Ebenezer Baptist Church

Child Development Center

Serving the Austin Community Since 1875 www.thestoneofhelp.org

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The Ebenezer Child Development Center was founded in 1952. It grew out of the vision, prayers and perseverance of Reverend Robert L. Rowe, former pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Several people active in the church and community formed the first Board of directors.


The initial goal was to establish a facility to meet the needs of families within the church’s growing congregation, thus it was first named Ebenezer Nursery School. In the late 1950s’ the school moved into Campbell Hall (the old sanctuary). To ensure the success of the Nursery School, a governing board was named, which consisted of members from Ebenezer Baptist Church. They were: Mrs. J. F. Alexander, Mr. J.C. Carpenter, Dr. B.E. Conner, Mr. Isaac Craig, Jr., Mrs. M. E. Durden, Mrs. Ethel Hazley, Mrs. Minnie Hall, Rev. Oscar Harper, Ms. Mae Belle Hill, Mrs. Sophia L. Jackson, Mrs. George F. Jones, Mr. F. R. Rice, Mr. Lloyd Sheffield, Mr. Isaac Spencer and Mrs. Juanita Toney.


In 1960, the enrollment included age groups from 2 years old through 1 st grade, with a total of 150 children. In 1965, Mrs. Johnnie Y. Rice was selected as Director of the Center and began to develop policies and procedures that would increase the effectiveness of the Center. Following the retirement of Mrs. Rice in July 1985, the Center underwent administrative, curriculum and staff changes. Dr. Marvin C. Griffin, pastor, appointed a new board of directors and began seeking a new director for the Center. Dr. James Hill was appointed chairman of the new board, and Mrs. Ethelda Pleasant was appointed Center Director. Following the tenure of Dr. Hill, Mr. John O. Belle served as chairman.


In 1986, the Ebenezer Child Development Center, in partnership with the United Way, developed a unique individualized program to subsidize day care payments for the children of low income families. The training program was used as an incentive for increasing enrollment at the Center and provided more jobs for child care workers. In addition, the Center received its 501 © (3) non-profit status.


In 1988, the Center received a grant from the City of Austin and in 1989; it received a grant from Travis County. With the financial support from the City of Austin, Travis County and the United Way, the Center was able to triple its enrollment. Through the combined efforts of Ebenezer Baptist Church, the City of Austin, Travis County, the United Way and the Center staff, the original aim, of providing care for the children of parents whose incomes were at or below the poverty level, was realized.


Mr. Clemith Houston was appointed to the Board of Directors in the summer of 1988 and became Chairman of the Board of Directors in the fall of 1990. During the early 1990s’ through the combined efforts of Dr. Rev. Marvin C. Griffin, Mr. Clemith Houston, Mrs. Ethelda Pleasant, board and church members, the Ebenezer Child Development Center received a Community Block Grant from the City of Austin to construct a new facility.


The Board of Directors, Dr. Marvin C. Griffin, Mr. Clemith Houston, Board Chair, Mrs. Orvis Austin, Vice Chair, City of Austin staff and community volunteers gave quality time and effort in the planning of the new facility with the capacity to accommodate 200 children from the Austin community. Mrs. Ada Anderson worked tirelessly with the City of Austin to promote the new facility. It was a great milestone when the Ebenezer Child Development was completed and the program moved into the new building in May 1996, with Mrs. Alice Houston as director.


In 1997, the board, under the leadership of Mrs. Orvis Austin, Board Chair and Mr. James Givens, Vice Chair, continued the implementation of fund-raising plans, which resulted in a two-pronged effort in 1998; a fenced-in playground with memorial bricks containing the names of more than 75 contributors. A longtime volunteer and contributor to the Board and Center was Mrs. Gertrude E. Britton, who served as board secretary and member for more than 25 years, and gave tirelessly, in memory of her mother, Mrs. Mamie Elder, one of the Center’s first teachers.


The Center is currently licensed for 160 children, by Child Care Licensing, a division of the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. It was accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in August 2005, under the leadership of Ms. Beulah Bradshaw, Executive Director, Mrs. Hung Nguyen, Assistant Director, staff and volunteers; and is a Four (4) star Designated Vendor Center with Child Care Management Services.


Through the years, the Ebenezer Child Development Center has been the beneficiary of generous financial support and in-kind services, such as: IBM, Dell, Lola Wright Foundation, Motorola (Freescale), Riverbend Church, Downtown Kiwanis, Children’s Haven, United Way and numerous church and community contributors. Facilities upgrades have included: refurbished playgrounds and installation of larger water lines to eliminate standing water; purchase of 2 Morgan buildings for storage; installation of carpet and tile throughout classrooms; installation of in-house intercoms throughout the building and surveillance equipment for outside doors and play areas.


Ebenezer Baptist Church made a commitment more than 60 years ago to establish a day care facility for its children and continues to support the Child Development Center, under the leadership of current pastor, Reverend Dr. Ricky Freeman.




Charlene Taylor - Executive Director August 2008 – Current



Beulah Bradshaw - September 2002 – Aug 2008
Eleanor Thompson Aug 2001 – Sept 2002
Karlene Bennett June 1999 – Aug 2001
Nora Oakmon 1999
Sherryl Rogers-Adams 1996
Alice Houston 1993
Vanessa McKee 1991
Eddie Rucker –Co-director 1985-86
Ethelda Pleasant 1985
Johnnie Rice 1965
Alice Houston 1956
Nehoma Brown 1953
Isaac Spencer 1953


Lavon Marshall, Chair
Polly Street, Secretary
Jennifer Durst, Treasurer,Budget/Finance Committee Chair
Betty J. Hudspeth
W. Carlene Phillips
Wendell Smith, Esq.
Oliver B. Street, II
Rodney Swisher, Min.
Tiffany White
Ricky Freeman, D. Min.


Vision Statement:

Ebenezer Child Development Center envisions graduates who are self-disciplined, highly motivated, and successful in reaching their God-given potential.


Mission Statement:

The mission of Ebenezer Child Development Center is to provide quality, affordable early childhood development services in an environment that promotes the growth of the total child.


Core Values:

  • No child should be left behind; therefore, all families should have access to quality early childhood education, regardless of their ability to pay,
  • Low-income families and underserved communities deserve access to high quality early childhood education,