July 26, 2021

Dear Peachtree Road Member,

I hope this letter find you and your loved ones well. We have seen the images in our community of children who have been abandoned, forgotten, and abused. This takes a physical and emotional toll on both these children and the community at-large. Today, I remind you that we are in partnership with a ministry that is working here in North Georgia to transform the lives of at-risk children – the Murphy-Harpst Children’s Center.

Maybe you know the history of this ministry. 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. Murphy-Harpst continues the visions of Sarah Murphy and Ethel Harpst as a place where children with no alternatives are welcomed and given hope.

That’s the history of this ministry. What I really want you to know is that for almost 100 years the spirit of Christ has been leading individuals and congregations to embrace the vulnerable youth in our state. This program, ranked in the top 10% of its kind nationally, provides around-the-clock therapeutic care that enables children to heal and recover so they can re-engage with society and lead productive lives. 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. Their lives have been transformed.

We plan to receive a special offering for this ministry on Sunday, August 8. Peachtree Road members Martha Carroll and John Ethridge serve on the Board of Directors and are passionate advocates for Murphy Harpst. They join me in encouraging your generous support to some of God’s most precious children. Please mail your check made payable to Peachtree Road United Methodist Church 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

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