Our Story

The history of Saint Francis Community Services

Our History

Our History

Firmly rooted within the Episcopal tradition, Saint Francis has ministered to children and families for seven decades.

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Our Founder

Our Founder

The Rev. Robert “Bob” Mize Jr., founded Saint Francis Boys Home in 1945 to provide hope and opportunity to troubled boys.

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Presidents

Presidents

Guided by the example of “Fr. Bob,” five presidents have served Saint Francis over the years, leading our growth and expansion of services.

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Accreditation

Accreditation

Honoring the dignity inherent in every human being, we work hard to adhere to the highest standards in behavioral health care quality and safety.

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Our History

Saint Francis Community Services began as the vision of The Rev. Robert Mize Jr., an Episcopal priest serving several small churches in western Kansas during the 1940s. Early in his ministry, Fr. Bob noticed that many boys labeled “juvenile delinquents” were becoming lost within a system of institutions, reformatories, and jails. This troubled him deeply, and he grew determined to create an alternative – one that offered hope and the opportunity for troubled young men to reclaim their potential.

Through Fr. Bob’s tireless efforts, Saint Francis Boys’ Home opened its doors in Ellsworth, Kansas, in 1945. A staff of four supervised and served its first residents, a dozen unruly young men. Three years later, Fr. Bob opened a second Boys’ Home just west of Salina, Kansas, near Bavaria.

Today, Saint Francis serves more than 9,000 children and families, and employs about 1,000 people in four states.

Firmly entrenched within the Episcopal tradition and dedicated to service, our mission has remained unchanged since 1945 – to serve children and families as an instrument of hope and of healing in body, mind, and spirit.

SFCS | Our History

Founder's Timeline


  • 1907:
    Born February 4 in Emporia, Kansas, to The Rev. Robert Herbert Mize Sr., and Margaret Talman Moore Mize. The family lives in Emporia from 1906 to 1912.
  • 1921:
    Attends St. John’s Military School in Salina, Kansas, for five months.
  • 1928:
    Graduates from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts, earning Phi Beta Kappa (scholastic), Sachem (leadership), Sigma Delta Chi (journalism) honors. He also edits the University Daily Kansan and is selected as an alternate Rhodes Scholar.
  • 1932:
    Graduates from General Theological Seminary in New York City with a Master of Divinity. Ordained to the priesthood by his father, The Right Rev. Robert Mize Sr., on November 30, in Hays, Kansas.
    Begins work as a circuit-riding priest in the Diocese of Western Kansas, serving as vicar of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Hays. He also serves St. Andrew’s in rural Silverdale and other rural churches.
  • 1938:
    Helps the St. Andrew’s congregation build a new church from native Kansas limestone. Serves as vicar until 1945.
  • 1941:
    Begins tenure as vicar of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Wakeeney, Kansas. Serves until 1945.

 

The Rev. Robert Mize, Jr.
The Rev. Robert Mize, Jr.
  • 1945:
    Leases the former Ellsworth County “Poor Farm” at Ellsworth, Kansas, and names it Saint Francis Boys’ Home. The doors open on September 3.
  • 1948:
    Opens a second Boys’ Home west of Salina, near Bavaria, Kansas.
  • 1954:
    Awarded the University of Kansas Distinguished Service Citation.
  • 1963:
    Emily Gardiner Neal’s book, “Father Bob and His Boys,” is published.
  • 1959-1989:
    Serves as bishop, missionary, and vicar in posts in Africa and the United States, before retiring in San Joaquin, California.
  • 2000:
    Dies August 17; his ashes are buried at the cemetery at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, northwest of Hays.


Presidents of Saint Francis

The Rev. Dr. William E. Craig
The Rev. Dr. William E. Craig
1960-1980
The Rev. Canon N. Kenneth Yates
The Rev. Canon N. Kenneth Yates
1981-1990
The Rev. Canon Philip J. Rapp
The Rev. Canon Philip J. Rapp
1990-2002
The Very Rev. Edward W. Fellhauer
The Very Rev. Edward W. Fellhauer
2002-2014
The Very Rev. Robert N. Smith
The Very Rev. Robert N. Smith
2014-present

SFCS | Accreditation

Accreditation

Saint Francis Community Services has been Joint Commission accredited since 1974, earning the Gold Seal of Approval by demonstrating compliance with The Joint Commission’s national standards for health care quality and safety in behavioral health care.

An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

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