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History of The Winebrenner Village

History of The Winebrenner Village,
The Forerunner of The Foundation

The story began with the vision that was conceived in the heart of Mrs. Ida McNish that there be a Home for the Aged of the Ohio Eldership of the Churches of God in North America for retired missionaries, ministers and their widows. It took root in the minds of many in the Ohio Eldership of the Churches of God in North America and led to the development of Winebrenner Haven.

In November of 1958 ground was turned at 425 Frazer Street, Findlay Ohio. Prima Correll of our Wooster First Church of God, Wooster, OH and Mrs. Ida McNish, a friend of the Churches of God, provided the initial financial gifts to begin the project. In 1960 the dream became a reality and residents moved into the new Winebrenner Haven. The building cost $580,000 and was built to house 50 mobile, elderly persons to include any senior life persons who were 62 years old and over, with provisions that for four nursing beds.

The starting superintendent and matron were Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Dickey. They served until early in 1962, when Pastor Paul and Catherine Gnagy assumed the position of Administrator. They served until May 1983. Over the next 30 years there were other major developments in expanding the ministry. In 1970 a 100 bed Extended Care facility across the street from the Haven was constructed. At that time the name was changed to Winebrenner Village. By 1980 nine independent living units (cottages) were built. In 1981 a 50 bed annex to the Extended Care building was under way. In 1984 twelve more independent Living cottages were constructed. Upon the Gnagy’s retirement, Mr. James Graul became the acting administrator until Mrs. Margie Matheny assumed the position of Administrator in January, 1984. She served as Administrator until March 1992. She was followed by Mr. Robert Benson, who was hired in March 1992. During Mr. Benson’s tenure, the Board elected him as President of Winebrenner Village. Mr. Benson was serving as President of Winebrenner Village at the time of the sale of Winebrenner Village to the Blanchard Valley Health System in June 1997.

Winebrenner Village stood as the Ohio Conference’s largest mission project, serving thousands of senior citizens for over 40 years and provided a very viable ministry to the community of Findlay, Hancock County, Ohio and people from other parts of the country.

Through the years, at crucial times, church and community donors of large and smaller amounts rose to the occasion to meet special needs for expansion and equipment.

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