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Highlights in The Wesley Community Center History, 1941-2000

  • 1941: The Women's Society of Christian Service of the First Methodist Church in Robstown donated $25.00 in honor of their President, Mrs. H.E. Dare.

  • 1942: The first Deaconess, Miss Ollie Willings, was sent by the Women's Division in New York to serve as the first Director.

  • 1943: A down payment was made on a 140' x 140' lot. A cottage was purchased by the Women's Society. The building was in such bad condition it was torn down and rebuilt. The cottage served as the living quarters for staff as well as clubrooms for various activities.

  • 1944: A small store moved onto the site. First activities included playground and recreation, sewing and cooking classes, and Bible School.

  • 1945: The first kindergarten class was started to prepare 4 and 5 year olds for school readiness. This program continued for 25 years until it was incorporated into the public schools.

  • 1950: Wesley Community Center's main brick building was completed with $10,000 from a Crusade for Christ donation and Week of Prayer Offerings. The cost of the building was $60,000.

  • 1967: Hurricane Beulah sent 252 people seeking shelter to the Wesley Center. Two center employees were loaned to the Red Cross during this emergency.

  • 1968: The first program in Robstown to assist and train handicapped children was piloted at the Wesley Center. In 1975, the Robstown Independent School District assumed the instruction of these children; however, they remained housed at the Center until 1981 when they officially moved into the public schools.

  • 1969: Our first day care center was started with 8 children enrolled in the program.

  • 1970: General Board of Global Ministries provided the funding to construct a concrete basketball court and canopy at a cost of $12,700.

  • 1971: Wesley received their first United Way allocation in the amount of $159.

  • 1983: Mission teams from over the United States began coming to the Center to work on housing renovation projects for the disabled, elderly, and economically disadvantaged.

  • 1987: Over 200 volunteers were recruited to assist in the construction of United Methodist Church - El Redentor, located behind the Center.

  • 1988: Infant/Toddler classes were added to the day care program. The mission building located on the east side of the Center was added via a $60,000 grant from the General Board of Global Ministries. The State of Texas awarded the Wesley Center a contract to assist working parents and those in school with funding of day care.

  • 1990: Eleven day care providers at Wesley earned their Child Development Associate Certificate through scholarships and training at the Center. Wesley Center was also used as a training site by Del Mar College's Early Childhood Program.

  • 1992: Child Care Management Services awarded Wesley Community Center with a "Designated Vendor" status.

  • 1993: Corporate Fund for Children awarded Wesley Community Center with the "Best of Texas" Award. The Center was designated as one of the State's best programs.

  • 1994: Renovation of the day care building began. Grants from the General Board of Global Ministries, Hagger Foundation, and area Churches provided the funding for the 1995 completion.

  • 1997: Wesley Center was presented with a Memorial Quilt at Global Gathering III. The quilt was made in memory of Elijah Coverdale who was 2-1/2 years old at the time of his death. Susan Lucky of Oklahoma sewed one quilt for each of the 19 children who lost their lives in the bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

  • 1998: Parenting Classes were started as a means to provide the community with this needed service. Twelve parents and 28 children were enrolled in the first class. Classes were provided free of charge to parents and childcare was provided at no cost to the parents while they attended the classes. L.E.A.P., a tutoring/peer-mentoring program was added to the services provided by Center via a grant from the Coastal Bend Community Foundation.

  • 2000: Current enrollment of children enrolled in the Wesley Community Center total approximately 100, ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age. More than half of the well-trained staff of the Center have been employed with at our Center for 10 years. United Way of the Coastal Bend currently allocates over $100,00 annually to the Wesley Community Center.

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