Our communities - from Atlanta to Athens to Blairsville, Augusta and Newnan - were built and sustained by our parents and grandparents. They gave generously of their time, talents and treasures to build the schools, businesses, churches, government, and civic organizations that define our communities today. On the following pages you will meet several of our residents who - no matter where they live - have built and cared for their communities. We need your help to revitalize and sustain the places these "community builders" call home. The Community of Caring Campaign is about giving back to the generations that came before, and ensuring that those who follow will continue to have safe, comfortable places to call home.


Mrs. Melba Carter, an AHET resident for almost 9 years now, has been breaking down barriers of race and gender for most of her life.  Born and raised in a racially divided Atlanta, Mrs. Carter graduated from Spelman College in 1949 at a time when few women, and even fewer African-American women, attended college.  After completing her degree, she raised two children while working at the Atlanta Life Insurance Company as an accountant for 25 years.  During the 1960’s, at the height of the Civil Rights movement, Mrs. Carter would go at lunchtime to march in front of the downtown Macy’s to protest unfair employment practices.  A lifelong member of Friendship Baptist Church, Mrs. Carter has served as a Deaconess and as a member of the Art and Garden Club providing flower arrangements for luncheons, services and funerals.  As an active older adult, Mrs. Carter is particularly excited to hear about the proposed Wellness Center at AHET, and the opportunities for health checks and exercise classes.



Mrs. Willie Daniel has led an exceptional life of leadership and community involvement.  When her children were young, she chaired the PTA for many years, advocating for the children of the school system and providing parents the best tools for their children to succeed.  Ms. Daniel also served as the secretary and Sunday school teacher at her church.  When Ms. Daniel turned 60 she was called to enter the world of academia, earning a B.A. in Religious Studies.  Around the same time she was again called, this time to serve those in need at the Atlanta Hospital Hospitality House (AHHH). AHHH provides a home away from home for outpatients and caregivers of patients in Atlanta area hospitals, offering lodging, meals, and supportive companionship for a nominal donation.  Ms. Daniel donated her time cooking meals and acting as a prayer partner for these individuals in their time of need, and through this has managed to touch individuals and entire communities throughout Georgia.  Due to Ms. Daniel’s warm and nurturing character, not to mention her delicious cooking, she was asked by AHHH to become a member of the staff and continues to do so today.   Within the Branan Towers community, Ms. Daniel also continues to nurture the spirits of her friends and neighbors by leading weekly bible study and prayer service.  Ms. Daniel’s class has consistently good attendance and acts to help fortify the spiritual foundation that Branan Towers and Wesley Woods is built upon.


Reverend Harold Lyda has been officially retired as a Methodist minister since 1990, but that doesn’t mean he has slowed down at all.  In fact, since then he has worked for Georgia Power retrofitting dams, as a baker for the Dillard House, as a Hospice chaplain, and as a chaplain for Habitat for Humanity.  Reverend Lyda, in his retirement, has built on his past experiences to contribute to his new community.  As a young man serving in WWII, Reverend Lyda learned to bake and eventually became a cook for the troops in Okinawa, Japan and then Korea.  After the war, he returned to college, and earned a scholarship to attend Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.  As a minister, he served in many churches throughout North Georgia, and retired from McDonough UMC.  On a Saturday in the fall of 2004, Reverend Lyda and his wife moved into the Wesley Woods Towers. The next day he became the assistant Sunday School teacher, and since then has also taken on the role of Religious Activities Director. He also leads a Friday bible study class, and makes regular visits to patients at Budd Terrace, the Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital and A. G. Rhodes.  In his leisure time, he enjoys the Senior University at Emory, and the numerous activities available to Towers’ residents. 




Mrs. Gregg Phelps is used to bringing people together.  One of the things she and her late husband Mo are best known for are the travel groups they led.  After retiring, they organized and facilitated numerous trips to Europe and other destinations. When you mention their names in a group in Athens, it is likely that several people will start telling you about the fabulous trips they went on with Mo and Gregg.   Before embarking on her second career as a group travel leader, Mrs. Phelps was active in PTA, the garden club and First Methodist Church circle groups.  After raising her children she went back to school at age 52 and became the Medical Librarian at Athens Regional Medical Center.  Gregg and Mo Phelps moved to Talmage Terrace about 3 years ago. Unfortunately, Mo's health declined during their first year here.  He transferred to Personal Care, and passed away a few months later. Gregg stayed on here.  Gregg, who is now 90 years old, continues to travel the world with her daughter and is thriving in her new home, spreading her zest for life with everyone around her.




The first stop for everyone entering St. John Towers is the welcome desk.  Resident volunteer George McCoy welcomes everyone with a salute and a crisp “top of the morning, sir/madam.”  When asked how he’s doing, “OUTSTANDING!” is always the answer.   Mr. McCoy has a positive attitude all the time.  He served our country in the U.S. Army for 22 years, and during that time fought in both the Korean War and Vietnam.   After his military service Mr. George worked for The Augusta Chronicle with 18 years of service in the production department.  Mr. George loves living at St. John Towers where he has many friends, a comfortable apartment, and plenty to do.  He doesn’t get around with quite the energy he once had, but at 80 years of age, he goes and goes.  Everyone knows its Mr. George when he drives his minivan into the parking lot, which like his walker, has streamers and bumper stickers and all sorts of bling.  Each year he celebrates his birthday, and the birthdays of his children, by parachuting from an altitude of 15,000 feet.  He’s a lively fellow with a great attitude that he shares with his community.




Wesley Woods of Newnan has a secret marketing weapon that James Bond - Agent 007- would love to have. It is the Wedgewood Boutique, full of high-end gift items, designer jackets, handbags, scarves and jewelry all at reasonable prices. The silver bullet in this weapon is Mrs. Frances Goodson, one of our original residents who had the vision for the Wedgewood Boutique. She, along with Genet Barron, Margaret Cox, and Margaret Jones have made many trips to the Atlanta Merchandise Mart building relationships with Mart vendors, wooing the vendors with Miss Frances’s delicious rum cake, brownies and pound cakes.   Mrs. Goodson is the heartbeat of building relationships in our home community, in the Wesley Woods Community and in our surrounding communities.  Because all proceeds from the Boutique are returned to Wesley Woods, the Boutique is a resource for many of the extras at Wesley Woods of Newnan, “things” not afforded in a non-profit budget.   Miss Frances generosity also extends to the community at large.  A special sale by the Boutique volunteers raised $5,000 for the infant grandson of our Maintenance Supervisor who was undergoing cancer treatments.  In addition, the Boutique provides an opportunity for volunteerism; it is operated exclusively by volunteers from Wesley Woods and from the Newnan/Coweta Community.  The great news is that the silver bullet shows no sign of slowing down!



Ms. Catherine Alexander - Blairsville Resident                                  

Resident Catherine Alexander moved to Branan Lodge in 2006.  Since that time, she’s been one busy lady.  That should not be surprising however, considering her life before her retirement.  After working as an elementary school teacher for some years, Ms. Alexander decided she was ready for a new challenge.  Through a friend she learned of a position with the Georgia Council for Children, which led to an eight year career as a lobbyist at the Georgia Capitol.  At the Council for Children she worked to find foster homes and adoptive placements for young female runaways, who were previously being placed in jails.  Her career continued at the Georgia Association of Home Health Agencies, where she lobbied on behalf of sixty home health agencies around the state.  Her different duties often required her to travel to Washington D.C. to meet with Georgia Senators and Representatives, to fight for the interests of those with no voice of their own.  At Branan Lodge, Ms. Alexander is in charge of the resident-run library.  She oversees the day-to-day volunteers, sorts through donations, and orders new books.  Additionally, she is very active in her local church community.  Branan Lodge is fortunate to have her as part of our community.

Wesley Woods - 1817 Clifton Road NE - Atlanta, GA 30329


Wesley Woods is affiliated with the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and Emory Healthcare.