From our beginnings we have been a place of learning, nurturing and hope. Founded by Miss Ella K. Hooper, a deaconess of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, MacDonell United Methodist Children’s Home was established as a mission in 1919 as a school for girls.
Recognizing early the need for education in the predominantly rural fishing village of Houma, the mission soon evolved to serve both boys and girls and expanded by five additional buildings. For the next four years, MacDonell served the members of the Houma nation, the indigenous people who were the original settlers of the area. MacDonell ceased its role as a French Mission School around 1949.
Around 1953, the direction of the program changed again as oil and gas exploration took many men away from home. Families challenged by these new circumstances sought help and support from MacDonell, and the organization began serving children who came from broken families and single parents. The parents contributed to the support of the children and remained legal guardians.
In time, caring for children in need became the single focus of MacDonell under the ownership and guidance of the Women’s Division of the United Methodist Church. Today we are administered by the General Board of Global Ministries, Women’s Division of the United Methodist Church and governed by a 12-member board made up of citizens from across Louisiana.