While PTM was officially chartered as an organization in 1998 by Patrick Hamilton, the seeds of PTM were planted years before. In 1985 Perry McGowan, having just graduated from Pearl-Cohn high school and a resident of the Preston Taylor Housing Development, saw children in his own neighborhood without a safe place to grow and learn. Perry began tutoring 8 children in his mom’s living room. After 8 turned into 16, Perry was able to arrange for space in a mobile trailer maintained by the Preston Taylor Management Office. This program offered tutoring, drug prevention training, Boy Scouts, field trips, fashion shows, and sports opportunities and relied on several Preston Taylor parents as volunteers. In the mid-1990s, Perry was hired by Metro Parks to run programming out of the Preston Taylor Community Center. In 1997, Patrick Hamilton began volunteering at the Preston Taylor Community. Perry introduced him to students, parents, and community leaders and Patrick connected a group of church leaders (Warner Durnell, Linda Knott), community leaders (McGowan and Tim Bryant) and parents (Mark McShand and Paula Thomas) in the Preston Taylor community to build on the work that Perry had started. In March, 1998 PTM was formally incorporated as a Christian-based non-profit named Preston Taylor Ministries. PTM met for a summer program in the fellowship hall of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church to offer children living in the community Bible studies, recreation, tutoring, and music instruction. In 1999, PTM moved to First Baptist Church of West Nashville (Pastored by Jordan Ivey). In addition to summer and afterschool programming, PTM added mentoring as a way of helping students connect to even more caring adults.
In 2007, PTM moved its operations from First Baptist–West Nashville into a building donated to PTM by Martha and Hal Wilson. Named to honor this generous family, the Hal and Martha Wilson Center is located at 4014 Indiana Avenue. This permanent space provided a base for expanding to serve more children through the launching of satellite sites.
In 2008, PTM established a second afterschool site in North Nashville in partnership with Faith United Missionary Baptist Church. Faith United serves 20 children in K-4th grades.
In 2010, PTM began serving high school students through Servant and Leadership Training (SaLT) Program. High school students met for tutoring and life skills training including career exploration, service learning, job training, and college exploration. High school programming began including Dinner and Devo in 2014.
PTM added afterschool sites between 2010-2020 including a partnership with St. Luke’s Community House in 2016 and McGruder Center in 2019.
In 2020, PTM serves approximately 300 children and youth in kindergarten-13th grade at eight afterschool sites. PTM believes that to be successful in life they need to be connected to a caring adult, a positive peer group, a purpose, and educational opportunity. Perry McGowan and Patrick Hamilton both continue to be involved as volunteers and financial contributors.
The mission of PTM is to empower Preston Taylor children and youth to discover and live their God-inspired dreams, develop a love for learning, and build joy-filled friendships that glorify Christ Jesus.
In order to provide the context for helping students to grow in their sense of connectedness, PTM enlists over 300 volunteers to serve 300 children/youth weekly through a variety of academic, job development, and mentoring programs.