GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–It seems fitting that the dedication of Cottonwood Lodge came during Easter week. The building received new life March 22 thanks to the help of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
The SBTC in December made a $250,000 gift to LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center to boost in its revitalization efforts. The donation expedited the restoration of Cottonwood Lodge, which was in need of major repairs. Once used to house summer staff members, Cottonwood, formerly named Yucca Lodge, completes the conference center’s plan for adding youth lodging. It will begin housing Centrifuge and other attendees this summer.
“With the completion of this work together, 100 percent of the youth dorms at Glorieta will have been fully remodeled and ready to serve the young people who come from our churches all across the country,” said Mike Arrington, LifeWay’s vice president of corporate affairs.
On Dec. 3, SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards presented LifeWay President James T. Draper Jr. with a check to fund renovations of Glorieta’s aging Yucca Lodge. Richards said the convention sees the contribution as an investment.
“Texans have had a long history with Glorieta,” he said. “Lives have been changed here through the experiences young people and adults alike have when they come. We will continue to encourage our churches to continue to send their young people here. We as Southern Baptists in Texas have a particular interest in helping equip young people to reach the next generation for Jesus. That’s why we made this investment in youth here at Glorieta.”
The SBTC provided the funds from an excess in its operating budget. In recognition of the gift, a large engraved stone will greet visitors to the lodge. Steve Grassfield, Glorieta’s general manager, estimates that between 70 and 80 percent of the campers attending one of several Centrifuge weeks are from Texas.
“It is interesting that Glorieta began 52 years ago with support from Baptists in the western states,” Arrington said. “It is wonderful to see state involvement continue and be extended to us in this way. The SBTC and LifeWay have enjoyed a strong relationship and we look forward to that partnership continuing.”
Grassfield said workers gutted the building, replaced the electrical system and plumbing, applied new dry wall and paint, sanded the floors and installed new windows. The rooms also received new furnishings such as bunk beds, cabinets and mirrors.
“It is significant that we are able to make this contribution,” said Chris Osborne, SBTC president and pastor of Central Baptist Church in College Station. “It is amazing the impact that a week makes in the lives of those young people. We see this opportunity to help with Glorieta’s renovation as an investment in their lives and the lives of young people throughout the year.”
At their fall meeting, LifeWay’s trustees approved spending $27 million throughout the next four years to update and enhance the facilities at both Glorieta and the LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, N.C. While the funds are earmarked for new hotels and other construction on both campuses as well as the demolition of outdated buildings, gifts like that from the SBTC allow LifeWay to do even more.
“The generosity of the SBTC allowed us to do something now that probably would have had to wait,” said Gary McCauley, LifeWay’s director of capital resource development. “[By] joining us to grow the ministry at our conference centers and elsewhere, people can help us do more than LifeWay could do on its own.”
For more information about ministry projects at LifeWay, e-mail [email protected] or call (615) 251-5939. Information regarding events hosted by the Glorieta and Ridgecrest conference centers can be found on the Internet at lifeway.com/conferencecenters.