Lea Dudley of Virginia said this was her first time to attend an assembly. She came to the mainland from Hawaii three years ago and was thrilled she could attend this year. She said she had been hearing about Ridgecrest and was so excited to be here in “this beautiful area.”
Katherine Dudley, her sister-in-law, echoed her sentiments. “The rooms are clean,” she said, “the food is good and the service is good — everyone is so helpful.”
But conferences and church gatherings are not the only things accommodated at the Christian center. There are plans for individuals, youth groups, small or large groups, ministers’ get-aways, families, senior adults, mission projects and, for the adventuresome, special packages for summer retreats and vacations. For senior adults, a Southern Gospel Springfest is held — usually in April, when the natural beauty of springtime in the Blue Ridge Mountains can be experienced.
Whitewater rafting adventure is offered through Nantahala Outdoor Center with lodging and a half-day rafting trip on either the French Broad or Pigeon River. Add to that laser tag or head for the high ropes course. Of course, recreation adventures include hiking trails, Frisbee, fishing and kayaking, also, along with disc golf or miniature golf, which winds along a mountain stream.
For youth groups, a ball diamond and tennis, sand volleyball and indoor volleyball and basketball courts are available. And for the daring, there are the rappelling tower, the climbing wall, zip line and a giant swing. Equipment is available for all recreational activities at no charge to guests.
The conference center is set in the Asheville/Western North Carolina area — a “Top 10” tourist destination. Nearby are the historic Biltmore Estate, Chimney Rock, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, and Grandfather Mountain. Within minutes, visitors at Ridgecrest can shop at Black Mountain or explore the many festivals scheduled in Asheville.
Ridgecrest is eco-friendly. It is committed to protecting the environment by reducing energy consumption and finding alternative ways to minimize the impact on the environment. According to its mission statement, Ridgecrest’s master plan for revitalizing the campus has included making the central campus pedestrian-friendly to encourage guests to walk rather than use vehicles.
Or if you don’t want to “move about,” just grab a rocking chair and enjoy the quiet and take in the view of the mountains. Perhaps a visit to the T.W. Wilson Memorial Prayer Garden will be a welcome retreat for those who want to escape — for devotion, reflection and prayer.
Groups who are interested in a mission project will find the perfect opportunity at Ridgecrest and are urged to consider the center for a retreat. A local contact provides mission projects for local area churches and ministries. Housing, meals and evening worship take place at Ridgecrest.
Getaway packages are available at discount prices for ministers and families. Spend a day, a week or a weekend. Special packages include a Couples Enrichment, Couples Adventure, Father and Son, Mother and Daughter and Pastors Study — a fit for every situation.
As Mrs. Dudley observed, along with others who came from the United States and several countries to Ridgecrest for The Church of God Assembly, “the food is good and the service is good — everyone is so helpful.” Many were heard to say, “We enjoy coming here. It’s a great place.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: For information about Ridgecrest Conference Center, visit ridgecrestconferencecenter.org or contact Melissa Inman, director of sales and marketing, at 828-669-9048; firstname.lastname@example.org.