Discipleship Center at Epworth

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Epworth Discipleship Center – Form

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Bishop Coyner is among the countless number of people whose lives have been changed at Epworth Forest. Though Bishop Coyner had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home, his faith came alive during his time at Epworth, which he personally considers “holy ground.” It was there where he first publicly made a commitment to Christ during a fireside worship gathering when he was in junior high. It was also at Epworth Forest where he first responded to God’s call to ministry during Senior High Institute. More than that, Bishop Coyner knows that Epworth Forest is a place where thousands of young people have made their own Christian commitment, and it is a place where young Christian leaders are being developed.

The Need

Epworth Forest Conference Center is a location of radical transformation for students and adults. The current auditorium is long beyond its lifespan lacking in comfort, heating, air conditioning, restrooms, and more; its limitations impact guest attention, year-round scheduling, functionality, versatility, and desirability.

Our conference needs a large versatile facility that can serve large groups as well as better serve the current campers and leaders at Epworth. These are some of our best opportunities to engage the discipleship journey, and calling of Christian leaders.

The Vision

The vision is to build a Discipleship Center for leadership development at the Epworth Forest Conference Center in North Webster, Indiana (forty minutes from South Bend and Ft. Wayne).

The Discipleship Center will be a legacy project in honor of Bishop Michael J. Coyner, who will retire in 2016. This project will provide the Conference with a leadership hub for its ministries and people through partnerships with congregations, agencies, and groups of the annual conference. Most importantly, this facility will be a critical tool in making disciples of Jesus Christ, for the equipping of fruitful leaders and vibrant congregations.

In 2014, Epworth Forest Confer- ence Center was a part of the spiri- tual journey of 6,392 individuals through conference events, spiritual retreats, and volunteer service. The site provides effective and innova- tive opportunities to lead individuals into outward-focused discipleship journeys that will transform our present and future world.

Thousands have stood at their seats, lined the aisles, and gathered at the kneeling rails of Epworth Forest in their journey of disciple- ship, impacting all of our confer- ence’s churches and thousands more around the world. This new Discipleship Center will ensure that hundreds of thousands more will continue to grow into lifestyles that express Christ to their communities for generations to come.

The proposed new Discipleship Center will be located alongside Wesley Lane overlooking the lake and adjacent to Freeland House, will include:

  • Worship Capacity of up to 850 individuals with appropriately sized seating
  • Comfortable year round functionality with climate control
  • Full production capabilities
  • Breakout spaces for discussion and interaction
  • Restrooms within the Discipleship Center
  • Multi-purpose use of the worship hall and breakout spaces