The Brooks-Howell Christmas Open House


You are invited to the Brooks-Howell Christmas Open House. We are Celebrating the grand opening of our Community Clinic and Medical Loan Closet! Feel free to bring a toy that will be donated to St. Paul’s Bear Closet.

The event will be on December 14th from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. We are located at 266 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28801. For more information please contact Jill Knight at or (828) 253-6712. We hope to see you there!

Introducing: The Walk With Ease Program


The Walk with Ease program encourages people with arthritis and/or joint pain to start walking and keep active. During the 6-week program, participants meet three times a week in groups of up to 12. Each class begins with a health information session on an arthritis-related topic, stretching, a 10-35 minute walk, and cool down. It will take place Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, October 22nd through November 30th from 1:00-1:50 PM in the Brooks-Howell Classroom. For more information on how you can register, please contact Derek at 828-253-6712 or We hope you will sign up and join us for a stroll. But don’t wait, spaces are limited!

Thank you, Brooks-Howell Advisory Board

Brooks-Howell is fortunate to have an Advisory Board which provides recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding Brooks-Howell’s operations. The Advisory Board is comprised of United Methodist Women leaders and employees and other United Methodist members, including Brooks-Howell residents. We thank each and every member who gives their time, energy and wisdom to ensure Brooks-Howell continues to live out its motto “called, served, serving still”.

Voting Members

  • Joanie Strohm, President
  • Leah Knuth, Vice-President
  • Delores Meadows, Secretary
  • Gwen Harris
  • Ruby McClung
  • Leah Knuth
  • Dixie Liggett
  • Maureen Carr
  • Jack Ellison
  • Deb Demorest
  • Roger Rio


Ex-Officio Members (with vote)

  • Fran Jordan, Blue Ridge District President, United Methodist Women
  • Jeanette Byrd, Blue Ridge District UMW Education & Interpretation Co
  • Charles Pittman, Health Center Residents’ Council President
  • Don Turman, Independent Residents’ Council President
  • Mary Z. Longstreth and Betty Swarthout, Brooks-Howell Residents’ Council members (elected by that body)


Ex-Officio Members (without vote)

  • Rev. Beth Crissman, Superintendent, Blue Ridge District UMC
  • Julia Willis, President, UNCC United Methodist Women
  • Halina Mui, Controller, United Methodist Women (National Office)
  • Martha Knight, Treasurer, United Methodist Women (National Office)
  • Carole Gilham, Health Care Administrator/Business Director

Brooks-Howell on the News!

The Brooks-Howell Yard Sale has been a resounding success, and we’re doing it again tomorrow! We’d like to thank News 13 for covering the story and writing a wonderful article. Check it out HERE!

All proceeds go towards our new senior medical clinic and resource closets. Thank you to all who made this possible!

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Residents Enjoy Asheville


Not only is Brooks-Howell a stellar retirement community, but it is also located in the heart of Asheville, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which has a blend of beautiful landscapes, lovely weather, and a small-town feel. Brooks-Howell residents enjoy the changing leaves in autumn and a bit of snow in the winter.

Residents have the opportunity to enjoy a hike geared toward seniors through the Senior Treks by Asheville Parks and Recreation, or a stroll downtown which is a brief walk from Brooks-Howell. New learning is afforded by picking up a class at the University of North Carolina through The College of Seniors or through the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement. Through the Leadership Asheville Seniors, residents can meet with local officials, advocate for seniors or other special populations, and speak on behalf of peers. This advocacy is in addition to the many other ways residents continue their passion for service they enjoyed before retirement.

Asheville also offers plenty of city life for residents as well as for their family or friends who come to visit. Museums, a lively music scene, and landmarks such as the Biltmore House are ready to enjoy and return to time after time.

The Prime Time Living Health and Retirement Expo

retirement expo

We are excited to announce that Brooks-Howell is going to be at the Prime Time Living Health & Retirement Expo! It’s going to be Thursday, July 12th from 1-7 PM at the Lelia Patterson Center in Fletcher. There will be free health screenings provided by Park Ridge Health, as well as Hourly Educational sessions covering Health and Wellness, staying active, safety, and more!

This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone considering retirement options for themselves or a family member. We encourage anyone and everyone to join us. We hope to see you there!

The Brooks-Howell Yard Sale


Exciting news!

Brooks-Howell will be having a yard sale to benefit the establishment of a Community Medical Clinic, Bear Closet and a Medical Loan Closet located at Brooks-Howell.  This event will be held on Friday, July 27th from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm, and Saturday, July 28th from 7:00 am until 12:00 noon here at Brooks-Howell.
While many of you are out-of-town and may be unable to join us, we thought you would like to share in our joy of service to those in need. Our residents continue to embrace and embody our motto “Called, Served, and Serving Still”.  If you reside locally, please share this good news and come join us!
If you have any questions or need more information, please contact me at or 828-253-6712.
Thank you,

Lifting the Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy Cap


Residents at Brooks-Howell and Medicare recipients throughout the country have reason to celebrate these days. Until recently, there was a cap on how much therapy could be provided in a calendar year under Medicare before the individual would have to pay out-of-pocket. But under a recent change in federal law with passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, people who qualify for Medicare’s physical, occupational or speech therapy services will no longer lose coverage because they reached the cap. There is not an arbitrary limit on how long or how much Medicare will pay if the therapy is ordered by a doctor for those individuals with a chronic condition. The therapy must be medically necessary in order to maintain the patient’s condition or to prevent or slow decline.

At Brooks-Howell, some of our residents with chronic conditions may need a few weeks of therapy or may need more consistent therapy. This will enable them to continue to do everyday tasks for themselves as long as possible. It is a win-win situation because the more the resident can do for themselves, the better they feel about themselves. And it reduces the risk of back injuries of their spouse, caregiver or nursing staff who won’t have to do as much lifting of the resident, but can stand-by to assist and make sure the patient is safe.

Sheila M. O’Connor, Program Director of Rehabilitation Services

Lent and Rest

This year, Lent begins on Valentines day, and from there it’s forty days (excluding Sundays) until Easter. During this time we enter into a period of self-improvement, seeking to refocus our lives on God. It’s a season of sacrifices but it’s also about taking on new practices and making ourselves into better people. While it’s true that we fast during lent, we also add things to our lives. Prayer, study, and service are some of the things that are commonly practiced during Lent. And while these are all very important, please do not forget another very important practice that many of us struggle with: rest. It can be very difficult to find time to rest between work, school, relationships, family and other responsibilities  Resting on the Sabbath is important, but we can also find moments throughout every day to be in God’s presence. We suggest meditation, light reading, and even afternoon naps. When we are well-rested we will feel better physically, mentally, and spiritually.
We hope that everyone has a blessed and restful Lent!

Happy 60th Birthday, Brooks-Howell Home!


Earlier this month, Brooks-Howell Home celebrated its 60th birthday. The following is a look at its history, the people who made it possible, as well as tangible pieces of history that reside in Brooks-Howell Home to this day.

A Brief History

The need for another retirement home was considered by the Women’s Division of Christians Service (WDCS) of the Board of Missions (now the national office of United Methodist Women) in the early 1950’s. At the time there were three, each with a waiting list. The WDCS had 500 active deaconesses and 500 missionaries under appointment; plus the responsibility for about 250 retirees in each category. All of these were single women. The 1954 Assembly offering was designated as “something for deaconesses and missionaries.” The decision was made for a home and the location was chosen by surveying all active and retired missionaries and deaconesses. Mable K. Howell, for whom BHH is named, had retired to Asheville and was instrumental in the selection of this site.

The house was purchased in 1956 and opened in 1957 as “Brooks-Howell Home” with nine residents. The main building (later named Bethea) opened in 1961. The first expansion was the Chandler-Burris Apartments in 1965, named for Helen Chandler and Emma Burris, the chair of the board of BHH and the WDCS liaison staff person from the New York Office respectively. The Jones-Cadwallader Apartments followed in 1970, and the Cummings Health Unit in 1977.

The Quad was opened in 1994. The Village and Activities Building were built in 1996-97, the latter championed by Deaconess Social Worker Elizabeth Nowlin. Deaconess Helene Hill contributed to the idea of a therapy pool which was constructed in 1998. The Chapel and the Apartments were the final expansions in 2003. All the buildings and units are named for women in recognition of their leadership.

Pieces of History

Brooks-Howell Home has inherited furnishings from the WDCS retirement homes that were open in the 1950s. One is a display case from the Founder’s room of Tremont Methodist Church in Boston, which commemorates the founding of the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society in 1869. Another piece is the grandfather clock from the Bancroft Home (the first retirement home), from 1912. There is also a bamboo display case and two large chairs from Bancroft Taylor.

BHH also has a few pieces from the Robincroft Retirement Home. The Robincroft Retirement Home was once the estate of Jane Bancroft, who later became Mrs. George O. Robinson. The influential deaconess donated her Pasadena, California home, called “The Castle”. The Castle would become the Robincroft Retirement Home. From her home we have beautiful stained glass panels in our Lobby window, a fireplace in the International Room, a richly upholstered settee with matching chairs and a gilt mirror in the Chapel corridor.

Brooks-Howell Home has a rich history, and we truly appreciate all of those whose vision created this Home. We celebrate the millions of United Methodist Women members who supported it through all these years and those who continue to support it with gifts of love, volunteer time, supplies, and their mission giving.

Special thanks to Barbara Campbell and Betty Letzig for this information and their wonderful presentations.