August 1, 2023

Dear Peachtree Road Member,

I hope you are well. Today I am writing to invite you to participate with your fellow members of Peachtree Road UMC in a special offering on Sunday, August 13, to benefit the Murphy-Harpst Children’s Center.

In 1914, Ethel Harpst was assigned by the Women’s Home Mission Society of the Methodist Church to teach children, conduct worship, and care for the sick in rural Georgia. In 1924, the Society established the Ethel Harpst Center, located on 160 wooded acres in Cedartown, Georgia, to support her work. Several years later in 1931, Sarah D. Murphy, a Spelman College student born to former slaves, established a school at the edge of Cedartown for poor African-American children. Then, in response to the plight of so many of her students abandoned by their parents, Sarah transformed her school into an orphanage. After her death in 1961, the national Women’s Division of the Methodist Church took over the Sarah Murphy home. Then, in 1984, the two homes merged into the Murphy-Harpst Children’s Centers. The vision of Sarah Murphy and Ethel Harpst continues to this day. That’s the history of this ministry.

For almost a century, the Spirit of Christ has been prompting individuals and congregations to embrace the vulnerable youth in our state. This program provides a safe and nurturing environment where severely abused and neglected children and teenagers can thrive and heal from trauma. They provide:

  • Residential treatment for adolescents and teens
  • Transitional living for older teens and young adults
  • Specialized foster care for children of all ages
  • Recreation therapy such as equine therapy, sports leagues, clubs, and more
  • Community services including family therapy, life skills, and substance abuse counseling

Through the years, Murphy-Harpst has successfully treated thousands of children by building the environment necessary to reverse the cycle of a lifetime of cruelty and neglect. In the name of Christ their lives have been transformed.

Peachtree Road UMC member Martha Carroll chairs the Murphy-Harpst Board of Directors and is a passionate advocate for this ministry. She joins me in encouraging your generous support to some of God’s most precious children. Please mail your check made payable to Peachtree Road UMC and marked for “Murphy-Harpst” to the church. You also may give online through the church’s website here. Thank you for your faithfulness to all of our church’s ministries – and, especially, this one!

Grace and peace,

Bill Britt

Senior Minister