Frances Thaxton Ash


Frances Thaxton Ash most valued family and having a home.  When she died, she bequeathed a substantial financial gift to her church.

This gift came with two stipulations.  The money was to be used to either end homelessness in families and/or to assist the elderly who were very needy.  Nine members and the Senior Pastor of Central United Methodist Church worked for two years to create a program that would honor Frances’ vision.  Their study led to the formation of Saranam in 2004.

Saranam offers transitional housing for homeless families and teaches those families how to live independently.  Families are brought into Saranam for two years so they may focus on acquiring the education and skills needed to function without help.  Frances Thaxton Ash’s gift has enabled Central United Methodist Church to own an apartment complex in order to provide these families with a community support system 24/7.  Even with Frances Thaxton Ash’s sizable gift, distributions from this endowment fund about 25% of budget expenses and does cover all costs of fundraising and administration.

Frances Thaxton Ash died on July 15, 2001 at the age of 95.  Frances was an only child who was encouraged to save from an early age.  Even though Frances was married and widowed twice, she had no children.  She led a modest lifestyle.  Frances was a longtime member of Central United Methodist Church, having attended for 93 years!  Her grandparent’s names are on two of the stained glass windows at this church.