SPRINGFIELD — The sense of peace that usually surrounds New Ebenezer Retreat Center is about to be disturbed.
Fortunately, the commotion will be for a good cause.
On Jan. 6, 2018, the retreat center, a non-profit facility that provides comfortable accommodations and conference rooms for up to 176 guests, will host an evening of dining and entertainment in celebration of 40 years of service. The 6 p.m. event will feature versatile musician Leon Jacobs Jr.
“He’s quite a talented fellow,” said Connie Bazemore, director of the retreat center. “He’s played
at several things in Effingham County in the past so a lot of people around here know him.”
Money raised during the event will fund Ebenezer ALIVE!, an award-winning educational program for fourth graders and up, and needed repairs to buildings that are used for family bonding and spiritual rejuvenation.
Many amenities are available at the retreat center, including a swimming pool, tennis court, basketball court, fire pit and gazebo on the banks of the Savannah River.
The retreat center’s mission statement is: “The purpose of this ministry shall be to strengthen the family, to encourage wholesome recreation in an unspoiled environment, to provide a positive setting for learning and growth and to empower individuals, couples, families and groups to experience with each other and God.”
The idea for the retreat center originated with local hotelier Richard Kessler at nearby Jerusalem Lutheran Church in the township of New Ebenezer, which was founded in 1736 and was the first capital of colonial Georgia. The retreat center now has its own 13-member board of directors led by Dr. Randy Shearouse, superintendent of Effingham County Schools.
“The Ebenezer Retreat Center is such a great venue for our county with a tremendous amount of history,” Shearouse said. “We encourage everyone to get involved in helping keep the center fully functional as a peaceful refuge in Effingham County. The center was built by Mr. Richard Kessler as a gift to the entire community for the purpose of spiritual growth and education.
“All denominations are encouraged to inquire about the endless possibilities that exist at the Ebenezer Retreat Center.”
See the Nov. 29 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.