Our History

Brewster Place was founded as The Congregational Home for the Aged in 1958.

The cornerstone idea for Brewster Place was conceived in the 1950s when four Congregational churches came together to make life better for seniors. Topekan, Frances Engler and her husband Roy, wanted to provide a comfortable, convenient home for Frances’ aging aunt. The couple took their idea for a senior care home and offer of ten acres of farmland to their pastor, Reverend Ned Burr McKenney.

McKenney worked with the three other Topeka Congregational churches to establish a corporate charter for The Congregational Home in 1958. Though the official corporate name remains The Congregational Home, in 1962 the property became known as Brewster Place to honor early Congregationalist, William Brewster. Brewster, a Mayflower pilgrim and Plymouth Colony leader, was known for his compassion and faith.

Five decades later, compassion and service to seniors is witnessed daily on our beautiful 35 acre campus. Brewster proudly offers nearly 400 residents a wide array of activities, amenities, and innovations to make a positive difference in their lives.

Turn the page and write your next chapter in the Brewster storybook of senior living!

Tim Wetzel, President and CEO, Brewster Place

Brewster Place names new
President and CEO

Tim Wetzel began his tenure as the new President and CEO of Brewster Place on February 27, 2023. In making the announcement, Brewster’s board chair, Todd Pettygrove stated, “As a not-for-profit, faith-based senior living community founded by Topeka’s four Congregational churches in 1964, we are very pleased to find a leader of Tim’s caliber who not only has a lifelong history with the United Church of Christ, but over 19 years of executive leadership experience in continuing care retirement communities.

Tim Wetzel currently serves as Executive Director of Cascade Manor in Eugene, Oregon. Previously, Wetzel served as executive director at retirement communities similar in size as Brewster in Texas and California. Tim has a passion for health and human service ministry, and he has a collaborative consensus building management style. He values fiscal responsibility, good stewardship, holistic care, wellness of the mind, body and spirit, and diversity.

"... a servant leader"

“As a servant-leader, Tim’s values coupled with his experience managing multimillion dollar budgets, and his expertise in strategic planning, finance, and marketing, make him the perfect fit to lead Brewster. He is mission-focused, placing equal value on those serving as those being served. As Brewster begins a multimillion-dollar renovation of Redwood – the first building on our 35-acre campus — it seems only fitting that Tim Wetzel takes the helm at this point in our history,” said Pettygrove.

Wetzel earned a bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg University, an MBA from Arizona State University, and a second master’s degree in Information Systems Management from Seattle Pacific University. Tim also earned the Diaconal Ministry Certification from the Council of Human Service Ministries of the United Church of Christ.

In the interim, Matthew Burns continues serving as interim President and CEO.

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