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Evergreen Life Services was organized in 1959 in north Louisiana as a mission of the Presbyterian Church. The ministry began when the parents of four young men with developmental and intellectual disabilities dreamed of a place where their children could live as normal a life as possible, reach for their potential and become valued, contributing members of society. The Presbyterian Church shared this important vision, and an old abandoned school building was secured in the community of Evergreen, becoming Evergreen School and serving individuals with disabilities.

2010 - Present


  • More than 1,000 individuals served
  • Winter storms in Texas caused damage to eight community homes and an evacuation to hotels that lasted for weeks
  • Foster children are served by Evergreen in Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Greeneville
  • In April, Evergreen begins reopening its Day Programs


  • The first COVID-19 cases in persons served were in Alexandria, Louisiana
  • Seven people served and three staff members lost their lives to COVID-19, and hundreds of others contracted it
  • A record-breaking hurricane season resulted in 30 named storms and five direct hits to the state of Louisiana
  • Evergreen evacuated nearly 200 persons served and staff members in its West Calcasieu and Southwest Louisiana Divisions ahead of Hurricane Laura. Laura was the strongest hurricane to hit Louisiana since the 1800s, and many of the persons served lost everything. Some community homes took many weeks to repair
  • The West Calcasieu office was destroyed in Hurricane Laura, and the owner of the building decided not to rebuild
  • Individuals served and staff members began receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations in December, with most states prioritizing high-risk populations first


  • More than 1,100 individuals served.
  • Evergreen opened its first Department of Children’s Services (DCS) supported living home with 24/7 – 365 staffing in Greeneville, TN
  • Louisiana’s lawmakers voted to restore and rebase home and community-based provider rates, which had not received a funding increase since 2007
  • Opened the Florida Division (CENFL) and HEAVENDROPt warehouse in Largo, FL. HEAVENDROPt previously operated from a small storefront, and the new warehouse allowed for more product storage, production and staff


  • The Compliance Department is established to promote the delivery of quality and effective person-centered services and supports; demonstrate Evergreen’s commitment to ethical, honest and trustworthy conduct; increase the likelihood of preventing, identifying and correcting unlawful behavior; avoid the potential for fraud, waste and abuse; reduce the likelihood of billing errors; encourage employees to report potential issues; and identify and develop plans for eliminating areas of risk to minimize financial losses.
  • Quality Enhancement Department reorganized, placed under leadership of Executive Vice President of Operations, adds more on-site audits and adopts monthly corrective action plans.
  • The regional model of organization is changed to a state model. EVP Operations supervises State Executive Directors, who supervise Executive Directors at each division in the state.
  • The Innovation Department is created to research and develop opportunities for unrestricted income growth outside of traditional tax-based dollars.
    HEAVENDROPt products featured and sold at three major retailers.
    HEAVENDROPt finds new vendor, which offset price of parachutes significantly.
  • Evergreen opens Abundant Healthcare LLC in Greeneville, TN with a goal to replicate the clinic in other states.
  • Corporate-wide adoption of Therap, an Electronic Health Record System is complete.
  • Family orientation procedure is implemented for families and caregivers of new individuals served by Evergreen.
  • Begins to provide services and supports in Georgia.


  • HEAVENDROPt adds a National Sales Director and increases sales activity by 60% compared to the previous year.
  • The Development Department expands, adding three Directors of Donor Relations located in Southeast Louisiana, North Louisiana and North Central Texas.
  • Evergreen welcomes Maxine Michael as its first Executive Vice President of Operations.


  • Catastrophic flooding damaged several of the homes of the individuals we serve.  Over 100 staff members’ homes were flooded and damaged.
  • A building was donated in Minden, LA to Evergreen.  The North Central Louisiana Division’s social enterprise, Possibilities ~ Antiques & Collectibles, moved into the space.
  • Officially closed the doors of the North Lake Supports & Services Center, with all individuals successfully being moved into community homes.


  • $85 million budget
  • More than 1,300 individuals served
  • Tax based dollars decreased by $2.5 million since 2009 and continue to decrease
  • Director of Social Enterprise hired to launch HEAVENDROPt. First products sold on 9/11.
  • Evergreen approved to do business in the State of Florida and social enterprise department opens.


  • Opened first Cultural Arts Center in Fort Worth, TX – North Central Texas Division
  • Opened a Cultural Arts Center in Sherman, TX – North Central Texas Division
  • Began in-kind programs
  • Opened two new divisions – West Calcasieu and North Lake.
  • Purchased the 30-bed West Calcasieu Multi Handicap Center to transition individuals served into community homes.
  • Entered into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the State of Louisiana to transition person supported at the North Lake Center into community homes via expanding the South East Louisiana Division
  • A DBA (Doing Business As) was adopted – Evergreen Life Services
  • First full marketing plan implemented for organization with standard graphics, social media, websites and marketing materials per division
  • Division Directors were renamed Executive Director of each division
  • Adopted a new Board Governance Model for both the Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees
  • Created a regional development staffing structure
  • New mission/vision statements were adopted
  • Formal Information Technology Department established


  • Evergreen hires first female CEO, Sue Buchholtz
  • Vice President of Operations for the Central Region, Sharon Gomez, served as President of the National AAIDD organization


  • Began providing adult services in Arkansas
  • Entered into Corporative Endeavor Agreements with the state of Louisiana for six community homes




  • Krafty Kreations, a social enterprise that gives Evergreen individuals the opportunity to earn money through their art and creations opened in Ball, LA
  • Kentucky Division is opened
  • 953 individuals are served


  • John Taylor becomes fourth CEO of Evergreen


  • The Special Needs Trust was established for beneficiaries with disabilities, allowing him or her to enjoy the use of property that is held in the trust for his or her benefit, while at the same time allowing the beneficiary to receive essential needs-based government benefits.
  • West Tennessee Division is opened


  • Purchased Sherman Developmental Center in Sherman, Texas and transitioned residents to community homes.
  • Fort Worth Community Homes are opened


  • 750 men and women are served


  • Middle Tennessee Division opened


  • Possibilities Antique Mall opened in Minden, LA with hopes that it will help raise money and offer employment to Evergreen individuals.



  • Dr. Bernard Wagner served as President of National AAMR, now known as AAIDD (American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
  • 450 men and women are served


  • East Tennessee Division was opened


  • Arkansas Division opened with children’s services


  • The Evergreen Campus in Louisiana is closed.
  • Oklahoma Division and Southeast Louisiana Division were opened


  • North Central Texas Division in Dallas, TX and North Central Louisiana Division in Minden, LA were opened.



  • Southwest Louisiana Division in Lake Charles, LA and Northeast Texas Division in Texarkana, TX were opened.
  • 320 men and women are served


  • Dr. Bernard Wagner becomes the third CEO of Evergreen.


  • Opened the Central Louisiana Division


  • Evergreen opened its first two community homes, both in Shreveport, LA.  Evergreen was one of the first in the state of Louisiana to open community homes.


  • Vice President of Operations was hired, John Taylor


  • Incorporated as Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries, Inc.


  • Evergreen Vocational School and Evergreen Manor combined to become Evergreen Development Center



  • 240 men and women are served


  • Opened Evergreen Manor, a new living facility, on Campus
  • Started receiving Medicaid funding


  • Opened the Evergreen House (Today is Providence House in Shreveport, LA)
  • Gordan Hanson employed to assist Ralyn Parkhill, then became the second CEO of the organization


  • Evergreen Foundation was formed
  • First development staff hired to focus on development and church relations



  • Grant of $121,000 from Women of Presbyterian Church was received.



  • Evergreen Presbyterian Vocational School was incorporated
  • Evergreen started with a $15,000 budget
  • The first individuals that Evergreen served were four men with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Purchased farm and school, which became the Evergreen Campus
  • Relationship with the Synod of Louisiana began
  • Rayln Parkhill was hired as first CEO

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