I was serving as Dean of Faculty at Pentecostal Bible Institute here in Tupelo in the early 1950’s, when T. C. Montgomery came forth with his vision and burden for the Tupelo Children’s Mansion. I have been able to follow the Mansion’s course from its inception to the compassionate ministry it now fulfills.
It is not always that one man’s dream can be or is perpetuated from one generation to the next and then to the next. I am happy to observe that this has happened through the nearly 57 years and two generational transitions that have transpired since those first four children made the Mansion their home in the fall of 1953.
I was personally acquainted with T. C. Montgomery whose vision and personal sacrifice brought the Mansion into being. I was also acquainted with L. J. Hosch, the first president of the Mansion, and M. J. Wolff, a long-time Chairman of its Board of Directors. But time passes on, and so do those whom God has used to accomplish his work. In the will of God, others of the next generation arose to provide the wise leadership it takes to direct the course of such a ministry.
The Executive Board leadership passed on to men like James G. Lumpkin, chairman, R. D. Whalen, vice-chairman, and W. L. Clayton, secretary. These and others of my generation have kept the ministry of the Mansion on course and moving forward with the transition of time. And now it has been my privilege to witness the “passing of the gavel” to those that follow.
With the passing of James G. Lumpkin in 2008, Kevin Cox, superintendent of the Louisiana District, was elected chairman of the Board of Directors. In 2009, R. D. Whalen chose to be replaced as vice-chairman of the BOD. Ron Becton, pastor of the First UPC in Nashville, TN, was elected to this vital office. And now, in 2010, W. L. Clayton chose to step aside as secretary of the BOD. Aubrey Jayroe, secretary of the Arkansas District, was chosen to fill this position. Two membership vacancies on the Executive Board were filled with the appointment of James E. Carney and Ron Brown. With these appointments, the leadership of the TCM Executive Board has passed to the next generation.
As a member of the present senior generation, it is most encouraging to see these of the next generation accept the
responsibilities of leadership and to whole-heartedly dedicate themselves to the perpetuation of the same vision and mission as those who carried the torch before them.
The future of Tupelo Children’s Mansion is in good hands and will continue to show the love of Christ by giving hope and help to those in need.