeds from the sale were used to create BCM, a faith-based philanthropic foundation. The focus changed from providing direct care to individual patients to making social investments (grants) in local nonprofits to improve the health of the community.
Continuing Our Legacy
The hospital was also renowned for its pastoral care program, where professional chaplains were key members of the healthcare team. BCM continues this tradition today with its Chaplaincy Services program. Another direct service program, Congregational Wellness, was added in 1997. Congregational Wellness establishes and maintains wellness ministries in local congregations using volunteer registered nurses and lay health advocates.
Over the past 25 years, BCM has worked diligently to partner with local nonprofits and other organizations in an effort to build a healthier community in the New Orleans region. BCM primarily invests in programs in the areas of Health, Education and Public Safety. BCM believes the community has experienced significant gains in these key areas, particularly in the post-Katrina era. Although much work remains to be done, BCM is fully committed to continuing its work with community partners in the decades to come.