- our story
One of the oldest charities in Knoxville, Wesley House was founded in 1907 by a group of Methodist women, beginning its ministry as a childcare center for mothers who worked at Brookside Mills. The services offered quickly expanded to health, nutrition, homemaking, and recreation programs. In the 1940s, Wesley House became a National Mission of the United Methodist Church.
In 1952, through a special offering from the women of the church, Wesley House moved from its original two-story frame structure at the corner of Leroy and Madison Streets to Dameron Avenue. As the neighborhood evolved, so did our programs and services. Today, Wesley House offers an after-school learning program, a summer program, performing arts, and cultural education for children and senior care and fellowship for the community's elderly.
In June 2013, we purchased the former Laura Cansler Elementary School from The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley, taking us from 6,000 square feet to more than 26,000 square feet. Our “new” facility is located at 1719 Reynolds Street, just about a mile from our former location. The new building has ten classrooms, a gymnasium, a large multi-purpose room, and a lunchroom. With this space, we have the capacity to triple our student enrollment and serve even more deserving senior citizens. We are so excited about all of the possibilities for the future!