By Brian Reed
With two different conference centers and numerous themed retreats throughout the year, LifeWay Retreats and Conferences has the programming and relaxing grounds to help foster spiritual growth.
“We want people to connect with Christ while they are on campus,” said Melissa Inman, marketing specialist with LifeWay Retreats. “We provide programming that steers them in that direction, and everything on the campus is designed to bring guests closer to him.”
Ridgecrest, set on 1,300 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina, offers themed programs throughout the year, minister retreats, family retreats, marriage retreats and special summer camps for boys and girls.
In May the center hosts the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference for aspiring writers to learn, network and be inspired. Other popular programs include the Southern Gospel programs in the spring and fall and the Life Lessons From Mayberry event, which is held in September and looks at old episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show” and finds biblical truths in them.
However, groups don’t have to be part of a special event to use the campus. Groups, families or individuals can come, stay and recharge in the hotel-style accommodations or the family and youth housing. There are lots of free recreation events on campus, among them basketball, baseball, miniature golf and adventure recreation such as a ropes course and wall climbing.
A second center, Glorieta, is set in the southernmost part of the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico. The 2,100-acre campus is used only in the summer and hosts Fuge, six-day, five-night all-inclusive camps for middle and high school students, and College Week, which last year attracted more than 2,700 college students from across the country.
“We see ourselves as a ministry to serve others who are in ministry,” said Inman. “As people come themselves or bring groups, we want to provide a place they can rest, get away and truly retreat.”