Pastor making new home in Portales

Freedom New Mexico: Argen Duncan New administrator at the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home, Randy Rankin, leans against a wall displaying the corner stone from the home’s previous facility, dating back to the early 1900s. Rankin said his calling in life is taking care of children.

Argen Duncan

The new administrator at the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home is no stranger to Portales and says his life calling is taking care of other people’s children.

Randy Rankin, who has 30 years of experience in child care, started work at the home this week. Former administrator Geraldine Dooley retired and moved to Cloudcroft after more than 20 years of service.

Rankin worked as assistant administrator at the home from 1989-1993, as well as serving on the ministerial staff at First Baptist Church in Portales from 1993-1997. He is coming to Portales from an administrator position at the Florida Baptist Children’s Home in Miami.

“I look forward to continuing to build on the really strong foundation the Baptist Children’s Home has had in this community since 1919, and maybe taking it to a little higher level,” he said.

Rankin said his first goal as administrator would be to find more house parents and fill the cottages with children who need help. Then, he aims to create more awareness of the home around the state, and not just in Baptist circles, and re-establish the good relationship with the Children, Youth and Families Department he had in Portales before.

“I look forward to adjusting back to small-town life,” Rankin also said.

A love for the local children’s home and community brought Rankin back, he said. He still has friends in town as well.

Joseph Bunce, chief executive officer of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, said Rankin was hired after a nationwide search. He said Rankin has a huge amount of experience in the field and is a gifted administrator.

“We think he has the skills, and not just the skills but the heart, to lead us in the days ahead,” Bunce said.

Rankin said he wanted to work in child care in high school, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. He went into criminal justice course work in college, but was drawn back to child care when he spent a summer working at the South Texas Children’s Home between his junior and senior year.

“And it changed the direction of what I wanted to do,” Rankin said. “I knew that’s what I wanted to do throughout my life.”

Rankin said he feels it is a special calling from God to help raise other people’s children.

Between Rankin and his wife, the family has five children, all of whom Rankin has adopted officially or unofficially.

Rankin likes child care because he enjoys being able to step into the role of a parent and see a young person do well in life.

“One of the benefits of getting older is you do get to see that happen more than you thought it would,” he said.