At the age of 8, Sarah, along with her brother, came to live on our campus in Arcadia in the 1930s.
When Sarah walked onto the campus, a boy named Joe, who was already living there, carried her luggage to the second floor of the girls dorm. That little boy later became Sarah’s husband!
These are two of the hundreds of thousands of lives FBCH and One More Child have helped transform in the past 114 years.
When Sarah and Joe graduated high school, our organization helped provide them full scholarships to Stetson University. Sarah and Joe Johnson went on to have an inspiring ministry together, impacting the lives of countless children who had been abandoned, neglected or abused.
Sarah and Joe became educators, and in 1957, they started our Miami campus where they brought incredible, compassionate leadership to our programs. The love they had received in the 1930s in Arcadia, they abundantly shared with each child in their home.
Caryl Lucas was 4 when she and her four sisters came into the care of Sarah and Joe at FBCH in 1957. Caryl’s mother was a courageous single mother who loved her children dearly, but thought it was best to place them at FBCH while she worked toward financial independence.
Caryl and her siblings lived with the Johnsons for 10 years before going back to live with their mother.
“It was the best thing that ever happened to our family,” Caryl said.
While Joe and Sarah had no biological children, they welcomed and made an eternal difference in the lives of children like Caryl. To see this amazing story come full circle in a way only God can, Caryl served as Sarah’s advocate, guardian and was even her primary caretaker in the last years of Sarah’s life as she suffered the effects of Alzheimer’s.
“Sarah and Joe were very loving to each other – and coming from a broken home, it was like seeing the other side of a coin,” Caryl said. “They helped us grow up in the Christian faith, and I cannot imagine how I would have faced different things throughout my life without that foundation.”
The impact of the Johnson family legacy is only beginning. Not everyone can be foster parents or make a career out of ministry, but everyone can do something.
Sarah passed away at the age of 90 earlier this year, but she and Joe made Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and One More Child part of their estate, ensuring that children would be cared as part of their legacy for generations to come.
They are an example for us all in leaving a legacy for Christ, during our lifetime and beyond.
Look Ahead to Give Back
What kind of legacy will you impart on the next generation?
Since the opening of our first orphanage in 1904 to our present-day services that impact children locally and globally, our focus has always been helping one more abused, abandoned or disadvantaged child. To continue to positively impact children’s lives and eternities, we must look ahead to the future.
Legacy gifts are an ideal way to make a significant and lasting impact on future generations, not only providing advantageous ways to support the current and future needs of our ministry, but also saving you tax dollars through charitable deduction and the avoidance of capital gains. Popular legacy gift options include charitable stock trusts, wills, stock transfer, annuities, life insurance policies and real estate.
Our development office can be reached at 863.687.8811 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.