Lake Junaluska to invest over $400,000 in youth and young adult facilities


LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C.—Lake Junaluska has recently received more than $400,000 in charitable donations to renovate youth and young adult facilities. Upgrades will begin in late spring.
Rev. Mitzi Johnson, director of programming at Lake Junaluska, said she is excited to see the transformation of the buildings and the effect it will have on the thousands of youth who stay at Lake Junaluska each year.
“I'm thrilled by this resounding affirmation that Lake Junaluska cares deeply about youth and their spiritual growth,” said Johnson. “We're thankful that God has called us to nurture young people, strengthen their relationships with adult mentors and one other, and provide them space to gain confidence in navigating our increasingly complex world that they will one day lead.”
The first round of upgrades will begin this spring and summer in each room of Mountainview and the Lake Junaluska Apartments—the two lodging buildings most often used for youth. Initial improvements include all new beds, mattresses, bedding and lamps, with additional fresh touches through the end of the year.  Lake Junaluska will plan additional renovations at a later date.
Johnson said the desire is to work steadily to bring Lake Junaluska's youth lodging offerings up to the quality level of the youth programming, so that the youngest guests experience excellence across the board.
“My hope is that others will sense the Spirit's leading in this area and will also contribute their gifts and talents to helping us provide youth spiritually transformative experiences,” Johnson said.
The $400,000 in gifts is a culmination of support from the Lake Junaluska Associates, Chairman of the Lake Junaluska Board of Trustees Mike Warren and his wife Anne, the Warren Family Foundation, the Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation, and Bernie and Snookie Brown.
“Young people are an integral part of the ministry at Lake Junaluska,” said Bob Bowling, president of the Lake Junaluska Associates. The associates provide volunteers, financial support and promotion of the programs and facilities at Lake Junaluska. “Not only are young people the future of the church, but they are the church right now, and we need to cultivate that.”
The renovations to youth and young adult housing will affect both Lake Junaluska youth programming, and also groups that host events at Lake Junaluska such as confirmation retreats and M28. Lake Junaluska has hosted impactful youth and young adult programming for more than a century.  To learn more about youth and young adult events or how to host an event at Lake Junaluska, visit
The improvements are part of more than $5 million that is being invested into renovations and improvements across Lake Junaluska facilities in 2018.
Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit
2018 Summer Youth Event Dates
June 17-21: Andy Lambert with Jimmy Atkins
June 24-27: Charlie Conder with The Advice
July 20-23: Celia Whitler with Abbye West Pates
July 23-27: Kevin Wright with Abbye West Pates
July 27-31: Juan Huertas with Jimmy Atkins

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


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