Cordova, TN, June 26, 2019 – Wesley Living is celebrating its 50th anniversary of serving the senior community in the Mid-South.
Wesley Living, also known as Wesley Housing Corporation of Memphis, was founded in 1969 by a group of clergy and lay persons led by Reverend Jerry Corlew, a United Methodist minister. The group decided to incorporate and was sponsored and supported by The Metropolitan Missionary Society, an extension ministry of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church. The new entity mounted an effort to address a growing need for housing for the working poor in Memphis utilizing houses being relocated from the proposed route of I-40 through Memphis’ mid-town neighborhoods.
In the early 1970’s, Reverend Paul Eubanks joined Wesley Living and shortly became its first Executive Director leading its growth and development into the 1990’s. With the retirement of both Jerry Corlew and Paul Eubanks, Larry Kaler was elected President in 1998 and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2014 when Jim Nasso was elected to the same role. Over the years Wesley Living has expanded its faith-based mission of providing a wide range of housing and services to the elderly in the Mid-South.
Today, Wesley Living’s portfolio comprises 29 independent living senior communities, two assisted living communities, and non-medical, in-home assistance services serving Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Arkansas. In addition, many residents receive support with daily personal needs through gifts from Golden Cross Senior Ministries, a related charitable organization founded under the leadership of Jerry Corlew more than 20 years ago.
Wesley Living provides excellent housing and services which enhances the quality of living for elderly persons and their families. From a single converted Memphis State University dormitory at the corner of Norriswood Avenue and Highland Street until today, the dream shared by Reverends Corlew and Eubanks has not dimmed. Jim Nasso stated “fulfilling the dream is not possible without strong and unbreakable relationships—local, regional and national—that share the same dream”.
In 2010 Wesley Living began a preservation and rehabilitation process of its communities in service 25 years or longer and will have completed 1000 units valued at $42,000,000.00 by the end of the year. After having been retired almost 5 years Larry Kaler notes: “Throughout Wesley Living’s history, God provides unique and tangible evidence that affirms the early vision and today’s work of expanding the heart and spirit and thrust of ministry within the framework of regulations and finances”.
Jerry Corlew’s original vision of responding to God’s love by caring for those in need, especially the elderly, has expanded to encompass today’s cultural changes and aging challenges. Jim Nasso believes this has been accomplished and proven every day by a dedicated, talented and compassionate staff, a number of whom have received regional and national recognition.
“We serve over 2,200 people in our communities and in their homes every day. We need to serve MORE than 2,200. The needs are endless but the resources are limited”. Wesley Living celebrates its 50th anniversary with eyes focused on growth and continuing to fulfill the vision of 1969.