The Vision of MRC is Born

March 7, 2022

Built in 1929, the building once stood on 23rd and Seawall Boulevard, boasting 11 stories. The building was formerly known as the Buccaneer Hotel for 31 years before it was gifted to the United Methodist Church in 1961 by the Moody Foundation in memory of Mr. W.L. Moody, Jr. The gift came with the hotel garage, swimming pool and $350,000 to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Carla.

 In 1958, the Texas Annual Conference chartered the Methodist Home for Older People, later to be renamed Methodist Retirement Communities (MRC) to provide a ministry dedicated to caring for older adults. The former hotel reopened its doors on January 1, 1962 as a retirement community called Moody House. Thirty-nine seniors, each paying $135 per month, would become the first ever residents of MRC.

In 1969, the organization sought to expand the site to include Turner Geriatric Center, adding 104 nursing beds. The expansion would cost $1.75 million, with a $350,000 grant coming from the Isla Carroll Turner Friendship Trust, which is why the campus was named in her honor. Ms. Isla Carroll Turner (center) was present at the time of the groundbreaking along with W.E. Greer who was the Chair of the MRC board (left) and Dr. E.J. Lefeber who was the Medical Director for Moody House as well as Chair of the Building Committee.

Groundbreaking ceremony for Turner Geriatric Center in 1969.

 Later, on January 1, 1999, exactly  37 years to the day the retirement community opened, the original building would be imploded. The former building had great historical significance to the area but multiple studies attempting to save it proved that renovation costs would greatly exceed the price of new construction,  prompting the not-for-profit to completely rebuild. The new building would be renamed Edgewater and would include a special certified Alzheimer’s Care unit as well as Independent Living apartments and a skilled nursing neighborhood.

The original building (above) is imploded on January 1, 1999 to rebuild  Edgewater as  depicted in the artist rendering (below). 
Church leaders, community leaders and Board Members gather in 1996 for the            groundbreaking of Edgewater. 

In September of 2008, Hurricane Ike hit the island wreaking havoc on infrastructure and causing much of the city to be in disrepair. Days before the storm made landfall, the management team at Edgewater chose to evacuate the residents to safety. After assessing the damage, the decision was made to not return and reopen Edgewater.

Since its origins, the organization has cared for thousands of residents and yet, 60 years later, there remains only one mission: to honor and serve older adults as an expression of Christ’s love. It is through the vision and generosity of the Moody family and the Texas Annual Conference that MRC exists today.


Get in touch with us


Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.