The William Black Lodge located in Montreat, has operated in the interests of the Presbyterians of the Synod since 1917. The mission of William Black Lodge is to provide a place for God’s people to come for renewal, worship, and fellowship in a comfortable environment surrounded by God’s beautiful creation. The Lodge serves the PCUSA clergy and church workers nationally and assists North Carolina small church pastors to participate in the Barnabas track of the Wee Kirk conference.
The William Black Lodge and Retreat Center has a rich history that extends over 100 years. The idea for the Lodge dates to 1915, when Dr. R.C. Anderson, president of the Mountain Retreat Association, offered the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina a lot in Montreat, NC, where a building could be erected to house ministers of the Synod. As a result, in 1917, the Synod purchased an existing home on North Carolina Terrace and established the North Carolina Home for Religious Workers, which accommodated 20 guests.
In 1927, the name was changed to the William Black Home for Religious Workers, honoring the Rev. William Black, evangelist and home missionary, who was instrumental in establishing the facility. When the Home was destroyed by a fire in 1946, the present three-story stone structure was built in its place. The Women of the North Carolina Synod raised funds for furnishings. A service on June 21, 1951, marked the official opening of the new building.
In 1973, the building underwent a major refurbishment and renovation, which provided heating and air conditioning. Uses were expanded to include retreats, training events and conferences. In 1978, the home was renamed the William Black Lodge to incorporate more clearly its mission of serving both ministers and laypersons. The Belk Wing, which includes the William Henry Belk Conference Center, was added in 1982 to provide the William Black Lodge with the ability to better accommodate meetings.
The William Black Lodge and Retreat Center is directed by a board of 18 trustees responsible to the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic, under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church (USA). FPC Mission’s Moderator and current Elder, John Burns, currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees.
The FPC mission budget helps support the Barnabas track that is specifically designed for pastors serving Presbyterian churches of 100 or fewer members. These pastors often face great stress with little structural support or chance for rest, and without assistance, they would not be able to afford to attend this conference.
To learn more about the William Black Lodge, please visit www.williamblacklodge.org