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Resolution RS2019-113

A Resolution recognizing the 125th anniversary of Bethlehem Centers of Nashville.

WHEREAS, 2019 marks the 125th anniversary of the historic Bethlehem Centers of Nashville and their service in the Greater Nashville community; and

WHEREAS, the Bethlehem Centers of Nashville, formerly known as United Methodist Neighborhood Centers, is a National Mission Institution of the Women’s Division, General Board of Global Ministries of the UniteMethodist Church; and

WHEREAS, the United Methodist Neighborhood Centers were established by a group of Nashville women in 1894 to serve and assist families of many backgrounds that were immigrating into Nashville; and

WHEREAS, throughout the next two decades, educational programs and services were expanded through partnerships with local agencies to meet the growing needs of predominantly rural migrant workers with program topics including disease prevention, cooking, sewing, and childcare; and

WHEREAS, in 1907, Sallie Sawyer, an African American Fisk University graduate, and Estelle Haskins, a Caucasian missionary, merged services to create a kindergarten, well baby clinic, sewing circle, and recreation programs; and

WHEREAS, these two notable women broke racial and gender barriers of their time in order to impact the lives of others and provide essential services for those in need; and

WHEREAS, the United Methodist Neighborhood Centers officially changed their name to Bethlehem Centers of Nashville in 1992; and

WHEREAS, in 1994, Bethlehem Centers of Nashville marked their 100th anniversary with a historical exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum, and a historical marker approved by the Tennessee Historical Commission commemorating the centers’ 100 years of service to the Nashville community; and

WHEREAS, over the past 125 years, Bethlehem Centers of Nashville has successfully expanded their presence and services to assist those in need with programs and events such as Meals On Wheels, Night Out Against Crime, Youth Summits, city-wide teen girls’ conferences, and Men of Distinction program; and

WHEREAS, Bethlehem Centers of Nashville has impacted the lives of countless families and created extraordinary positive change in the Greater Nashville community; and

WHEREAS, Bethlehem Centers of Nashville still continues its ministry of “Changing Lives and Building Futures”, and remains committed to the education, care, and needs of at-risk children and youth, and seniors; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council recognizes and thanks Bethlehem Centers of Nashville for many years of service to the community, and for providing hope, help, and healing to those in need.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as recognizing the 125th Anniversary of the Bethlehem Centers of Nashville.

Section 2. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


Freddie O'Connell, Sharon Hurt, Joy Styles, Burkley Allen, Zulfat Suara

Legislative History

Referred to:Rules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedNovember 19, 2019

Adopted:November 19, 2019

ApprovedNovember 22, 2019

ByMayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 11/25/2019 9:09 AM