United Methodist Neighborhood Centers

United Methodist Neighborhood Centers, Inc. (UMNC) has been serving the needs of the very poor in Memphis, Tennessee since 1907. It began as the Wesley House, founded by Methodist women concerned for children in the Greenlaw area of North Memphis. Thus, it is among the oldest continuous children's ministries in all of Memphis.

Today, children are still a prime concern of UMNC, with the Miriam Child Development Center operating at 3000 Walnut Grove, named the Scott Center. Approximately 60 children of low-income families, ages 6 weeks through 5 years are Miriam students. It is a licensed pre-school with the highest rating awarded by the state, 3 stars. In addition, the center hosts a Kindergarten classroom of twenty children under the aegis of Shelby County Schools.

For Youth, UMNC offers a twice-weekly After School program for ages 13-16. It is called Journey: Junior Leadership, and began as a positive antidote to the tragic incidents last year of disorder in the community.

The Walnut Grove site also offers a Food Pantry that serves an average of 150 families per week with distribution on each Tuesday and Thursday. This service is affiliated with the Memphis Food Bank and MIFA, and collaborates with smaller pantries at 4 other sites.


A second UMNC location is at 602 Looney Avenue in North Memphis, not far from the original Wesley House site. The Smith Center offers hot meals and food and clothing in partnership with Holy Community United Methodist Church. It also hosts the congregation known as Jacob's Well, an innovative ministry among adults and families battling against addiction.

All told, UMNC's ministries impact the lives of over 6,000 persons per year. Both the Scott Center and the Smith Center are in urgent need of basic repair and renovation. UMNC is launching this month a Capital Campaign seeking $100,000 to bring the facilities into good operational shape. YOU are needed to help on this crucial effort.

Mailing Address for Donations: P.O. Box 111348, Memphis, TN, 38111

Contact: Mrs. Iletha Washington at 901-323-4993 or Dr. Mark Matheny at 901-428-4633