Wesley Community Centers Closes Doors After More Than 100 Years of Ministry

3/4/2014

Wesley Community Centers, a related-agency of the North Georgia Conference, recently announced that it has closed its doors after 112 years in ministry.

"Through your generosity in giving, participating in the Wesley Walk for Others, volunteering and other forms of support, you truly have helped our clients experience life more abundantly," wrote Tryphenia Speed, president of Wesley's Board of Directors, in a letter to supporters. "Great good has come from this agency across more than ten decades."

But declining finances led the Board to this difficult decision. The letter explains that rather than running the agency deep in debt, the Board decided to undertake an orderly dissolution, placing a high priority on a smooth transition of Bethlehem Senior Center. 

Meals on Wheels Atlanta, which manages a number of senior day centers, is working with the Wesley Board and United Methodist Women (which owns the building) to continue operations there. 

"This would be the best possible outcome, in our opinion, because Meals on Wheels Atlanta is the largest and most experienced provider of senior services in the metro area. We are optimistic that this result will be achieved," wrote Speed. 

Distribution of Wesley's remaining assets will be made to other 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies. Any funds received by the North Georgia Conference for Wesley Community Centers will be returned to the submitting church. 

Read the letter from Speed in its entirety below. 
 



February 10, 2014

Thank you for your friendship to Wesley Community Centers and our Bethlehem Senior Center over many years. Through your generosity in giving, participating in the Wesley Walk for Others, volunteering in our programs, and other forms of support, you truly have helped our clients experience life more abundantly.

This letter is to advise you that, after careful and prayerful deliberation, the Wesley Board has made the painful decision to dissolve this 112-year-old agency as of January 31, 2014.

Declining finances have led the Board to this difficult determination. For Wesley, the recession never ended. We experienced funding losses on all sides, including diminished proceeds from the Wesley Walk, a drop in personal giving, cuts in public funds available for senior programming, and the elimination of the North Georgia Conference's benevolent support (along with other agencies). 

In spite of efforts to find new income sources along with rigorous expense reductions, the combined impact of funding losses was too much to overcome. Rather than run the agency deep in debt with no end in sight, we have undertaken an orderly dissolution, placing a high priority on achieving a smooth transition of Bethlehem to competent new hands so that our seniors will have uninterrupted service.

Meals on Wheels Atlanta, which manages a number of senior day centers on behalf of Fulton County, is working with us and United Methodist Women (which owns the building) to continue operations here. This would be the best possible outcome, in our opinion, because MOWA is the largest and most experienced provider of senior services in the metro area. We are optimistic that this result will be achieved, and that friends of Bethlehem who have volunteered and provided financial support in the past will continue to do. More information will be provided as soon as we have it. We also will be announcing distribution of Wesley's remaining assets to other 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies.

Let us thank you again for being a friend and supporter of Wesley through the years. Great good has come from this agency across more than ten decades. You have been a part of making it happen.

May God bless you and lead you toward new opportunities to serve.

Sincerely yours,

Tryphenia S. Speed
President, Board of Directors


comments powered by Disqus