United Methodist Committee on Relief

UMCOR Sager Brown Campus Celebrates 150 Years

By Bella DiFilippo*

Sager Brown, now home to the UMCOR Relief-Supply Depot, will celebrate 150 years of service to Baldwin, Louisiana, and the world on September 17, 2017.

UMCOR Sager Brown will celebrate its 150 years of service October 21, with a homecoming event to lift up its tremendous work at the campus in Baldwin, Louisiana. Dr. Wanda L. Nelson, educator and former student at the school once located on the Sager Brown campus, will be joining the celebration as the keynote speaker.

Assembling kitss.jpgVolunteers assemble health kits in the depot. Many of these kits will reach hurting and vulnerable communities in the United States and around the world. PHOTO: COURTESY OF UMCOR SAGER BROWN

UMCOR Sager Brown’s history began in 1867 when the site was established as an orphanage and school for African-American youth left homeless by the Civil War. It was launched by members of one of United Methodist Women’s predecessor organizations. Through many years of financial ups and downs, Sager Brown persevered as a school. However, in 1978, the school closed its doors, and the property remained vacant for fourteen years.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew tore through Louisiana and the Gulf Coast region. Despite the severe damage to surrounding communities, the Sager Brown facilities and grounds survived intact. In response to the disaster, UMCOR used the location as a distribution center to assist local communities affected by the hurricane. As a result, a partnership formed between the two institutions. UMCOR decided to maintain the campus as a location to assemble and deploy relief supplies to the world, and the depot was organized in 1996.

Boxess.jpgSince 1996, Sager Brown has served as a relief supplies depot and distribution center. Here, volunteers assemble, package, and load containers for kits to be shipped to those in need. PHOTO: COURTESY OF UMCOR SAGER BROWN

At UMCOR Sager Brown, volunteers can put their faith into action by participating in the many outreach programs provided, including the opportunity for volunteers to assemble relief supply kits that reach vulnerable communities around the world. Equipped to house individuals and teams, the Sager Brown campus welcomes short-term mission trips for United Methodists and people of other faith traditions.

Last year, 4,000 volunteers served at both UMCOR depot locations, UMCOR Sager Brown and UMCOR West Depot in Salt Lake City, Utah. Between the two locations, volunteers gave 40,500 hours of their time, completing 119 community projects. Volunteer service enables this outreach ministry to have a tremendous impact on the world. In 2016, Sager Brown distributed $6,023,591 in relief supplies domestically and abroad. 

Group photos.jpgUMCOR Sager Brown welcomes and provides for both individuals and groups for short-term mission trips. PHOTO – Volunteers PHOTO: COURTESY OF UMCOR SAGER BROWN

Join us as we mark 150 years of service and support the ongoing work of UMCOR Sager Brown -- give to Advance #901515.

View The Homecoming Program.

View the Schedule of Events for The Homecoming event.

*Bella DiFilippo is program area liaison from Mission Engagement for Global Ministries.