I am so glad to see a well-written article giving just a glimpse into the dark, secret world of some IFB children’s homes, specifically New Beginnings Girls Academy. Susan Donaldson James does an excellent job of giving a real voice to the girls highlighted in the article: Anne, an 18-year old who, after only two months, was picked up malnourished; Brittany Campbell, now 25, who says it was “brutally psychologically and physically abusive;” and Kelsey, now 18, was “restrained” by eight girls jumping on her as a punishment.
Until a few months ago, I had very little knowledge of children’s homes, particularly Independent Fundamental Baptist children’s homes. That changed after a conversation I had with a friend of mine.
She grew up in a very strict, fundamentalist home. Her father, a pastor, focused more on his duties as a pastor than on his family. She, along with her two brothers, are trying to process life as adults in the wake of their upbringing. They are all dealing with it differently, and one of her brothers is passively raising a large family with no rules. Their oldest daughter, one of 12, began having “issues” and was sent to Hepzibah House at the age of 16. To my knowledge, she is still there.
If you are unfamiliar with IFB children’s homes, I encourage you to read James’s article here. What is described is just the tip of the iceberg.