To help meet needs of ministry couples in the Northwest, Don and Carol Reeves — who have served Northwest Baptist churches for decades — launched their latest ministry endeavor. It’s a place where they can host other pastors and their spouses for a time of needed respite.
Dubbed the Smokey Ridge Getaway, the self-contained apartment is located in Onalaska, Washington, the Reeves have created a place where ministry leaders can temporarily escape the challenges and stress of their busy lives to nurture their souls and find rest with God.
“When I was pastor at Grant Avenue Baptist Church (Corvallis, Oregon), I was able to take days away at the coast to contemplate the vision and strategy for the future of the church,” Don Reeves said. “But I know that is not always financially feasible for all pastors, so we wanted an economical, restful place away from phones that could be used by those in ministry.”
Finding the perfect location
The path to finding a perfect location for their dream was a circuitous one.
Since retiring from full-time ministry, after serving for 25 years as the Grant Avenue church’s pastor, Don and his wife, Carol, thought they had found the place of their dreams on the McKenzie River in Oregon. The fishing lodge would have accommodated up to four families at a time with a great room for gatherings. But that dream went up in smoke when forest fires roared through the area and burned the lodge on the day the Reeves were to sign a purchase agreement.
Within six weeks of the loss of the first property, the Reeves secured the Smokey Ridge Getaway, in a rural setting with beautiful views that include sightings of bald eagles and deer in the back yard. This self-contained “apartment” on the lower level of the three-story home includes a separate keyed entrance, living room, sleeping area, private bath and kitchenette.
“We provide all bed, kitchen and bath linens,” Carol Reeves said. “You can enjoy a variety of books, games and puzzles, plus television and Wi-Fi access. An electric fireplace creates a cozy atmosphere and the outdoor patio offers a beautiful view, fire pit and covered conversation area.”
‘Realization of a dream’
Each guest only needs to pack their own food and personal items for their Smokey Ridge stay. Pets are not allowed and the space is only conducive for singles or couples, not including children.
“We feel blessed by God to be where we are and want to give back to others,” Don Reeves said. “We both love to meet people and this is a realization of a dream he placed in our hearts and minds years ago as we looked forward to retirement.
“We have experienced all the rewards and challenges of ministry that our guests have gone through,” he added. “We believe there is a real need for retreat sites like this and we hope to bless many of our fellow Christian workers by hosting them in Onalaska.”
The Reeves understand that finances can often be a source of stress in the ministry and a possible deterrent to planning time away, so they do not charge anything for short-term stays up to three days. If financially possible for guests, they will accept reimbursement for operating costs, especially for longer stays, which will provide the getaway for as many guests as possible, particularly those with financial constraints.
For more information or to make a reservation, email email@example.com.