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 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.
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 personal care 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 five 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, personal care, assisted living, catered care, skilled nursing care, Alzheimer's and specialized memory 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 an environment for older adults who need or desire a quality lifestyle that provides for their social, spiritual, mental and physical needs in a secure, safe setting within a loving Christian atmosphere.
Click here to learn more about Magnolia Manor's commitment to AAHSA's Quality First Initiative.