Our story begins in the 1940s
At a council meeting of the Synod of Kansas (Presbyterian Church USA) in June 1947, the chair asked if anyone had input for the good of the order. One member replied, “There is a Mrs. Alice Kalb of El Dorado who wants us to build a home for the aged and take her in.”
Although several people had previously approached the Synod for this type of project, this request was made in person by a 90-year-old widow and had a great effect on Synod leaders. Mrs. Kalb symbolized the plight of a growing number of elderly in need of the church’s help.
Through many meetings and discussions, the Synod council approved the purchase of property in Newton, Kansas and the formation of the United Presbyterian Foundation of Kansas, now known as Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America. Mrs. Kalb’s initiative led a farmer from Wakarusa, Kansas to bequeath his farm to the foundation to construct the first building of Newton Presbyterian Manor. In 1949, the farm became the first PMMA community and home for seven area seniors who wanted a comfortable place to live, but could no longer independently upkeep their homes.
While Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America Inc. is an independent nonprofit organization, no longer governed by the Presbyterian Church, we still maintain a covenant relationship with the Presbyterian Church (USA). PMMA’s by-laws call for two-thirds of the Presbyterian Manors Board of Trustees to be active members of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The board manages PMMA autonomously.
Following a merger of the Synod of Kansas and the Synod of Missouri to create the Synod of Mid-America, the Presbyterian Homes of Missouri Inc., entered into a management agreement with the United Presbyterian Foundation of Kansas in 1977 to operate its senior living communities. A year later, Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America was founded to manage the interests of both corporations.
Today, the 18 communities in Kansas and Missouri are open to residents of all faiths and spiritual backgrounds. They provide a range of retirement living options to more than 2,400 older adults.