Friends of the Ridgecrest Foundation,
I recently heard a sermon about the miracle of the fish in John 21. Verse 11 captured my attention:
So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. (ESV)
This describes 2022 for the Ridgecrest Foundation. Like the disciples, we did not expect such a sizable catch. We simply followed God's lead and faithfully served those He brought our way, and He kept bringing them. 60,000 campers and guests onsite – nearly 50% more than in 2021. Record attendance at our camps. Story after story of mission accomplishment: Impacting Lives for God's Glory through Discipleship, Adventure, and Purposeful Hospitality.
God provided abundantly. Record revenue for the conference center and each camp. Increased ImpAct Campaign support. Funding for campus improvement projects and significantly reducing our obligations from becoming Ridgecrest’s new steward (from more than $15M to under $8M in the past two years).
Our most demanding challenge? Accomplishing our mission while continuing to rebuild our team. At times our net was stretched beyond our human capacity to lift, and we wondered if it would hold together. But by God's grace, our net was not torn. He is so faithful!
As we move into 2023, so many opportunities remain. We currently cannot meet the demand for our camps. In-person conferences and retreats are back, providing experiences unavailable virtually. More than ever, people need to come to Ridgecrest – the Mountain of Faith – and meet the God who moves mountains. More than ever, people need Ridgecrest Conference Center, Camp Ridgecrest for Boys, and Camp Crestridge for Girls.
Ridgecrest's impact is multi-generational. Children, teens, young adults, parents, and grandparents. Building friendships. Strengthening families. Discipling students. Encouraging those in ministry. Sharing the hope of salvation in Jesus. Each year, for more than one hundred years, God continues to use Ridgecrest - this place and our team - to impact lives for his glory. We hope you will join us in 2023!
"Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think…to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations…"
- Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
By His grace and for His glory,
"She really grew in her relationship with God. She also was pushed outside of her comfort zone with skills she chose, and she enjoyed that. She made great friends and enjoyed all of her cabin group."
"She suffers from anxiety - particularly social anxiety. Camp is a place (that is not home) where she feels most herself. She loves the nurturing and caring environment. The kindness of camp produced such a calm in her overall demeanor. It is her happy place!"
"She was challenged in healthy ways and supported by both her peers and the staff."
"She came back a bit more independent, open to trying new things, and made new friends that she looks forward to keeping in touch with."
One Family’s Story
For more than 100 years, God has impacted millions of lives for his glory at Ridgecrest Conference Center and Summer Camps. For many families, this impact has been and continues to be, multi-generational.
In 1983 Dan Pierce and Lydia Taylor married, uniting two families with deep ties to Ridgecrest.
Below is a timeline illustrating how God has used Ridgecrest in the lives of these families, and how their service for generations has impacted the ministry of Ridgecrest for His glory.
Dr. James L. Sullivan (Lydia’s grandfather), first came to the conference center as he made trips east from pastorates in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.
LSU student Archie Pierce (Dan’s mom) worked as a summer staffer; it was a busy time as Ridgecrest was reopening after World War II. Archie later went to Southwestern Seminary where she met her future husband, Rev. C.R. Pierce, Jr.
James L. Sullivan was instrumental in the creation of Camp Crestridge for Girls.
James L. Sullivan became the Baptist Sunday School Board (BSSB) President.
Mary Beth Sullivan married Bob Taylor (Lydia’s mom and dad). Bob served many years as a BSSB youth consultant and spent a month each summer at Ridgecrest.
C.R. and Archie Pierce – and sons David, Jon, and Dan – moved to Asheville. C.R. and Archie soon rekindled a friendship with Crestridge Director Arvine Bell who the two had known at Southwestern. The family spent many hours at Crestridge and C.R.’s church held youth retreats there.
All three of Archie and C.R.’s boys – David, Jon, and Dan – either attended camp or worked at the camps.
Bob Taylor organized several legendary events at the conference center.
1980s - 1990s
- Mary Beth Taylor taught children’s workers at Ridgecrest and became a BSSB consultant.
- BSSB became Lifeway and Mary Beth continued to lead conferences.
- Mary Beth and Bob sent their children—Len, Lydia, Lance, and Linc—to camp and all four later worked as staffers.
- A third generation of Pierces and a fourth generation of Sullivan/Taylors came to the camps.
2000 - Now
A fifth generation of Taylors became campers, and Summer of 2023 will mark the 28th straight year where at least one Pierce or Taylor has been a camper or staffer.
Their story is one of many where God’s consistent line of faithfulness and life-changing moments at Ridgecrest has continued throughout multiple generations.
What can explain this multi-generational impact? The way God speaks through this beautiful landscape. The relationships that were cultivated by years of coming to camps and conferences. The Godly staff who help children understand what it means to know and follow Jesus. And thousands of Ridgecrest team members sharing God’s love and serving faithfully. To God be the glory!
"We were so impacted by our sessions, but also by the beautiful grounds, volunteers, Clouds coffee shop, and the responsiveness of everyone to our needs."
"The conference was so refreshing. Thank you for hosting us. Your ministry is a huge part of that refreshment."
"The conference was impactful, but your staff helped deepen that impact."
"The environment and hospitality provided at Ridgecrest cannot be found elsewhere."
heard the gospel presented clearly
pastors and family members experienced rest and renewal through Minister Getaways
trained at missions events
experienced relational discipleship
lives impacted onsite
of RCC guest survey responses said "My life was impacted for God's glory through Purposeful Hospitality during my recent stay!"
Net Promoter Score
Conference Center Guests
(Hospitality industry benchmark: 53 - Source: Forbes)
(no industry benchmark)
"His counselors were the most memorable aspect. He has young men he could look up to. This was a monumental time for his spiritual development. He more comfortably talks about Jesus and his relationship with God."
"Camp has been an integral part of his maturity and self-awareness. He has set goals for himself, he has failed and he has succeeded, and he has learned to deal with both in stride."
"He benefited from unplugging from technology and learning how to build relationships with his bunkmates and counselors."
ImpAct Campaign Update
2022 was a great year for the Ridgecrest Foundation, and we are again financially self-sustaining – Praise God!
So why is our ImpAct Campaign still so important? By giving to the ImpAct Campaign, you are clearing the path to greater ministry impact!
Your tax-deductible gifts are a critical part of completing the financial obligations related to the purchase of Ridgecrest in 2020. Thanks to God’s provision through your gifts and a successful financial year for Ridgecrest, we’ve reduced those obligations from more than $15M to under $8M in only two years – amazing!
This has enabled Ridgecrest to reinvest operational funds and increase ministry impact, so more kids hear the gospel, more missionaries find rest, more families grow together in Jesus, more pastors recharge, and more lives are impacted in so many other ways!
ImpAct Campaign Gifts and Pledges at the end of 2022:
- $2.5M in One-Time Gifts
- $4.1M in Multi-Year pledges
- 970 ImpAct Campaign supporters from 34 different states (including Hawaii)
We are greatly encouraged by the support of so many and thankful God continues to provide in ways we didn’t expect. To Him be the glory!
Will you join us in praying for God to bless our efforts as we follow his lead? Also, if you’d like to increase future ministry impact by financially supporting our ImpAct Campaign, we’d be honored and thankful!
To give or learn more, click here.
They said to Him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to me.” ~ Matthew 14:17-18 (ESV)
Nothing produces multi-generational impact like a planned legacy gift. By making Ridgecrest Foundation a beneficiary of your estate, you are creating a lasting impact that will preserve and expand the future of these ministries for generations to come!
Ridgecrest Foundation’s planned gift opportunities, some of which are listed below, range from bequests to donor-advised funds. In addition to supporting Ridgecrest’s mission of Impacting Lives for God’s Glory, a planned gift can provide substantial tax advantages for you.
- Insurance Policy
- Revocable Living Trust
- Real Estate
- Charitable Remainder Trust
- Retirement Plan
If you have questions or would like to make a planned legacy gift today, please contact our Director of Development at 828-669-3760 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ridgecrest Foundation Development Policy
It is the policy of the Ridgecrest Foundation to honestly and accurately share with interested friends the challenges and opportunities we face in our ministry. We share our needs and potential solutions so stakeholders can consider partnering with us through prayer and/or financial support as the Lord leads and enables. We believe motivation for joyful giving comes as God moves the hearts of people. Our role is to inform and provide opportunity without imposing undue obligation or pressure.
When our team reflects on how God has used our conference center and camps over the past century, we are amazed and grateful. Generation after generation of impact. Millions of lives. All for God’s glory.
And the anticipation and excitement we feel? That’s from dreaming about how God will use Ridgecrest – this place and our team – to impact many more generations and lives for his glory in the future.
We believe Ridgecrest is needed now more than ever, by more people than ever. A place to disconnect from the distractions and expectations of today’s culture – and connect with the living God. A place to rest from and recharge for our journey. A place to grow through discipleship with other followers of Jesus. A place to attune our hearts to our Heavenly Father and prepare for him to use us to impact the hearts of others.
And not only is the need greater than ever, so are the opportunities! We want to create more purposeful, gospel-focused experiences for children, adults, families, and ministry leaders – increasing hope as they navigate today’s culture.
We know God has amazing plans for Ridgecrest, and we are prayerfully following his lead. Will you join us in that prayer?
With hope God will use Ridgecrest to impact your life in 2023,
The Ridgecrest Team