Wesley Life
Glen Campbell


5508 NW 88th St. 
Johnston, IA 50131


E-mail: info@wesleylife.org


WesleyLife's History


In 1946, the South Iowa Methodist Church Conference approved a plan to provide a retirement home for aging ministers. Six months after the initial plan, Wesley Acres, Inc. was established as a faith-based, nonprofit ministry by the South Iowa Methodist Church Conference. Wesley Acres' first community was located on the Chamberlain Estate in Des Moines, Iowa.


Chamberlain Estate

Located in the heart of Des Moines, the Chamberlain Estate had vast land and contained the grand Chamberlain mansion, which was designed by noted architect William George Rantoul.  The Chamberlain mansion is noted in the National Historic Register as the oldest example of Tudor-Jacobean 17th Century English architecture in Des Moines.


Built in 1900, the mansion is filled with red oak paneling, five fireplaces, brass and silver-plated light fixtures and window panes made from imported French bottle glass. The home was restored in 1986 and housed WesleyLife's corporate offices. In 2002, the five bedrooms were renovated to be used as a guest house at Wesley Acres, where friends and family stay during visits.


Growing To meet New Needs

Since Wesley Acres' original five residents, WesleyLife has grown to serve more than 10,000 older adults in seven  retirement communities and 11 counties throughout Iowa.


  • 1947
    • The first residents inhabited the Chamberlain house and surrounding estate.
  • 1960     
    • Halcyon House, located in Washington, Iowa, was added to the Wesley family. It included a nursing wing and twenty independent apartments. The construction was financed by the first FHA loan made in Iowa.
  •  1962    
    • Heritage House, situated in the heart of Atlantic, Iowa, was constructed to meet the needs of area residents.
  •  1963    
    • Wesley Acres, Inc. renamed to South Iowa Methodist Homes, Inc.
  •  1987    
    • Corporate reorganization changed South Iowa Methodist Homes, Inc. to Wesley Retirement Services.
  •  1988    
    • Wesley-Methodist Adult Day Care was established on the Wesley Acres campus as a joint venture of Wesley and Iowa Methodist Medical Center. 1991    
    • The Village at Indianola was built.  It featured townhomes nestled in a neighborhood setting, independent and assisted living apartments and a health center.
  •  1992    
    • Park Centre, located two blocks from the heart of downtown and adjacent to Sunset Park, opened in Newton, Iowa. Willowbrook Adult Day Services relocated to the Park Centre campus.
  •  2001    
    • Wesley Retirement Services corporate offices moved from the Chamberlain Mansion to Johnston.
  •  2004    
    • Recognizing the need to assist older adults in their home, Wesley at Home, a certified-Medicare in-home health care agency, was launched in Des Moines, Iowa, to serve Polk, Warren and Dallas Counties.
  •  2006    
    • Wesley at Home opens in Ames to serve Story, Hamilton and Boone Counties. That summer, Wesley merged with Generations Incorporated, a 60-year old senior services organization, expanding Wesley's mission by bringing Meals on Wheels and a variety of personal care services to lower-income older adults. The new home and community based services division is called Wesley Community Services.
  •  2007    
  •  2008       
    • In order to better serve the needs of Cass, Guthrie and Audubon counties in West Central Iowa, Wesley opens in-home-health care in Atlantic. Local private duty company Kindred Connection, joins the Wesley family to support non-medical home needs. 
    • That fall, Wesley opens a rehabilitation and therapy company to further round out the continum of care with greater resources to support healthy lives. 
  •  2009    
    • Wesley Retirement Services changes its name to WesleyLife to reflect the growing focus on providing support and services for individuals wherever they call home. 
    • Edgewater, Wesley's newest community built on an Active Life philosophy, opens in West Des Moines with 151 Independent Living Apartments and Villas; 32 Assisted Living Suites; 16 Memory Support Suites and four households of 10 private Nursing Suites.
  •  2010
  •  Today     
    • WesleyLife employs more than 1,000 full and part-time team members whose focus is to support  the independence, health and well-being of older adults wherever they call home. Now serving over 4,500 individuals, we will continue to strive to develop a diverse array of services that are personalized to your individual need and situation. It's the Wesley way.