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The Decatur City Commission approved the purchase of the 77-acre United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH) at their April 17 meeting. Proceeds of the sale – priced at $40 million – will help the ministry reach more children and families in crisis in new communities across North Georgia, according to a press release from UMCH.

The sale terms include preservation of the historic Moore Chapel and the gravesite of UMCH’s founder Rev. Dr. Jesse Boring.

The sale also creates a preservation covenant honoring the tenure of Bev Cochran, former CEO of UMCH, who led the ministry for 43 years, from 1968 to 2012. The City of Decatur and The Children’s Home agreed to name the existing administration building at 500 South Columbia Drive – which will remain in use by the City – in memory of Cochran.

The City of Decatur will determine and announce its plans for the remainder of the property and its existing buildings and resources.

Rev. Hal Jones, The Children’s Home President and CEO, put the sale decision into perspective.

“Funds from the sale will help The United Methodist Children’s Home to greatly expand local, community-based ministries in towns and cities across North Georgia, in partnership with many more churches,” said Jones. “Since January, when the Board voted for approval of a sale, I continue to be energized by the decision which embraces the changing landscape in providing services to children and families while empowering UMCH to deliver on, and continuously improve, its important mission.”


Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.