In a vote of around 250 First Baptist Church of Bryan members, around 90 percent voted to end their church's child development center services.
"I would say there's a lot of emotion because you're talking about children," said Bill Wiman with First Baptist. "You're talking about people's jobs. You're talking about how quickly you can place your child in a daycare center."
The decision calls for the closure of the CDC on October 28. In the meantime, a transition team will work to assist parents and workers as the center prepares to close. It also makes note that a CDC will not be a part of the new First Baptist Church. Ground was broken on a new building this easter, with completion set for late next year.
Pastor Tim Owens declined to speak on camera, but said the past incident with former employee Alex Davila had little impact on the decision, and speaking for the church members, Wiman said it was a change in direction for the church.
"I think it speaks to the fact that they're looking, as we relocate, to new avenues and new initiatives that will allow us to reach out in different ways," he said. "What we're seeing happening, I think, can be characterized in more direct involvement of our members in personal relationships and ministry in our community."
For parents and CDC workers, hope comes in the form of the current director, Tashia Dickerson, who is putting the finishing touches on her own private Christian-based daycare, one which will employ many CDC workers, and undoubtedly will help many of the current kids being cared for at the CDC.
As for a return of childcare at First Baptist in the future, "I think anything's a possibility," Wiman said. "I think we do that out of response to need and out of passion of people."
But for now, parents and employees will be seeking out a new daycare. That it might be just down the road is an added bonus.
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