Growing Together 2017-09-20T09:44:59-06:00

They have come to this spiritual depot to be refreshed—weary from the operational tempo of life in today’s military society.

They cluster in groups of seven, eight, and sometimes nine around the dining tables, always willing to make room for a familiar face or a new friend. There’s nothing quite like big, family-style meals filled with good food and conversation. When you gather for a meal, you receive more than physical nourishment—the dining table is a place where people come together to share life. It’s a place where the family of Christ comes together in His name.

On this day, the retreat center is at maximum capacity. Tables that normally seat six or eight must add an extra chair, maybe two, because the 40-year-old dining room is designed to adequately seat only 124. That means once the chairs in the dining hall are filled, guests or staff will need to find room on the outdoor deck.

The overcrowded room also means handicap accessibility is severely limited, a vital necessity for our wounded warriors and aging guests. Mentoring and bonding between staff and guests is stifled when the two groups don’t have room to mingle. Experiencing genuine fellowship around the dining table loses some sense of the familial bonds of fellowship enjoyed by the body of Christ.

In the snowy months, the retreat center must limit the number of guests and groups to less than 145 because there isn’t enough room to feed everyone indoors. This means Spring Canyon will turn away groups, resulting in lost relationships, lost ministry, and lost revenue.

Thankfully, the weather on this day is warm and accommodating for those forced to find a seat outdoors.

“Wonderful, great home-cooked food, beautiful and housewarming facilities. Can’t wait to come back and thanks for the refreshment.”

—USAFA Cadet Retreat participant

Days like this are why we decided a decade ago to pray and seek God’s wisdom and guidance in growing and building the OCF Conference Center Ministry.

Growing and building. That phrase became the name of the capital campaign ten years ago, when a group of men and women came together in 40 days of prayer and fasting before God to seek His will and direction for this ministry called Officers’ Christian Fellowship. God placed Psalm 71:18 in the hearts and minds of that first committee—“Declaring His power to the next generation”—to serve as a reminder that He will guide us, that He is faithful…that His name will be proclaimed and glorified to all generations.

Since 2005, God has graciously prompted more than 2,300 OCF members and friends to provide over $10 million for the much-needed expansions and upgrades to our two conference centers. These new facilities have doubled our guest capacities at both Spring Canyon and White Sulphur Springs along with improving our utility infrastructure and minimizing our environmental impact.

It’s an opportunity to expect even more of God.

Funding the expansion of the Hartley Holmes Lodge and the dining room to seat and feed 200 guests at Spring Canyon is our next big initiative. It’s a call to look at God’s gracious provision these past ten years and to expect more—for each of us to depend on Him, to see Him work, to build our faith, and to complete the work He calls us to.

Look What God Has Done Through You Since 2005

2005: OCF Council approves the Growing and Building capital campaign

2006: Growing and Building Campaign launched

2007: Membership-wide 40-day prayer & fasting vigil

2008: Hemingway Operations Complex groundbreaking, Spring Canyon

2009: Hemingway Operations Complex completed at Spring Canyon; Heritage House groundbreaking at White Sulphur Springs

2010: Growing and Building focus shifts to Spring Canyon Phase

2011: Heritage House dedication and opening Hemingway Operations Complex dedication

2012: New wastewater treatment plant completed, Spring Canyon

2012: Veterans Memorial Lodge groundbreaking, Spring Canyon

2013: Handicap chairlift installed in Hartley Holmes Lodge, Spring Canyon

2013: New Fort Shine groundbreaking, Veterans Memorial Lodge dedication and opening

2014: Fort Shine Lodge opens; original Fort Shine re-commissioned as Cornerstone Lodge (Spring Canyon saw 8,818 guest days, marking the highest number in its 53-year history)

Physically, the final push of the campaign means building a larger dining room.

It means growing our capacity by nearly double, allowing us the ability to multiply the number of different groups we can serve at any given time and eliminating the logistical challenges of trying to feed so many in a room where every inch is filled to its limit. It means more tables and chairs, more lighting and carpet, and more wood and cement.

But spiritually, the campaign carries an even greater significance as we build truth into people’s lives, helping them integrate faith and profession and watching them grow into the Christian military leaders God intended. Suddenly, the dining table carries a deeper meaning.

It’s a place where families grow stronger. Where the bonds of family are nurtured. It’s a place where friendships begin. Where old friends come together after being apart. It’s a place where fellowship occurs. Where discovery and learning take place.

And that means your partnership is about more than just the outward, tangible expansion of a building. It’s an investment in the hearts and lives of people. It means more fellowship to be had, more friendship to be kindled, more life-changing connections with God and with each other.

Please join us in seeing the Growing and Building Campaign to completion. Join us in praying. Join us in giving. Join us in building for the generations to come.

Download the booklet

For a PDF copy of the “Growing Together, Building the Future” booklet, click here to download.