Blog > A Letter From Scott: 100 Years

A Letter From Scott: 100 Years

Portrait of CEO Scott Merritt, a smiling man with glasses, silver hair, and a blue shirt against a neutral background.

Friends of Murphy-Harpst,

When Ethel Harpst led the young ones in her care to their new home on the hill in Cedartown a century ago, few could imagine the lasting impact her determination would have on generations of Georgia’s most vulnerable children. Grounded in faith, and driven by love, Miss Harpst reached out to the many made homeless during the influenza outbreak of the 1920s. Following where God led, she opened the Harpst Home for orphans in 1924. A few years later Sarah Murphy, a Spelman College graduate, followed a similar divine call, opening a one-room schoolhouse in her own community, before she and her husband took in children left languishing and alone by the pandemic and the Great Depression.

Since those first days, Murphy-Harpst Children’s Centers has continued to respond to God’s call to meet the critical needs of families and youth across Georgia. Today we are confronted by a growing mental and behavioral health crisis among youth in the foster care system, with a lack of available placements for them to heal and thrive.  Along with our historic residential treatment facility and specialized foster care services, Murphy-Harpst is expanding its services around the state to address this child welfare emergency. Innovations like our Evolve Initiative with small neighborhood-based homes are providing further the essential therapeutic care and placements that have been lacking for children, offering family support through an array of services within local communities.

We can stand in the gap for these children because of the determination and compassion of our Board of Directors, the MHCC staff, and our many donors and church partners who generously respond year after year, month after month, to give them life and hope. With this Spring newsletter we celebrate with you 100 years of God’s faithfulness to care for the young ones through the mission of Murphy-Harpst, and we embrace together God’s continuing call for their flourishing.

All my best,

M. Scott Merritt | President & CEO