First phase of Raleigh’s Place complete

Published 10:27 pm Friday, December 11, 2009

During Friday’s open house and dedication of Raleigh’s Place, a children’s home and camp, it was impossible to ignore the beauty of the 8,400-square foot home that will house 16 children. But all one needed to appreciate the project was the joy on the kids’ faces.

After six months of sawing, hammering and painting, the first structure of the 20-acre facility is complete. Friday, Tim and Sharon King and their children opened the doors to the public for the first time.

“We’re just overwhelmed,” Tim said during the open house. “The support the community has given us has been awesome. It’s exceeded all our expectations.”

As people walked through each room, the children mingled with them and tried out their new furniture.

Kids were the reason that Nathan Varner, board member of Raleigh’s Place, said he became excited about the project.

“For me, the biggest impact this house is going to have will be on the kids who will live here,” he said. “It will have the capacity to impact a lot of people.”

The effort was shared by volunteers from numerous local and out-of-state churches. Most of the materials and labor were donated. The organization ended up spending just under $100,000 to build a facility that values between $700,000 and $800,000.

Ultimately, the home and camp will include a second house, cabins and various recreational facilities. Raleigh’s Place is located off County Road 1028, which turns off County Road 28 east of Clanton.

The facility bears the name of the Kings’ late daughter, Raleigh, who first inspired the couple to start adopting children in need of a home. The Kings have taken in more than 50 children in their lifetime.

“It’s God’s ministry,” Sharon said. “It’s God’s vision. We’ve all just been a small part of being obedient and following his ministry. It’s all about advancing his kingdom, and that’s what we want to do.”