Statement on Glorieta Conference Center
Concerning The Fall Trustee Meeting, September 2011
On Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011, the trustees of LifeWay Christian Resources approved a recommendation to reduce operations at Glorieta Conference Center (Glorieta, N.M.). Effective Nov. 1, 2011, the center, will offer only summer events for student groups. Centrifuge Camps and Collegiate Week will continue as usual.
"Significant changes in the training needs and practices of local churches, the challenges of travel to Glorieta, continued rising fuel and utility costs, an aging infrastructure, the volatile economy, and changes in state convention structures have combined to make financial viability increasingly difficult," said Jerry Rhyne, LifeWay's chief financial officer.
"As a matter of fiscal stewardship, LifeWay must be prudent controlling costs and managing resources in order to provide biblical solutions for life to individuals and churches in the most effective way," Rhyne said.
Rhyne noted that LifeWay receives no Cooperative Program funds and must operate solely from the revenues it receives from its business operations and products. Over the years, LifeWay has been losing a substantial amount of money each year to continue the Glorieta operation. Just once in the last 25 years has Glorieta achieved financial break-even.
Trustees also provided direction to begin pursuing viable options for the disposition of the property including, but not limited to, sales to or alliances with SBC entities, state conventions and other ministries.
As a summer-only facility, Glorieta will reduce its staff from 23 to seven employees. The LifeWay Christian Store on location will also cease operation, effective Nov. 1, 2011.
"Glorieta will forever be a part of the rich heritage of LifeWay and the Southern Baptist Convention," Rhyne said. "Hundreds of thousands of children, young people and adults have experienced renewal, and thousands have met God for the first time in that majestic place in the mountains. We are grateful to the Lord for allowing us to be stewards of that history for these 60 years."
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What events will continue at Glorieta?
- Can my church still come to Glorieta?
--churches that are lessees can still utilize their cabins.
--churches that do not own cabins may still come to Centrifuge or Collegiate Week.
- If ministry is still taking place at Glorieta and lives are still being changed, why is LifeWay making these changes that will limit the ministry at Glorieta?
--Over the years, LifeWay has been losing a substantial amount of money each year to continue the Glorieta operation. Just once in the last 25 years has Glorieta achieved financial break-even.
- This seems like a business decision. I thought LifeWay was a ministry.
--LifeWay receives no Cooperative Program funds and must operate solely from the revenues it receives from its business operations and products.
- Will there still be an opportunity to volunteer?
--Yes, volunteers will continue to play a vital role at Glorieta.
- Will you be hiring summer staff at Glorieta?
--Absolutely. Summer staff will continue to be an integral part of Glorieta's ministry.
- What is happening with the current staff at Glorieta?
--As a summer-only facility, Glorieta will reduce its staff from 23 to seven employees.
- Is this simply the first step in the eventual shutdown of Glorieta?
--As of November 1, 2011, ministry at Glorieta will continue through Centrifuge and Collegiate Week. At this point, there is no planned end date for this ministry. However, our trustees recently provided direction to begin pursuing viable options for the disposition of the property including, but not limited to, sales to or alliances with SBC entities, state conventions and other ministries.
- We come and enjoy campus while staying at a private residence. Will we still be able to utilize the recreation facilities at Glorieta?
--The hiking trails and athletic fields will still be available to our lessees and their supervised guests.
- What is the future of Ridgecrest Conference Center?
--Operations at Ridgecrest are not impacted by this decision.
- I, and other members of the general public, have come to Glorieta to access the Santa Fe National Forest trail heads, to walk my dog around the lake, enjoy a picnic or meditate in the Prayer Garden. Will I (we) be able to do that anymore?
--Glorieta Conference Center is, and always has been, private property. When there was enough staff to monitor activity all over campus, individuals whose conduct respected the facility's religious guidelines were allowed to visit the prayer gardens or other locations on our grounds. Individuals, conducting themselves appropriately, were allowed to cross the property to access trail heads. With this change in operation, there will be no access for individuals to, or through our property when we don't have programs taking place. During the summer weeks of programming, we will allow hikers, who conduct themselves appropriately, to have access to the trail heads and perhaps visit the prayer gardens and other areas as deemed appropriate by Glorieta. There will be no public access except for our registered guests and residents on campus during June and July.