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LifeWay celebrates opening of new Ridgecrest hotel

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Ridgecrest Conference Center celebrated the grand opening and dedication of its newest addition, the Mountain Laurel Inn, on Nov. 25, but the 120-room hotel is just part of a much larger plan to bring new life to both of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention conference centers.

Revitalization at LifeWay’s Ridgecrest Conference Center and Glorieta Conference Center is proceeding well, said Mike Arrington, vice president of LifeWay’s corporate affairs division. “With the addition of our national director Byron Hill and his outstanding staff, along with the local leadership of Bill Bowman at Ridgecrest and Rick Tanner at Glorieta, we have made great strides in bringing outstanding men of God into our hospitality ministry,” Arrington said. “As a result, we are providing the finest places of Christian training and spiritual renewal in the country.”

Approximately 200 guests and employees attended the Mountain Laurel Inn dedication ceremony, during which LifeWay President James T. Draper Jr. and Bowman spoke, while other participants shared their testimonies through word and song.

Designed to transform the Ridgecrest, N.C., and Glorieta, N.M., conference centers into premier retreats with a focus on God’s purpose and spiritual renewal, the revitalization is already in full swing. LifeWay trustees recently approved a revised 10-year plan that will propel the spiritual retreats and their ministries into the 21st century, according to Hill.

“The revitalization plan is designed to touch every part of the campus and either totally renovate existing buildings or build new ones,” Hill said. “Upon completion of our 10-year plan, we will have set these campuses up for another 20 to 30 years of ministry. Literally millions of people have attended these conference centers and we want to see God continue to work through them.”

Most recently, Ridgecrest opened the Mountain Laurel Inn, a 120-room hotel with conference space for 250 guests, and dedicated the new 300-seat Rutland Chapel, a rustic setting with a state-of-the-art sound and video projection system. Revitalization efforts at Glorieta include the recently remodeled Chaparral Inn and the newly improved Glorieta Lake.

Additionally, the revitalization plan includes construction plans to build a second new hotel and dining hall at Ridgecrest, and two new hotels and an indoor recreation center at Glorieta.

“Our goal as we continue our work to revitalize the conference centers is to fulfill their mission — and LifeWay’s vision,” Arrington said. “As God works through us, we will help people and churches know Jesus Christ and seek his kingdom by providing the best conference center environment for experiencing spiritual transformation and renewal.”

Last year, more than 92,000 guests visited LifeWay’s conference centers and 1,200 campers participated in various programs and camps, making more than 2,300 spiritual decisions.

“We ask all Southern Baptists to pray for us as we continue our efforts to serve individuals and churches as they share Christ throughout the world,” Arrington said.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: NEW INN AT RIDGECREST.

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  • Mandy Crow