News Articles

Landmark Christian conference center reduces year round operations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Vowing to remain a viable ministry in a tough economy, LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center will implement a new operational model Oct. 1.

The conference center, located near Santa Fe, N.M., has served Southern Baptists and other evangelical Christians for more than half a century and is operated by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Under the new model, Glorieta will continue to offer the same facilities and level of service from mid-May through September. From October through mid-May, only New Mexico Hall and Hall of States will be in operation with a focus on more effectively serving smaller off-season groups. The only planned exception to the smaller groups will be Fuge Winter Camps, which will continue to be offered four times during the winter months.

“We are adjusting operations to better fit demand,” said Byron Hill, LifeWay’s executive director of conference centers. “With a focus on smaller off-season events such as ministry staff and board retreats, our new operations plan will provide a more efficient model throughout the year.”

The new operational model will result in a reduction of full-time staffing by roughly one-half (from 44 to 21) by Oct. 1. Severance packages will be offered to employees whose positions are being eliminated. A number of impacted employees will be able to retire while other employees may have opportunities to continue as temporary employees.

New Mexico Hall, one of the two facilities to remain open year-round, encompasses guest registration, the Chuck Wagon restaurant, Holy Grounds Coffee Shop, a bookstore, offices and meeting rooms. Hall of States, the newest upgrade at Glorieta, meanwhile, is a modern 60-room hotel built in 2006.

“Glorieta has touched countless lives for Christ throughout 56 years of ministry, yet it often operates at a loss,” Hill said. “Our goal in launching a new operational model is to ensure the long-term ministry impact of Glorieta, even in economic downturns.”

Glorieta director Hal Hill described the new plan as providing a stronger off-season focus on ministry at the 2,200-acre conference center. “We believe Glorieta is a place in fall and winter where smaller groups — ministry teams, executive leaders, and so on — will find excellent lodging, dining and meeting space, all in the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains.”

He added that the plan will not impact the center’s newly launched summer camps, Camp Glorieta for Boys and Camp Glorieta for Girls. In fact, in 2010 Glorieta will expand its camp offerings with the introduction of family camps.

Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of LifeWay, said, “In the short time that I have been at LifeWay, I have witnessed firsthand significant improvements in facilities, the growth of our camp ministry and sold-out events for youth and adults. Our hope is that these ministries will only grow stronger in the days ahead.”

Glorieta has undergone major capital improvements in recent years. In addition to the newly built Hall of States, renovation projects have been undertaken for Holcomb Auditorium and its adjacent meeting rooms, for all youth dormitories and the Chaparral, Texas and Oklahoma hotels.

The conference center can accommodate events for 10 to 2,000 people.
Reported by the communications office of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. For more information on Glorieta, go to www.lifeway.com/glorieta.

    About the Author

  • Staff