The first community to come under the umbrella of Brazos Presbyterian Homes, Inc. was Bayou Manor, located at 4141 South Braeswood Boulevard, Houston. The nascent dream of Bayou Manor started in August, 1958 when the Presbytery of Brazos for the Presbyterian Church USA charged a committee to examine the Church’s responsibility to the aging. A Committee was formed tasked to study living options for senior citizens. Key members of the Committee were directed by its Chair, Dr. Charles L. King and Reverend Gary M. Jones to make a study of successful church-sponsored retirement communities. They traveled the West coast and Midwest searching for appropriate prototypes to provide additional education and direction.
At the Presbytery meeting in Pasadena, Texas, May 30, 1961, Brazos Presbyterian Homes, Inc. was formed. By-laws and Articles of Incorporation were approved. Two members of the original committee developed a long range plan based upon the research conducted throughout the Western states to insure the new organization would avoid the pitfalls and mirror the successes of sister faith-based communities. The purpose as stated in the original by-laws have remained consistent with Brazos Presbyterian Homes’ current service:
To establish, construct, maintain, support and operate a retirement home or homes, including the necessary nursing and medical facilities … to properly establish, maintain and operate said home or homes; and to provide for and carry on such other charitable work in connection with such home or homes as may be consistent with the history and purposes of the corporation. This corporation is organized exclusively for charitable purposes as a non-profit corporation, and its activities shall be conducted for the purposes set out above in such a manner that no part of its net earnings, if any, will inure to the benefit of any member, director, officer or individual.
Although less verbose, the current Mission, Vision and Core Values expressed by Brazos Presbyterian Homes, Inc. remain true to the original intent of the organization through a commitment to quality, non-profit Christian living with an updated importance placed on resident-centered philosophy to maintain an independent lifestyle for as long as possible.
The cornerstone for the 174 – residence community was laid July 21, 1963 with the inscription “…that you may have life and have it in all its fullness.” John 10:10. The six acre tract on Braeswood also housed a chapel, dining area, hobby shop, library and guest rooms. From visiting other communities, the founding Board of Trustees noted that activities and programs either “filtered down” from the administration or “percolated up” from the residents. This resident-centered philosophy was grounded in the first Resident Council formed in July 1964 and remains the guiding principle of Brazos Towers at Bayou Manor today.
In 1972, the original Bayou Manor was continuing to flourish when an opportunity for Brazos Presbyterian Homes, Inc. to extend its mission became available through the acquisition of a condominium, in what is now the Galleria area. The building was re-purposed and renovated for 112 one and two bedroom continuing care residences and christened “The Hallmark”. In 1977 an indoor garage was added to The Hallmark to allow residents covered and secure access from their cars to their homes. In early 1979, The Hallmark expanded again by adding the Hallmark Tower. To demonstrate their commitment to whole-person wellness, a new state-of-the-art 54-residence health and wellness center was added in 1998 completing the total continuum needed for an enriched retirement lifestyle.
Brazos Presbyterian Homes, Inc. has successfully grown to provide quality continuing care services in two neighborhood constituencies in Houston. The commitment to continue to enhance the security and quality of lifestyle of all residents, and to extend that mission to a broader constituency, the addition of 83 new residences and extensive amenity areas at Brazos Towers at Bayou Manor is yet another step in the continuous improvement, growth and strength of Brazos Presbyterian Homes, Inc.
The purpose of Brazos Presbyterian Homes, Inc. is to provide lifetime service to the elderly in the form of quality living and care in a Christian environment. This purpose demands that the management practices reflect the highest standards in providing services on a sound not-for-profit financial basis, while allowing each resident to maintain an independent lifestyle for as long as possible at the highest level of personal dignity.