Bill (Papa) & Marilyn (Mama) Bair circa 1973
On October 27, 1967. Mr. William Bair received a vision from the Lord while attending a preaching mission service at the Neshannock Presbyterian Church, New Wilmington, PA. Through it, he was directed to form an organization to care for underprivileged, handicapped, misguided and parent-less youth.
Moving with the Lord in obedience to his call, The Bair Foundation was chartered on December 15, 1967. The first board meeting was held on January 1, 1968. Mr. Bair was a lay Methodist minister and a full time employee of People's Natural Gas Company for 18 years. He left both positions behind to devote himself full-time to the ministry of serving children and families.
-An Excerpt from "Love is an Open Door" by Bill Bair
“I sat in a pew near the rear of the church on that October night in 1967, thinking back over my life and feeling… well, satisfied. I looked at the family sitting alongside me, my wife Marilyn and my five children; three were foster children whom we raised for many years.” It was at that moment, Bill said, “I thought I heard the voice of God say “Bill, I want you to work for me. I want you to provide homes for my children.” Questioning my thoughts, I bargained with God,“if that’s you Lord, have the preacher say my name.” Seconds later, the Preacher said, “isn't that right, Bill Bair,” “don’t you agree, Bill Bair?" the Preacher repeated.
Although Bill Bair passed away on July 8th, 2004, his vision and mission lives on; to provide Christ-centered, quality care and services that restore and empower children, youth and families who are in crisis. The Bair Foundation's headquarters remain in the small town of New Wilmington, PA where it began in 1967, but has grown and now provides a continuum of care and services with over 30 offices in 9 states across the country; Pennsylvania, Ohio, North & South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.
The Early Years
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