Every Child’s Hope Celebrates 165 Years of Serving Children

Some of the children served at ECH in the early days.

In 2023, Every Child’s Hope (ECH) in St. Louis celebrated 165 years ministering to the local children and youth. ECH is one of the many area UCC-related nonprofits that was begun by the Rev. Louis Nollau, namesake of CHHSM’s Nollau Leadership Institute. Here is an overview timeline, from ECH’s Fall 2023 newsletter, of some of its major events over the years.

  • 1858 Rev. Louis Nollau takes in a boy orphaned by a cholera epidemic in St. Louis. By 1866, the number of children — many of whom had been left to roam the streets and sleep in doorways — grew to 300 and the German Protestant Orphans Home moved to a farm 30 minutes outside the city. (It’s where ECH’s main campus is still located today.)
  • 1874 A new building is built on the main campus to comfortably house children and staff. During a blizzard in January of 1877, the new building burns to the ground. Cornerstones for a new building are placed by May of that year and a replacement building opens in November.
  • 1945 The organization is renamed the Evangelical Children’s Home in response to World War II.
  • 1978 ECH begins serving the Kansas City area through a girls’ residential treatment program.
  • 2001 ECH School is built.
  • 2009 The agency changes its name to Every Child’s Hope to better reflect the work it does.
  • 2023 ECH nears completion of the William N. Dill Youth Development Center, which replaces residential treatment cottages built in the 1950s.
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