The study found the need for safe, secure housing along with long-term care for the elderly. Magnolia Manor evolved from the South Georgia Methodists’ commitment to establish a ministry to address these needs. That ministry expands across denominations and geographical boundaries, embracing residents from all walks of life.
Kate Witte, a long-time resident of Americus, also believed in the idea of a home for the aging. When she died in 1947, she left a bequest of 392 acres specifically designated to provide a home for the elderly. A group of Americus citizens honored her request and formed the Rock of Ages Foundation to operate a home. In 1959, the Rock of Ages Foundation deeded the land to the South Georgia Methodist Home for the Aging, Inc., known from its inception as Magnolia Manor.
Magnolia Manor joined the Sumter County Chamber after opening their doors in 1963. Magnolia Manor soon became recognized as a leader in retirement living. First, the Retirement Center provided personal care and soon after the Nursing Center provided skilled nursing care. Over the next forty years, additions to the Americus campus included the Martha McDonald Moore Memorial Chapel, fifty Garden Apartments, six Ministerial Cottages, twenty-two Villas, twenty Edgewood Apartments, eight Lake Drive Cottages, the Mattie H. Marshall Alzheimer’s Center, the Thomas O. Marshall Jr. Administration Center within the Pitts Building, the Clarke W. Duncan Wellness Center and a stand-alone laundry to meet the growing needs of the Americus community. “We are committed to the highest values of the Christian faith in all of our work and ministry. We minister to the seniors who live here and to their families” stated Mark Todd.
In 1983, Magnolia Manor began to expand its ministry from Americus, and currently serves Buena Vista, Columbus, Macon, Midway, Moultrie, Richmond Hills, St. Mary’s, and St. Simons. Every day the organization’s nine campuses meet the needs of almost 1,500 individuals in the areas of independent living, personal care, assisted living, catered care, skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s and specialized memory care; Magnolia Manor’s family includes 1,300 employees dedicated to this United Methodist Ministry for Older Adults.
“Magnolia Manor’s mission is to offer an environment for older adults who need or desire a quality lifestyle that provides for their social, spiritual, mental, and physical needs in a nurturing and loving Christian atmosphere,” stated Steve Vinson, Senior Vice President of Communications.
“The Sumter County Chamber is honored to recognize Magnolia Manor for their commitment dedicated and professional staff for serving our community. Despite risks to their own health and safety of front-line workers are tirelessly performing their jobs for the sake of others. Their bravery and commitment to serving the most vulnerable part of our population during the coronavirus pandemic will never be forgotten,” stated Carolyn Wright, President.