The initial thoughts about an Iowa home for the aged came from Henry Wahls of Garnavillo, Iowa. Henry became familiar with the Longport, New Jersey, Gospel Hall Home for the Aged while his daughter Faye Wahls was administrator there. After much prayer and conversation among local believers in Iowa and Wisconsin, it was felt that the Lord was leading in this direction.
Several opportunities were pursued and ultimately discarded as not realistic. Finally, in 1976, a parcel adjacent to the Marion Gospel Hall came up for sale. Grant Hagen asked Robert Weber if he thought that property would be at all suitable for what the assemblies were looking for. They called the realtor and learned the property had been sold. A few weeks later, after learning the property was back on the market, and praying for the Lord’s guidance, the property was purchased.
The property joined Grand Avenue, so it was called Grand Haven Homes Inc., a place of safety and rest. Grand Haven Homes Inc. is a non-profit, charitable Iowa corporation. The street that was installed on the property was called Elim Drive. Elim was a place of blessing for the nation of Israel on their journey through the wilderness (Exo 15:27 and Num 33:9). The desire was that Elim Drive would be a place of blessing for seniors on their journey of life (Psa 71:8, 9).
As the nursing home would require a state-licensed administrator, Robert and Grant prepared to meet the state’s requirements. On the Saturday before the scheduled administrator’s exam, it was learned that the application to build a nursing home was denied. Robert said, “I’m sorry, Grant, we gave it our best and the door is definitely closed.” In spite of this news, they decided to take the administrator exam anyway, as both had invested significant amounts of time and money in preparing.
After the exam, they decided, for curiosity’s sake, to stop by a construction company that built nursing homes. While talking with the owner of the company, it was learned that the company had recently attempted to build near Marion, but the project did not materialize. Upon learning this, and after a lot of discussion and investigation, they were able to acquire the construction company’s permit to build on Elm Drive. It was advised that the construction company’s original project name, Linn Manor Care Center, be kept on the proposal. Plans were made for a 44 bed facility, with provisions made for possible future expansion if adjoining land became available.
During the construction of the facility, a number of believers from various assemblies were involved. Some were moved of God to provide donations and unsecured loans, which enabled the facility to be built without a commercial mortgage. Many volunteered to help with the construction process, while others prepared and served food to feed the many workers.
In August of 1979, Linn Manor Care Center opened its doors as a place for those desiring a Christian environment in which to receive health care assistance.
In the years following the opening of Linn Manor, discussion and options for apartments were considered. In 1990 a four-plex of independent apartments opened. In 2002, another four-plex, which included a community room, was built directly across the street from Linn Manor. The final four-plex of independent apartments was built in 2008, bringing the total number of independent apartments to 12.
Thirty-three years of service have come and gone. For the first 12 years, all residents were recommended from the Gospel Hall assemblies. Since then, during times of lower occupancy, opportunity has been given to other individuals who appreciate the conservative Christian environment with a homelike atmosphere.
Today, the facility operates with 38 licensed beds, providing skilled and non-skilled nursing services. The organization continues to function as a non-profit ministry for the Lord, accepting Medicare, Medicaid, Title 19, and private sources as reimbursement for services provided.
The Marion Gospel Hall ministry and gospel meetings are broadcast on speakers into the residential rooms and into the front lounge. Each morning, a chapter of Scripture is broadcast at breakfast. Each meal begins with a public prayer. Christian music is often heard playing in the facility. Every Tuesday there is a Bible study. Scripture texts adorn the walls of the facility. The Marion Gospel Hall is only 60 feet from Linn Manor, allowing residents who so desire to attend assembly meetings. Each week the residents enjoy a wide array of activities including sing-alongs, group exercise classes, movies, birthday parties, dinner outings, various small group games, and many other events.
Each year, tax-deductible donations from assemblies, organizations, and individuals have allowed for upgrades and improvements to the facility. Recent improvements have included: new energy efficient windows, updated air conditioners, new doors, new wall coverings, a new music player, and many other items. Items of consideration for the coming year include electronic health records, replacing the nurse call system, and continued renovation of rooms with new paint and flooring.
For the many volunteer hours, donations and prayers on behalf of Linn Manor, the Board of Directors thanks you.
For more information, visit Linn Manor on the web at: www.linnmanor.org.
May all be done to the glory of God and God alone.
• Salvation for each of the residents and employees who do not know the Lord.
• Sustained guidance in the daily operation of the home.
• Possible expansion of the existing facility.
• The possible addition of an assisted living facility to bridge the gap in health care provided between the independent apartments and the nursing home.