By Alden Johanson
Over the years, thousands of families and individuals have driven into Mount Hermon—on their way to a glorious week of Family Camp, to take their children to Redwood Camp or Ponderosa Lodge, or to join their own Guest Groups or Conferences for retreat and respite in the Redwoods. Most can envision passing Safeway and the CVS Pharmacy, turning at the Mount Hermon sign, and taking the grade up and into the beauty along Conference Drive.
Next to the shopping center, and extending to Conference Drive and Zayante Road, is a large, tree-studded, pastoral parcel of undeveloped land. You’ve probably noticed this property and wondered about its future. For many years the Mount Hermon staff have dreamed of owning these 15 pristine acres of mostly flat land— the last such undeveloped parcel in the San Lorenzo Valley. Back in 2006 that dream almost vanished entirely when a local non-profit, South County Housing (SCH), bought the land intending to build 55 affordable housing units there. Mount Hermon could in no way afford their purchase price, but by God’s grace that wasn’t to be the end of the story.
Together, our well-known local environmental concerns and the 2008-2009 housing crisis conspired to unravel their best-laid plans, and SCH advised County officials they would be selling. So about a year ago the County asked Mount Hermon if we’d be interested in purchasing this property from South County Housing. Thus began a lengthy and complex negotiation involving Santa Cruz County officials, with SCH and their lender. All three groups had held a financial stake in the housing project, and political pressures threatened to derail our negotiations.
With diligence we carefully moved ahead, praying for the Lord to lead and honor our efforts, and at every stage God showed up! He even used people He’d “planted” within these organizations to keep our negotiations on track. Then on May 18 all the pieces finally coalesced, and Mount Hermon became the new owner of this beautiful property—at a cost a fraction of the original SCH purchase price!
In miraculous ways God has surely provided this land to us, to serve His Kingdom purposes. We are not surprised, but we ARE amazed! We’re now developing plans for its best use, with several exciting ideas in mind. Our aim is to keep the area scenic and “green,” with minimal structures, to use it primarily for children and recreation.
Our desire is to enhance the experience for our guests while blessing our community at the same time. Please pray for a smooth planning, zoning and permitting process, allowing us, as soon as possible, to put this treasure to use for God’s glory
Dear Mount Hermon Family,
We are so excited to share with you, news of a once-in-a-century sort of news!
God has chosen to bless Mount Hermon with a strategic property acquisition that will protect our borders and enhance our ministry for generations to come.
Watch this video link to hear JR Loofbourrow, Director of Advancement, explain the details.
Below the video screen you can read our press release which will become public today. Thank you for your prayers of gratitude and guidance. Your partnership with us has been and will be critical as we discern how God will lead us to steward this fantastic asset.
This week, Mount Hermon Association, Inc. (MHA), which has operated Christian camps and conferences in the San Lorenzo Valley since 1906, completed the purchase of about 15 acres of undeveloped land from South County Housing Corp. (SCH) of Gilroy, CA. The land is adjacent to Felton Faire Shopping Center, and across E. Zayante Road from MHA’s Redwood Camp.
SCH bought the property in 2006 for the purpose of developing affordable housing units on the site. After encountering substantial community concerns, and faced with serious declines in the local real estate market, SCH approached MHA about buying the property from them.
MHA intends to use the property for various camping purposes – and will work with local residents and groups to ensure that our uses are compatible with community values. For example, we would propose plans that are:
- Essentially “green,” open, and scenic
- Mainly for recreation.
- Enriching the lives of children in a beautiful natural environment.
Any interested parties with questions or comments are encouraged to contact the
Mount Hermon leadership team at 831.430.1230.
May 18, 2012
View of meadow looking towards Redwood Camp
View of meadow looking towards Graham Hill Rd.
View of meadow looking towards Felton Faire Shopping Center
||Noel Paul Stookey
Sunday, September 12, 2010
7:00 p.m. / Main Auditorium
Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center
Near Felton, California
Voluntary offering received
Dress warmly for indoor-outdoor venue
Singer/songwriter Noel Paul Stookey has been altering both the musical and ethical landscape of this country for decades—both as the “Paul” of the legendary Peter, Paul and Mary, and as an independent musician who passionately believes in bringing the spiritual into the practice of daily life. He has recorded over 45 albums, both as part of the trio and as a soloist.
John Fischer is also known as a singer, songwriter, recording artist, and also an author, magazine writer, and public speaker. He composed some of his most famous songs while on staff at Mount Hermon in the 1960s and 70s, and is widely known as the “grandfather of contemporary Christian music.”
Join us for this one-time special concert in the redwoods.
For more information, call 831.335.4466, or toll-free to 1-888-MH-CAMPS.