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Thornwell Offering

Today we highlight the mission of Thornwell to raise awareness and funds for hurting children. Begun in 1875 in Clinton, SC, by a Presbyterian minister to care for orphans from the Civil War, Thornwell still cares for the “least of these” - abused, neglected, and abandoned children – while providing innovative ministries to strengthen families throughout Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Thornwell’s theme this fall is “Serving Jesus by Serving Others.” Thornwell began as a dream in the heart of a young Presbyterian minister. Following the Civil War, Dr. William Plumer Jacobs wanted to build an orphanage. While Dr. Jacobs was visiting at the home of widow Sarah Anderson, he talked with her about how he felt God was calling him to build an orphanage but he wasn’t sure. Ten-year-old Willie Anderson listened intently as they talked. After a while, Willie slipped out of the room, but was soon back and standing by the knee of Dr. Jacobs. His little hand was tightly clinched as if he had something very precious in it. “What is it?” asked the minister. Willie opened his little hand and there lay a bright silver half-dollar. The child said, “Take this and build your orphanage.” That small gift by a small boy energized Dr. Jacobs’ dream. Four years later, in 1875, Thornwell opened its doors. Willie was willing to share what he had to help others. His gift of 50 cents would be worth around ten dollars today. To Dr. Jacobs and his ministry, Willie’s gift was priceless. Even though Willie was small and didn’t have much to give, God used Willie’s gift to help thousands of children and families over the past 142 years. In Bible days, a talent was an amount of money. Today, the word talent also means an ability. God wants us to use our abilities—whether it be raising money, singing or playing an instrument, raking leaves, cooking or whatever we can do—for the glory of His work and His kingdom. People of all ages become a part of Thornwell’s ministry by not only giving money to help children and families, but by volunteering their time and talents. To find out more about Thornwell’s year-round Mission Program and other ways to help, please visit and click the “Get Involved” tab. And please prayerfully consider giving generously to Thornwell.