Gospel artists John Darin Rowsey, The Talleys, Tribute Quartet, Jeff Stice and Aaron Wilburn to perform Dec. 4 in “A Down Home Christmas” to benefit The Veranda


GALLATIN, TENN. — John Darin Rowsey, The Talleys, Tribute Quartet, pianist Jeff Stice and comedian Aaron Wilburn, five top artists in gospel music, are among artists helping start the holiday season with “A Down Home Christmas,” a dinner and music event benefiting The Veranda. The event will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at The Depot Square in Gallatin, Tenn. A silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and concert at 6:30 p.m.

Cost is $45 per person, and tables of eight are available for $360. Seating is limited to 300, and reservations are requested before Nov. 28.

Proceeds from the dinner and music event benefit The Veranda, the flagship program of Veranda Ministries. An outreach supported by Impact Fellowship Church in Gallatin, The Veranda is a respite activity program that helps meet the needs of senior adults and their families who are affected by Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and other issues of the aging process. Activities are provided a few hours a day, three days a week at the church to allow families much-needed respite time to take care of other family needs.

Emcee for the evening is singer and songwriter John Darin Rowsey. Rowsey currently travels with The Guardians and previously performed with Karen Peck and New River and Watts, Rowsey & Bean.

“This is such a great honor for me to be part of an event that addresses one of the most serious diseases facing families today,” Rowsey said. “The holidays often are not easy for those in the midst of caring for a loved one with Alzheimers and dementia. Yet many times the power of music is something the family can enjoy together. Music—especially Christmas music—creates a connection when nothing else can. I am looking forward to this wonderful time together.”

The evening’s line-up includes Tribute Quartet, The Talleys, Jeff Stice, Aaron Wilburn, The Lore Family, Avenue, Rebecca Little Burke of The Littles, songwriter Kenna West, Dusty Wells, Wanette Turner and Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly. A special performance by Daniel Webster and Welch College Ensemble also will be featured.

“Welch College is excited to serve alongside the wonderful people at The Veranda. The busyness of the Christmas season so often brings about extra hardship on families who are caring for their loved ones, so playing a part in this benefit concert and dinner is a special honor,” Daniel Webster, director of enrollment services at Welch College, said. “We look forward to seeing how Christ will work through the generous support of His people.”

Guests can expect an interactive evening with the opportunity to sing with the artists. Another highlight of the evening will be The Talleys’ performance of their Dove Award winning song, “Hidden Heroes,” which pays tribute to those who care for the needs of others. The song has become a theme song for The Veranda family.

“‘Hidden Heroes’ is a fitting connection, especially during the holiday season, to honor those who are giving an ultimate gift themselves by serving others,” said Debra Talley, who also serves as a member of the Veranda Board of Directors. “We are looking forward to this joyous night of celebrating the holidays while also helping generate awareness for The Veranda and its service to the community.”

This is the seventh year Tribute Quartet has participated in this event for The Veranda. Gary Casto, the quartet’s manager, also serves as a member of The Veranda’s Board of Directors.

“I’m thrilled Tribute is a part of this life-changing ministry,” Casto said. “Jesus said that He came so we might have life and live it more abundantly. Veranda Ministries follows this teaching by helping families and their loved ones with dementia learn to live life to the fullest of their ability. I’m very thankful that we endorse such a powerful force as The Veranda.”

Jeff Stice returns for his fourth year as part of the line-up of performers. The award-winning pianist is looking forward to participating again this year.

“Being a part of this event has been of the most meaningful Christmas gifts I’ve ever received,” Stice said. “When I first learned of The Veranda, I thought it to be an amazing outreach to Alzheimer’s families. I am truly honored and humbled to be sharing my music again this year on this very special evening.”

Having spent more than 30 years in the music industry, Wanette Turner’s heart is in ministry, and she supports the mission of The Veranda. Turner also is the events and audience producer with the Huckabee Show. The show recognized Oglesby-Sutherly and The Veranda during one of its “Huck’s Heroes” segment in 2017.

“Authenticity is important and ‘showing’ the love of Christ is even more effective than our words,” Turner said. “Our actions must lead the way and tell the story of love, which is exactly what Mary Anne and the volunteers do every day at The Veranda.”

“Memory Trees,” a popular collection of auction items, are back as well as wreaths and table arrangements designed for year-round display. Individual trees will be decorated in themes. Some of the trees will honor families and loved ones who have been affected by dementia.

“This will be a wonderful evening of festive music to celebrate the start of the Christmas season.” Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly, director of Veranda Ministries, said. “We will have a special tree with all the ornaments made by clients at The Veranda. Plus, they have been working on artwork that will serve as table decorations at the event.

“It will be a great night for families, young and old alike, to get together and usher in the holiday season and celebrate Christ, the true reason for the season,” Oglesby-Sutherly said. “I am so grateful to the artists for their unwavering support of this event. It’s become a traditional start to the Christmas season for our Veranda family, and we invite others to join us for this special evening.”

For more information about the event or to make reservations, contact The Veranda staff at 615-838-1207. Reservations may also be made online by clicking the "Reserve Seats" button on this page above.


JULY 29, 2018

Sumner county caregiver conference set for Sept. 12 in hendersonville

Veranda Ministries is among 10 organizations sponsoring the Sumner County Caregiver Conference on Sept. 12 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Hendersonville. The six-hour educational coaching event is free, but registration is required before Sept. 7. Lunch is provided. Six hours of CEs are offered for nurses. Each attendee will receive a "Certificate of Attendance" for six hours of training. In this translational event: Nurses will gain from the professional clinical content; Families will be brought alongside the nurses’ learning. Everyone is welcome!

The conference features facilitator Dr. Beth Nolan, Ph.D., director of research, grants and policy with Postive Approach® to Care (PAC). PAC is a training and advocacy organization offering techniques used by professionals and families working or living with dementia or other brain changes.

JUNE 2018


Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly, founder and executive director of Veranda Ministries in Gallatin, Tenn., has been appointed to the board of directors for Tennessee Association of Adult Day Services (TAADS). Sutherly will serve as vice president of legislative affairs until the term expires Dec. 31, 2019.

The appointment recently was announced by Bill Zagorski, chief executive officer of American Senior Care Centers, Inc.

“In my role as President of the Tennessee Association of Adult Day Services, I have had the honor of meeting and getting to know Mary Anne over the past few years, and personally sought her for this position when it became available,” Zagorski said.

“Mary Anne's experience in the field, combined with her passion to serve and improve the lives of those in need gives her the unique ability to be a leader in the field, and help promote the effort of the association and adult day service providers statewide,” he said. “On behalf of the Tennessee Association of Adult Day Services, we thank and welcome Mary Anne, and hope for her continued service in our great state.”

As vice president of legislative affairs, Sutherly shall monitor state and federal legislation, in conjunction with the TAADS’ contracted legislative correspondent, Clifton Government Relations, which directly or indirectly affects adult day services and report to the Executive Committee and the membership on a regularly scheduled basis. Sutherly also will serve as the lead public affairs correspondent for the association for initiatives regarding legislation and legislative efforts.

“I look forward to working with Bill and the TAADS board in serving Tennessee and helping our senior adult population,” Sutherly said. “As the senior population continues to grow, it’s imperative that care services increase to help address the rising needs.”

Seven years ago, Sutherly saw a need in the Gallatin area and established Veranda Ministries. The Veranda, a primary outreach of Veranda Ministries and a ministry supported by Impact Fellowship Church, provides a time of nurturing respite care to allow family caregivers much needed time for themselves. Services for family also include a monthly support group for caregivers and a semi-annual caregiver conference.

When a 2017 state law threatened to close their respite program's doors, she took action again and enlisted her local legislators Sen. Ferrell Haile and Rep. Courtney Rogers. As a result of Sutherly and her board committee’s crusade to make the case for supporting the ability of The Veranda as well as other respite ministries to help caregivers, a new state law was passed during the 110th Tennessee General Assembly. The legislation enables churches in Tennessee to help families caring for loved ones with dementia, Alzheimer's or other aging issues like never before.

Sutherly holds dual certification as PAC consultant and coach in Teepa Snow's "Positive Approach to Care" and also is certified in Alzheimer’s care by both the Alzheimer’s Association and the Alzheimer's Federation of America.

She has appeared on the Nashville Public Television's "NPT Reports: Aging Matters," a series designed to open a community-based conversation about what Middle Tennessee's older citizens need to optimize their quality of life and helping prepare communities for the coming explosion in the aging population.

In March 2018, Mary Anne was recognized during "Huck's Heroes," a special segment of Gov. Mike Huckabee's show "Huckabee" that airs nationally on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN.) Her selection as a "Huck's Hero" resulted from her vision of establishing Veranda Ministries and its work in Sumner County.

TAADS acts as a planning, researching, and training body for adult day services across the state of Tennessee. The organization educates the public and policy makers about the needs of adults in the area of adult day services, adult day treatment, as well as other supportive services. For more information about TAADS, contact Zagorski at www.taads.net or william.zagorski@centennialadultcare.com.


APRIL 2018

Veranda Director TO SPEAK as part of five-city texas tour

Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly, founder and executive director of Veranda Ministries, will share Positive Techniques for Memory Care during a five-day speaking tour May 7-11 in Texas.

The engagements are public service events sponsored by the MRC Healthy Living Community locations in Texarkana, Lufkin, Huntsville, College Station and Clear Lake as part of their "A Proactive Approach to Dementia" series in recognition of Older Americans Month.

"I'm grateful to MRC for the opportunity to help families learn ways to care for their loved ones with dementia," Oglesby-Sutherly said. "It's an honor for me the help others learn how to celebrate the blessings that our seniors bring to our lives.

"My goal is to help families understand that we have to go into their loved one’s current world and meet them where they are, because they can no longer come into ours,” she said.

“The dementia journey is by no means an easy one, but it’s ok to laugh, have fun and find ways to enjoy this season of their loved ones’ life. This time can be one that provides opportunities for families to grow stronger in their relationships with each other and the Lord.”

TAADS Officers Mahon Fritts, Mary Anne Oglesby-Sutherly and Bill Zagorski