GBHCMF enjoys a long history of serving the physical and spiritual needs of the community. This compassionate initiative began over 100 years ago with the formation of the Tabernacle Baptist Infirmary in Atlanta, when in 1901 physician Leonard Gaston Broughton was called as Pastor to the Tabernacle Baptist Church in downtown Atlanta. On Thanksgiving Day in that same year, Dr. Broughton opened the Tabernacle Infirmary with three beds. At the new Pastor’s request, the Tabernacle church soon employed Georgia Barrett to do the missionary work among the “down-and-outs.” When Dr. Broughton was asked how he planned to build a hospital, he responded, “With sick people and the command of Christ to heal the sick.” In 1913 the Georgia Baptist Convention purchased the Infirmary and named it Georgia Baptist Hospital.
In 1915 the Tabernacle Infirmary was re-chartered as Georgia Baptist Hospital, which moved in 1926 to East Avenue and Boulevard. Georgia’s first cancer clinic was established in 1934 on the hospital’s campus, and by 1944 there were 250 physicians on staff supported by 188 employees.
The first coronary care unit was opened in Atlanta on the fourth floor of the North Tower, and in 1970 Georgia Baptist founded the Southeast’s first and the country’s third Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. In 1974 a ten-story patient tower was completed, which included 523 patient beds plus 43 infant beds. (At the most active point in the Health Care System history, six hospitals and four skilled nursing facilities joined Level One emergency trauma, coronary, surgical and neonatal intensive care, fitness facilities, and assisted living residences to offer a full continuum of care.)
That heartbeat and mission continue to reverberate through the efforts of the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation. With the endowment established after the sale of the hospitals and physical assets owned by the Georgia Baptist Health Care System, GBHCMF supports programs that strengthen the health of people and their communities.
GBHCMF encourages constant collaboration of community partners, including business, government, other grant makers, charities, and individual citizens. Programs funded by GBHCMF endorse themes of self-help, independence, and individual responsibility. Careful consideration is given to the GBHCMF mission when investing in community programs. GBHCMF remains committed to the ideal of Christian service. With our partners our ongoing efforts ensure the delivery of qualified and compassionate care. Our ministry is multifaceted, but our mission is as unique as it was in 1901 when the Georgia Baptist Health Care System had its phenomenal beginning.