LifeWay’s Ridgecrest Conference Center celebrated record attendance last year as approximately 70,000 guests visited the Blue Ridge Mountain retreat site.
“It was the most people we’ve seen in almost 30 years,” said Art Snead, executive director at Ridgecrest. “The fingerprints of God’s blessings are everywhere.”
With the blessing of extra guests comes the need for more help on campus. Leaders at the conference center are currently looking to deepen their volunteer pool, which they say plays a vital role in serving visitors.
“At Ridgecrest, we desire to see lives impacted for God’s glory,” said Chris Fenske, support staff coordinator. “We want to serve our guests with excellence and we need help to do that well.”
David and Judy Constance, Ridgecrest volunteers from Cleveland, Tenn., began serving at the conference center in 2011. During their first year, they assisted with landscaping around campus.
They’ve returned every year since and have served in catering, housekeeping, laundry services, kitchen work and have even assisted with a special assignment during a marriage retreat. This July, they’re working at the Nibble Nook, an on-campus ice cream shop and eatery.
“Everything we’ve done has been fun,” David said. “There are so many ways to serve here, and they let you change what you do. We don’t know of many other volunteer programs that are so flexible.”
The Constances represent some of the many retired individuals who invest in Ridgecrest.
“We don’t believe retirement is a time you’re supposed to sit back and just relax; we want to be used,” David said. “Being retired, we can’t give [monetarily] as much as we used to, so we try to give of our time.”
Ridgecrest volunteers typically serve a minimum of two weeks for about 30 to 35 hours a week. The conference center provides housing and some meals, and a laundry room is available on campus. While serving, volunteers reside either in on-campus housing or in their own RVs at a Ridgecrest campground.
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Source: Baptist Press