The Peniel Orphanage originated in 1901 when the Rev. Mattie Mallory, founder and superintendent of the Oklahoma Orphanage, opened a branch in North Texas.The branch’s original location was in Pilot Point, but in 1902 it relocated to Peniel, a community near (and now a part of) Greenville.This move coincided with a change in the orphanage’s base of support.From 1902 until 1910, the Peniel Orphanage operated under the auspices of the Holiness Association of Texas, which also operated a holiness camp ground, a college, and a publishing house at Peniel.
The Holiness Association of Texas dissolved in 1910.In the years immediately following, the Peniel Orphanage sought its major support from Nazarene churches, particularly those of the Dallas District (east Texas).In 1917 the Peniel Orphanage became a general ministry of the Church of the Nazarene, supported by tithes from across the nation until 1923.But the general church entered a time of financial crisis in 1921, and the orphanage itself also began to acquire debt.The church’s 1923 General Assembly voted to discontinue orphanage work as a general ministry.With the loss of general church support, the orphanage still drew regional support until 1929, primarily from Nazarene districts in the South and Southwest.A decision was made to close it in early 1929, and by the end of July all eighteen of its remaining orphans had been placed with families.
There is a Peniel Orphan’s Home Collection maintained by the Nazarene Archives in Kansas City.That collection, however, contains only materials pertaining to governance, general church support, and the disposition of its assets after the Peniel Orphanage closed.It does not have any material pertaining to specific children or to adoptions.
Were child and adoption records destroyed?Were they given to the State of Texas?Are they in the Special Collections Department of some university in north Texas?