“Mr. Wingard sure cut our hair short,” recalled Guy. He was speaking about my dad, George Wingard, who served as the assistant superintendent (and barber) of the Presbyterian Orphanage of Missouri in Farmington from 1959-1962.
Guy grew up at the orphanage. In the 1990s it was converted to the senior apartments that are now his home. I met him last week before the start of the PCA’s General Assembly in St. Louis.
But this wasn’t the first time our paths crossed. Guy and I would have been in church together often during my three years in Farmington. Children weren’t permitted to miss worship at Farmington Presbyterian Church unless they were sick. It was my family’s church home. My Uncle John baptized me there in January 1960 – which just happened to be Guy’s 14th birthday.
My adoption was finalized in Farmington two days before my second birthday in 1959. My earliest memories come from this time. I remember the Superintendent, Dr. Fred Walker, chomping on a cigar. I remember meals in the dining hall. I remember the haircuts, too.
When I asked Guy what he remembered most about the orphanage, he said, “We were taught to work.” That’s the kind of place my father would have loved. By precept and example, he taught me to work and to serve Christ’s church.
The Administration Building/Dining Hall. The orphanage was founded in 1939.
Dearing Hall, a residential dormitory.
Harlan Hall, a residential dormitory.
Holmes Cottage (the Hospital)
Farmington Presbyterian Church
Baptism day with Uncle John, January 1960