As trustee of the Children’s Home for almost 40 years, Dr. Malcolm Lee Minnick Sr. (1905-1991) expressed his dedication to the young residents of the Home through stewardship and service. Described by friends and colleagues as personable, hard-working and an excellent teacher, when he wasn’t tending to the business of the Home, he was ministering to its children at College Lutheran, where he was pastor for 26 years.
When the time came to name the new school founded in 1980 to serve the Lutheran Children’s Home of the South, Dr. Minnick was a natural if not the only, choice. In 1983, the Children’s Home was closed to establish Lutheran Family Services of Virginia and Minnick was redesigned as a day school. The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Comprehensive Services Act soon mandated community-based services for at-risk children and Minnick stood ready to meet this mandate.
Dr. Minnick’s interest in education started early. He was the valedictorian of both his high school and college, and after graduating with an A.B. from King College in Bristol, Tennessee, taught for two years in Rich Valley, Virginia. After receiving his bachelor of divinity from Southern Seminary in 1929, he served four churches as pastor, ending at College Lutheran from which he retired in 1970. In mid-career he found time to earn a doctor of divinity degree from Roanoke College in 1959.
For more than 40 years, Dr. Minnick served a broad range of Virginia Synod institutions. His vision helped Minnick Education Center grow from serving children and adolescents residing in the therapeutic group homes to three free-standing, co-educational day school programs serving children and adolescents from surrounding communities.