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Who We Are

  • Mission
  • Caregivers
  • The Team
  • Our Heritage

Making Lives Whole Through Healing and Restoration.

Serving individual children and sibling groups, Palmer Home for Children provides a family and community to children in need regardless of race, gender or background.

Palmer Home provides superior care for children while introducing the love of God through our service to each individual child.

LOVE Each child is received in a spirit of love.
CARE Children receive care through our ministries.
SUPPORT Caregivers provide daily guidance and love.
COTTAGES Cottages provide all children a family context.
EDUCATION Children are supported through college age.

Whole Child Initiative

Whole Story

Understanding the effects of trauma and attachment on a child’s life.

Whole Child

Gaining insight into the unique physical, emotional, educational and spiritual needs of children with histories of trauma.

Whole Team

Strengthening your team with strategies that emphasize cohesion, cultural competence and trauma informed care.

Whole Caregiver

Identifying personal strengths and needs, and learning to implement strategies for holistic self-care.

Whole Story
Whole Child
Whole Team
Whole Caregiver
Whole Story
Whole Child
Whole Team
Whole Caregiver

Caregivers give these children hope through showing love.

Palmer Home caregivers care for wounded and broken children by sharing the healing power of Jesus and providing physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual care.

Learn about caregivers

Meet the president.

Drake Bassett, President and CEO of Palmer Home for Children, joined our family in 2012. For more than 20 years, he has worked with organizations to improve performance and achieve goals. In addition to his experience as CEO, he has held leadership roles as Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Human Resources at Nielsen Corporation.
 Drake thrives on building great relationships with staff, community, and clients. In his time at Palmer Home, he has launched a number of innovative programs, and is constantly evaluating how we can better Rescue and Restore the lives of vulnerable children on our campuses and beyond. Drake has been married to his wife, Kelley, for 29 years. They have four children and three grandchildren.

Our team is focused.

We hope to be the hands and feet of God’s compassion, doing justice for those whom God loves and who cannot help themselves.

Robert Farris
VP, Expansion
Robert Farris
VP, Expansion

Robert joined the Palmer Home team in 1998. During this time, he spearheaded the development of Palmer Home’s first expansion campus located in Hernando, MS and served as its Executive Director for 7 years. Mr. Farris has served in various roles during his tenure at Palmer Home. Most recently he has overseen the acquisition of Jonah’s Journey and has had responsibility for overseeing all residential programs. Currently, he leads a new Rescue initiative to further expand awareness of Palmer Home’s restoration programs and the development of a sex trafficking initiative.

A native Mississippian, Robert is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and holds two master degrees from Reformed Theological Seminary. He and his wife Ginger have been married for 32 years and have three children and six grandchildren.

Melissa Mowrey
VP, Marketing
Melissa Mowrey
VP, Marketing

Bio Coming Soon

Sarah Hollis
VP, Engagement
Sarah Hollis
VP, Engagement

Bio Coming Soon

Ashley Gray
VP, Children & Residential
Ashley Gray
VP, Children & Residential

Bio coming soon

Our board is passionate.

The board at Palmer Home for Children is focused on the mission to rescue and restore these children.

Board Members

Alan Walters
Jackson, MS
Trip Hairston
Vice Chairman
Nephrology Associates, PC Golden Triangle Business Ventures, LLC.
Columbus, MS
Dr. Daryl Guest
General Surgeon
Starkville, MS
Dolph Bryan
Retired Law Enforcement
Starkville, MS
Karen Carlisle
Carlisle Corp.
Memphis, TN
Harold Clark
CC Clark Holding
Starkville, MS
Robert H. Clark
Clark Beverage Group
Starkville, MS
Kirby Dobbs Floyd
Memphis, TN
Ernest Gray Flora, III
Banker & Attorney
Columbus, MS
Melinda George
IMC Companies, LLC
Memphis, TN
Dr. Andrew Martin
Martin Oral and Facial Surgery
Starkville, MS
Tom McCann
Retired Pilot
Peachtree, GA
Richard L. Powell
Principal/ Harris, Madden & Powell
Memphis, TN
Dr. John Russell
Columbus, MS
Jim Walker
Germantown, TN
David E. White
Financial Services
Meridian, MS

Advisory Board

Mike Arledge
Lowndes County Sheriff
Columbus, MS
Randy Holcombe
Gallatin, TN
Mark Jacobs
Hermitage, TN
Troy Jennings
Mt. Juliet, TN
John Murfee
Senior VP, PCA - U.S. Trust
Nashville, TN
Lisa Turner
Independence Presbyterian Church
Memphis, TN

Board Emeritus

Charles Berry
Columbus, MS
Dr. Robert R. Black
Tupelo, MS
Larry Edwards
Real Estate Developer & Broker
Ridgeland, MS
Charles Guest
Starkville, MS
Jack Forbus
Insurance Agent
Starkville, MS
Dewitt Hicks
Columbus, MS
Rev. Thomas Kay, Jr.
Aliceville, AL
Charles McElroy
Retired Insurance Exec.
Starkville, MS
John Reeves
Real Estate Developer
Olive Branch, MS
Donald Sanders
Retired H & R Agri-power
Aliceville, AL
Lee Tyner
Oxford, MS
Everett C. Owens III
Retired Farmer
Aliceville, AL

See our beginning.

Scroll through the rich history of Palmer Home

Palmer Orphanage Charter Accepted

William States Jacobs, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Columbus, was an ardent admirer of Rev. Benjamin Morgan Palmer of New Orleans. The son of the founder of South Carolina’s Thornwell Orphanage, Jacobs arrived in Columbus fresh out of seminary and soon challenged his congregation to start its own orphanage and to name it after Dr. Palmer. The women of First Presbyterian Church became the driving force behind the new orphanage, which was officially chartered by the State of Mississippi on March 13, 1895 and located on the south side of Columbus, MS.

Columbus Location Decided

Fifteen acres purchased outside Columbus.

A Huge Year

In 1898, B.F. Bedinger assumed the position of superintendent, Lindamood building was erected, and the first Palmer Home child was admitted.

2nd Superintendent

Hiram Edward McClure becomes second superintendent.

New Buildings

Christian Endeavor and Big Boys’ buildings are built.

3rd Superintendent

Reverend William Frierson becomes third superintendent; wife, Florence, becomes head matron.

Roscoe-Conkey Building, Little Boys' Building Built
Superintendent's Home Built

Superintendent’s Home is built, and laundry room is added.

World War I

Fifteen Palmer Home men serve in World War I.

4th Superintendent

John Frierson becomes fourth superintendent of Palmer Home for Children.

Evelyn McPhail

Evelyn McPhail arrives at Palmer Home at the age of four with her two siblings.

World War II

Fifty-four Palmer Home men serve in World War II.

5th Superintendent

John Frierson retires as Palmer superintendent. William Sistar comes as fifth superintendent.

Interim Named

J.O. Davis named interim superintendent.

Two Cottages Dedicated

Hazard Cottage and Hutchinson Cottage dedicated.

Cottage Dedicated

Swoope Cottage dedicated.

Wins Miss Mississippi

Palmer’s Christine McClamroch wins Miss Mississippi and takes third runner-up in Atlantic City at the Miss America competition.

Two Cottages dedicated

Frank P. Phillips Cottage and William J. Love Cottage dedicated.

7th Leader of Palmer Home

Joe Mitchell made executive director.

Palmer Becomes Independent

Palmer votes to become independent of direct church control.

Cottage Completed

Buchanan Cottage finished.

8th Leader of Palmer Home

Taylor McGown comes as executive director.

Director leaves

Taylor McGown departs.

9th Leader of Palmer Home

Ed Waldron becomes ninth leader of Palmer Home as Executive Director.

Hernando Property Purchased

Property purchased for Hernando campus.

Co-chaired RNC

Evelyn McPhail Co-chaired the Republican National Committee with Haley Barbour.

Celebrating 100 years

Palmer Home for Children celebrates 100 years of service.

Greenhouses Open

Greenhouses open on the Columbus campus to grow and sell poinsettias.

Cottage Built

Brotherhood Cottage built (on Columbus campus)

Hernando Plans Made

Plans for Hernando campus solidified

Cottage Built

Cooke Miller, IPC, and Reeves Cottages completed on Hernando campus.

Director's Home Completed

Hope Chapel and Grace Home (Director’s Home) completed in Hernando.

Joining Forces

Mississippi Sherriff’s Boys and Girls Ranch joins forces with Palmer Home

Lighthouse Completed

Lighthouse completed.

Lighthouse becomes office

Lighthouse, built by the Langleys, became our office.

Interim Director Named

Ed Waldron retires; Charlie Guest named interim director.

10th Leader of Palmer Home

Drake Bassett becomes 10th leader as President and CEO

Whole Child Initiative developed
3 new cottages built on the Hernando campus