Martha O’Bryan Center recently celebrated the Grand Opening of our new Faith Building on November 10th, 2023. In addition to a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, the occasion was marked by heartfelt speeches, notable attendees, and moving testimonials.
After warm introductions by Martha O’Bryan Center Board Co-Chairs, Leighton Liles and Samori Cummings, CEO Edwards expressed profound gratitude in her opening speech, thanking everyone who contributed to the realization of the new Faith Building and the newly-renovated Hope Building. She first thanked the employees, who dutifully went about their work even as all their classrooms and event spaces eventually shrank to just the foyer in the Hope building, forcing everyone, clients and staff, to share roughly 250 sq ft for programming. This was met with a huge round of applause from attendees. Edwards went on to acknowledge the pivotal role of donors, lenders, builders, designers and board members in making the re-imagination of the Faith building and the renovation of the Hope one a reality.
Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell also took the stage, delivering a speech that underscored the importance of nonprofit organizations like Martha O’Bryan Center within the Nashville community. Mayor O’Connell not only spoke about the significance of the new Faith Building, he also stayed a good while afterwards to take a private tour of the entire campus, emphasizing his commitment to community engagement.
Among the attendees were numerous donors, clients, board members, and even former Nashville Mayor, Bill Purcell—demonstrating the broad support and involvement of the community in the Martha O’Bryan Center’s mission.
A particularly moving moment came when board member Kemarcus Haynes shared his personal testimonial. Growing up in the Cayce Homes/Boscobel Heights neighborhood, he spoke about his transformative experience attending courses at the Martha O’Bryan Center. Keymarcus highlighted how these programs played a crucial role in improving his life, enabling him to travel the country, and eventually returning to his community to move into a townhome next door to a fellow board member, Marilyn Greer.
The Grand Opening of the Faith Building not only marked a physical expansion for the Martha O’Bryan Center but also symbolized the strength of community support, the dedication of its leaders, and the transformative impact on individuals like Keymarcus, reinforcing the organization’s commitment to empowering lives and fostering positive change in the community.
“Everyone was astounded by the beauty of the building and expansion of the programs,” says Marsha Edwards, the President & CEO of Martha O’Bryan Center. “The overwhelming feedback of our guests and long-term donors was great pride in all that we have achieved,” she went on to say. All in all, the Grand Opening was deemed a great success by everyone one involved. We’d like to thank everyone who attended for helping to make this momentous occasion so much more memorable.