Donated for Ministry: Valuable, Meaningful, and Useful Items from Simpsonwood Retreat Center Find New Homes
Note: Updated 7/14 to reflect the decision of the 2015 Annual Conference to allow Gwinnett County to keep the Simpson chapel in its current location.
As the United Methodist Center offices prepare to relocate, many of the artifacts, furniture, and supplies from the Simpsonwood Retreat Center have already been moved off property and are being used in ministry settings around the North Georgia Conference.
Soon after the close of the retreat center last year, a committee was established to plan for the preservation of items on the Simpsonwood property.
The ten Wesley Memorial Windows were removed from the United Methodist Center building and professionally stored while an appropriate future location for them is determined. The hand-carved Jesus doors that were a symbol of the Simpsonwood Retreat Center will be utilized in the new United Methodist Center.
Effort was taken to contact donors of other items at Simpsonwood to help in determining the best future location. From these conversations, it was determined that the collection of Hummel figures and display cabinets would be given to Jonesboro First UMC, Kennesaw First UMC, and three of the Wesley Woods senior adult communities. A collection of Georgia Plates and John Wesley Tea Set were sent to Epworth By The Sea in St. Simons Island.
United Methodist-related agencies were given the opportunity to request items from the Simpsonwood property. Aldersgate/Collinswood, Glisson Camp and Retreat Center, the United Methodist Children’s Home, Murphy-Harpst Children’s Center, and the Conference Housing and Homeless Council each made requests for items that could be used in their ministry area. Additionally, Hinton Rural Life Center, Norcross Co-op, and ReStart Augusta received items.
Between these agencies, 1,679 pieces of furniture (beds, desks, dressers and other sleeping room furnishings, conference room and dining room furnishings and furniture); 4,000 bed linens, pillows, towels; more than 1,700 pieces of dinnerware (plates, cutlery, cups); major kitchen appliances (steam tables, work tables, cold bin display units, ice cream machine, refrigerator and freezer) will be used for ministry to children, serving families in poverty, in camp ministry, older adult ministry and homeless ministry.
The beloved Simpson Chapel will remain in place on the property and will be operated by Gwinnett County.
The legacy of the gift Ms. Ludie Simpson gave in 1973 continues to support ministries on the land she inherited from her family across the North Georgia Conference through various agencies and churches.