Bishop Spencer Place opened its doors on December 6, 1995, to a handful of courageous residents who braved the winter snow to move into the newly-constructed Madison independent living building. These first residents were given a firm promise: Bishop Spencer Place would provide them with premier retirement living, a faith-based and family-oriented environment and a unique blend of service-rich hospitality, plus health and pastoral care for the duration of their lives.
Nearly 20 years later, Bishop Spencer Place has grown – including the opening of the Jefferson building, which added 54 independent living apartment homes – and has developed into the warm community more than 135 residents call home. However, with all the changes that occur over a 20-year period, the promise given to the first residents remains firmly in place today – unchanged and a critical part of the Bishop Spencer Place mission.
Our independent, freestanding board of directors is composed of dedicated Kansas City leaders who uphold our community’s values and work hard on our residents’ behalf. Connections with Saint Luke’s Health System and physicians, as well as with the Episcopal Diocese of West Missouri, contribute to our governance, financial stability and mission. Together with our management team and staff, all are dedicated to making Bishop Spencer Place a friendly senior living community with the strength to support residents – mind, body and spirit.
Our Mission Statement:
Bishop Spencer Place is a faith-based, continuing care community for persons who seek retirement care and health services in a life-engaging, secure and family-oriented environment.
- Respect: We hold a profound regard for the life, dignity and personal growth of our residents and staff, manifested in all attitudes, activities and services that we provide.
- Hospitality: We offer warmth and congeniality to our residents, their families and friends and any who visit our community.
- Stewardship: We believe we must be financially sound to ensure the full continuum of quality health care, connected services and security for our residents.
Bishop Robert Nelson Spencer served the Diocese of West Missouri during the years of the Great Depression and World War II. During his Episcopate, there was discussion of establishing an “Episcopal Home”; then in 1965, under the Episcopate of Bishop Edward Welles, gifts were received from the estates of parishioners Lora Hershey Bacharach and Fannie S. Campbell to begin funding the community.
In April 1975, the first meeting of the “Episcopal Retirement Home Planning Committee” was held under the Episcopate of Bishop Arthur Vogel, and became an incorporated entity. That December, Bishop Spencer’s daughter, Kathleen Spencer DeYong, gave approval of the proposed project name “Bishop Spencer Home,” in honor of her father.
Planning and development of the community truly accelerated when Bishop John C. Buchanan began his Episcopate in 1989. As Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bishop Buchanan led a five-year effort through property acquisition, tax-exempt bond financing, design and construction. In 1993, 6.5 acres of land was purchased from J.E. Dunn Construction Company, and in 1994, under Bishop Buchanan’s leadership, Saint Luke’s Hospital contributed funds to Bishop Spencer Place which were used for site acquisition, along with previous gifts from Rachel L. Davies and William T. Kemper, Jr.
On September 30, 1994, a groundbreaking ceremony was held, and on December 6, 1995, Bishop Spencer Place opened its doors. Many of our current residents were instrumental in the development and financing of the community, including Jeannette Nichols, who said:
“A retirement home needs to think about people’s regular routines – the things they don’t want to give up – and include them within the retirement community. If you can think of things people will miss the most, then you should add them if you can. It all defines quality of life. Bishop Spencer Place has done just that.”
We’re proud to have been home to so many wonderful residents since opening our doors in December 1995. With a strong history of service and accomplishment, we look forward to being the retirement destination of choice in Kansas City for years to come.
A wonderful book was published in 2009 that describes the history of Bishop Spencer Place. Limited copies are available for $25 by calling 816.595.5015.