In the late 1950s, the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church commissioned an internal study on the needs of the elderly in South Georgia. The study identified 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 passed away 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.
Opening its doors in 1963, Magnolia Manor soon became recognized as a leader in secure retirement living. First, the Retirement Center provided assisted living 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.
In 1983, Magnolia Manor expanded its ministry from Americus to Macon, Georgia with the addition of 120 one- and two-bedroom apartments for the low-income elderly. In 1996, expansion began in Macon with sixteen villas. Later twenty-four Supportive Housing apartments and a Resident Life Center were added and in the Summer of 2009, another expansion resulted in twenty-four one- and two- bedroom assisted living apartments.
Magnolia Manor's ministry grew over the years with locations in Richmond Hill, Moultrie, St. Marys, Buena Vista, St. Simons Island, and most recently Columbus, Georgia. Over the last four decades thousands of South Georgians have called Magnolia Manor; Every day the organization's eight campuses meet the needs of almost 1,300 individuals in the areas of independent living, assisted living, catered care, skilled nursing care, Alzheimer's and specialized dementia care; Magnolia Manor's family includes 1,100 employees dedicated to this United Methodist Ministry for Older Adults.
Magnolia Manor's mission is to provide, as a ministry of The United Methodist Church, a variety of quality retirement communities throughout southern Georgia; As an extension of The United Methodist Church, Magnolia Manor is committed to the highest values of the Christian faith in all of its work and ministry. Magnolia Manor's vision is to be a leading provider of retirement living opportunities, bring the best resources of staff, facilities, programs and Christian compassion to focus on meeting the needs of its residents and their families.
Click here to learn more about Magnolia Manor's commitment to AAHSA's Quality First Initiative.