The Rev. Robert L. Ramsey and Vivian Brooks-Johnson stand in a gateway that leads to the back yard of the Gospel Water Branch Elderly Housing Assisted Living Home in Columbia County.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
When the Rev. Robert L. Ramsey shared his vision of establishing an assisted living home for seniors in Evans nine months ago, he said the members of his church wasted no time getting to work.
Now, that vision - called Gospel Water Branch Elderly Housing, Inc. - has become a reality.
"We are grateful (to have this senior home) because the elderly means a lot to us," said Ramsey, pastor of Gospel Water Branch Baptist Church. "We feel that we are helping to sustain the family and community."
Tom Murphy, the board chairman of Gospel Water Branch Elderly Housing Inc., said such a facility was greatly needed.
"We have a lot of seniors in our church," he said. "The vision was to provide affordable assisted living for senior members of our church and other citizens in our community."
He said the decision was based on the fact that some church members had family members in assisted living homes outside of Columbia County, causing a strain on travel times. By having a senior home in the area, he said, everyone benefits.
When members began searching for a location, they found a four bedroom house located at 612 King Taylor Road near the church.
Once construction began, the house was gutted and transformed to accommodate 11 residents.
The bedrooms at the Gospel Water Branch Elderly Housing Inc. assisted-living home are designed for either single or double occupancy.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"Everything in the house is new, (including) the appliances, bricks and the roof," Murphy said.
The house features hardwood and tile floors; a full kitchen with granite finish top counters; white cabinets and a stainless steel stove and refrigerator. A laundry and storage room is nearby, and handicap accessible ramps are in the front and back of the house.
With palm trees and religious art embellishing the walls, the decorations are spirituality influenced, said Vivian Brooks-Johnson, a Gospel Water Branch member and construction and project manager.
Brooks-Johnson said the house is now about five weeks away from being completed.
The church paid for the $300,000 project with the help of donations from various people and businesses in the community.
Since the facility bears the church's name, Brooks-Johnson said the home belongs to the Gospel Water Branch Community Development Corporation.
"It's the umbrella for all of our projects so that we will be able to receive certain types of grants," she said.
For more information about Gospel Water Branch Elderly Housing, Inc., call Coastal Regional Healthcare Consultants, at 774-0402.
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