We’re not bashful here at the Manor to let people know that we’re Rutherford County’s only faith-based, nonprofit senior living community. Every document or piece of literature, every advertisement or social media posting will typically include this message: Stones River Manor is a Christian, Not-for-Profit Senior Living Community. Wherever you look, you’ll probably also find this excerpt from our Mission Statement as well: Stones River Manor is “The Active Demonstration of the Christian Concern for the Care of the Elderly.”
The idea for this Christian home for the elderly was spawned in the 1960’s when the Middle Tennessee Christian School was in the early years of its development. The school was a great success and I can recall that my brothers both attended MTCS. It opened with classes through the third grade and they added a grade each year. Therefore, since I was in the fifth grade when it opened, I was always too old for enrollment. I never let on to anyone, especially my grandparents who were instrumental in the planning of the new Christian School, but I was secretly glad that I was too old to attend because I didn’t want to leave my school and my friends. I know, I should be ashamed of myself for even thinking such a thing, or to even confess it now!
Anyway, I can remember vividly a couple of the elderly women at church coming to my grandfather after services on more than one occasion and asking him, “Now that you’ve got the children taken care of, what are you going to do for us old folks?” Now this was long before the term “assisted living” was even thought of, and the only places around here for elderly folks needing assistance were a couple of nursing homes. It took several years for the idea to germinate and develop into a working plan, but within a few years a collaborative effort of members of the area churches of Christ came together to bring about the opening of Stones River Manor, Murfreesboro and Rutherford County’s first Home for the Aged, in March of 1977. My aunt was among the early group of seniors to make Stones River Manor her home and my grandmother lived the last twelve years of her life here.
Over the years, the Manor has grown steadily from its original 29 rooms to become a full service continuing care community, with apartments for independent living, six levels of assisted living care, adult day care services, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, as well as other special needs care levels. We’ve also added skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, home care and outpatient therapy services, and long-term nursing home care for our residents who have progressed to that level of need; and still, we are the only Christian care community around.
We have an Activities Department that is far beyond that of most senior communities and which we’ve very appropriately named our Life Enrichment Team. As a Christian community, we have a duty to provide for the ongoing spiritual growth and education of our staff and residents. In addition to our weekly worship services, devotionals and bible studies, we have recently incorporated a new program that was developed for mission work and brought to us by Shannon Watson, our Life Enrichment Director. Having participated in the program during a recent mission trip to Africa, Shannon immediately saw a way for this program to benefit our folks here at the Manor. Thank you, Shannon!
It’s called Discipleship Bible Study, or DBS, and is a very effective way of bringing people together in small, informal groups, and using everyday personal life experiences together with the scriptures, to spread the gospel message and bring people to Christ. A growing number of our staff members, volunteers and residents have already joined in, and they eagerly look forward to each new session. So, our mission of Christian care goes beyond just the physical needs of the body, but extends to the greater, spiritual need for growth in Jesus Christ and to strengthen our faith in God.
We are blessed indeed, that our Manor family has come together in this way, sharing their faith and learning together. If you’re interested in this exciting new program and have a desire to join in with us, please know that “the gospel is for all,” and all are welcome.
“Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak,
not intending to please men, but to please God, who examines our hearts.”
1 Thessalonians 2:4
Kirk Mason, CEO