Conference center to continue serving Presbyterians, expand offerings
by Gregg Brekke and Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – As of January 1, 2017, the Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center has transferred its operations from the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to the National Ghost Ranch Foundation (NGRF). The NGRF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation established in 1972 exclusively to support Ghost Ranch as a ministry of the PC(USA), has been providing financial, operational and volunteer resources for Ghost Ranch.
Deeming that the programmatic work carried out on the site of the Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center is “no longer within the purview of the PMA,” the PMA Board and NGRF worked out details of the transfer over the second half of 2016. All seven conditions of the transfer agreement established in September were met, allowing Ghost Ranch operations to shift to the NGRF, with oversight by the Foundation’s constituent corporation, the Board of Christian Education of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Ghost Ranch is located 60 miles northwest of Santa Fe just beyond the town of Abiquiu, New Mexico. It was donated to the Board of Christian Education of a PC(USA) predecessor in 1955. The Board of Christian Education became one of the Presbyterian Foundation’s constituent corporations upon the merger of the former United Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church U.S. in 1983.
All parties to the transfer of operations agreed on the common goal of coming together as one body, one family, in order to find a way forward for an effective ministry and Presbyterian witness at Ghost Ranch.
“The conversations between the parties was one marked by a great deal of mutual respect, and everyone is doing all they can to ensure the successful operation of Ghost Ranch and its programs going forward,” said Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the PMA. “It’s been important that Ghost Ranch maintains its association with the PC(USA) as a national conference center, and I believe this transaction helps to advance the adoption of best practices. This represents our best shot at being able to take on this model for Ghost Ranch.”
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