Kelley and Brad Phelps are members of First Baptist Church, Montgomery. Kelley had a special calling as a teenager to reach out to vulnerable children who were in need of a stable and loving home environment. With the launch of Children’s Hope, the Phelps immediately knew they were being called to become foster parents. Kelley and Brad were among the first to be certified as foster parents through ABCH in the Montgomery area. In the summer of 2012, they welcomed their first foster child into their home. This has been a successful placement with church members supporting them through meals, prayers and other tangible ways. Brad, Kelley, their three girls and extended family have all made this child feel welcome and loved. Most importantly, the child is learning about God’s love!
Bill and Diane McCrary are grandparents and are very active members of First Baptist, Montgomery. Diane is also a retired elementary teacher and (Colonel) Bill is employed with The Baptist Foundation of Alabama. Even though they are very active in different ministries, they sensed God’s call to be involved in foster care. Rather than being full-time foster parents, the McCrary’s chose to be “Respite” foster parents. They were required (by the State Dept. of Human Resources) to undergo the same training and guidelines as “full-time” foster parents. As respite parents, they are able to host foster children in their home on a short term basis when the need arises. A wonderful example is that the McCrarys serve as respite parents for the child placed with the Phelps (see above). If this occurs among families in the same church family as in this case, the child’s routine is not interrupted as much and the child begins to think of respite parents as extended family. This reduces anxiety among the children and allows the foster parents a much needed break.