Donna M. Smallwood Endowment

Donna M. Smallwood Endowment

Long-time Newton resident Donna Smallwood has partnered with the Jasper County Community Foundation to provide support for the Oblong Children’s Christian Home. Smallwood is the former recipient of the Norris Electric Staff Member of the Year (2002) where she was employed for 52 years. She is now giving back to the community through an endowment fund that will provide the children’s home with long-term support. The Oblong Children’s’ Christian Home was established in 1970 and serves as a home for “abused and troubled children ages 5 to 17” with the overall goal of reuniting children with their parents. It has grown from a single home to three houses in addition to administrative buildings, a private high school (New Life Academy), and an indoor horsemanship arena. The organization relies fully on funds from churches and individuals and receives no funding from the state. Smallwood made the decision to give to the organization “because of the good they do for children in need of some love and caring in a home-like atmosphere.”

About Oblong Christian Children's Home

Offering Christ-Centered Care for Children Since 1970

The Deatherages gave 60 acres including their home and outbuildings. The dream began to take shape in the late 1960's when area churches joined together to incorporate a name. The initial idea for developing the gift was to create a Christian service camp. The churches further considered the needs that existed. The area had several camps but there were no homes for abused and troubled children. A decision was made to use this gift to begin such a home.Originial farmhouse

David and Myrtle Deatherage donated their farm to area Churches of Christ and Christian Churches. They wanted God to use their land to introduce children to Jesus and help youths grow academically, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

In 1970 the first child came to live in the farm home in a stable, loving Christian family. Over the years hundreds of children have lived at the home. Funds from churches and individuals (we receive no state funds) have expanded the facilities since that beginning:

  • 1974 The tri-level home was built to house the children
  • 1989 A combination administration building and residence was erected replacing the farmhouse
  • 1999 The Talitha Koum Home (girls' home) was built doubling our capacity for children
  • 2001 Volunteers built Our Father's House (boys' home).
  • 2002 The main level of the tri-level home underwent renovation. It is now the relief houseparent home. This provides consistent care when houseparents have time off.
  • 1998-2006 Programs expanded. Added were:
    • Program for parents including parenting skills & family therapy
    • Therapeutic horsemanship
    • Full time counselor hired
    • Interest Groups added
  • 2004 Zion home was built by volunteers and housed girls.
  • 2006 Zion became a boys home to meet the need for boys in placement.
  • 2010 New Life Academy, on on campus High school, is started.
  • 2012 Indoor riding arena for horsemanship program is constructed. New school building for New Life Academy is constructed.