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SBTC donation supports Glorieta revitalization

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Thanks to a $250,000 gift from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, the LifeWay Glorieta Conference Center will receive a boost in its revitalization efforts.

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. The summer staff residence facility will be converted to youth housing, with an increase from 60 to 176 beds. Work should be completed by March.

LifeWay will rename the facility Cottonwood Lodge.

Glorieta is located near Santa Fe, N.M., and is one of two Christian conference centers owned and operated by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. The other is in Ridgecrest, N.C.

“We wanted to invest in the lives of young people using that lodge,” Richards said. “And we wanted to support LifeWay and show that the churches of the SBTC have confidence in the Cooperative Program and the ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.” The SBTC provided the funds from an excess in its operating budget.

“I am so thankful to Dr. Jim Richards and the Southern Baptists of Texas executive board for partnering with LifeWay Glorieta in this way to invest their financial resources in the lives of literally thousands of young people who will stay in the new Cottonwood dormitory for many years to come,” said Mike Arrington, LifeWay’s vice president of corporate affairs.

In recognition of the gift, a large, engraved stone will greet visitors to the lodge.

Steve Grassfield, Glorieta’s general manager, said workers will gut the building, replace the electrical system and plumbing, apply new dry wall and paint, sand the floors and install new windows. The rooms also will receive new furnishings such as bunk beds, cabinets and mirrors. Texas Baptist Men have volunteered to build the bunk beds for the youth dormitories.

“Texas volunteers continue to step up in big ways when it comes to helping Glorieta provide a place where people and churches experience God and hear His call,” Arrington said.

Renovations already are underway, said Grassfield, since snowy weather in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains can make construction efforts difficult during winter months. He said new windows were installed shortly before a 20-inch snowfall blanketed Glorieta Thanksgiving week.

Grassfield said Cottonwood Lodge would be dedicated in March and will begin housing Centrifuge and other attendees in the summer of 2005.

“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,” Arrington said.

At its fall meeting, LifeWay’s board of trustees approved spending $27 million throughout the next four years to update and enhance the facilities at both LifeWay conference centers. The money supports new hotels and other construction on both campuses as well as the demolition of outdated buildings, but 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. “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 supporting ministry projects at LifeWay, e-mail [email protected] or call (615) 251-5939.

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