By Rick Kern
Ron Uhlman, Director of Odosagih Bible Conference and Retreat Center, makes no attempt to hide his enthusiasm, “We are very excited about how the Whitney Activity Center will enhance our program here all year long,” he proclaims! Already some five-years in the making, the multi-functional building is bursting with possibilities, promising to take an already awesome Conference and Retreat Center miles beyond awesome!
Odosagih’s Board of Directors have been driving a capital campaign to bankroll the awe-inspiring project to the tune of half-a-million-dollars. As of Sept 2016, $404,000 has been collected but they needed another $120,000 to finish erecting the building proper. Once the building is up, the interior can be completed by volunteer help and more donations.
“The activity center basically, will have breakout rooms in it for retreats,” says Uhlman. “It will have a full size gymnasium, snack shop, fellowship area, and a small stage, so if people wanted to do anything else in this building, they could. Our dream and our goal for this building as the funds come in, is to pay as we go and as soon as the building is finished, again, our dream is to use this facility year round.”
The multi-purpose facility opens up a world of possibilities for though the idea of a gymnasium may sound a bit bland or one-dimensional, it translates to basketball, volleyball, and other sports that can be played on a year-round-basis. Furthermore, the meeting rooms on both sides of the building that can be used for breakout sessions, and therefore can facilitate retreats throughout the year. And for the summer conference season, there are rooms that can be used for Teen, K-6th, and nursery programs. Additionally, because the gymnasium is a multipurpose room, it provides the leeway to hold services, concerts, and somewhat large-scale meetings as needed.
The snack shop, strategically located across the front of the building, also boasts a small kitchen. Additionally, there is a stage area for guest speakers, musicians, and drama troupes.
Uhlman and team hope to have the Whitney Activity Center complete by November or December, 2018 at the latest if all goes well, and plan a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the occasion.
The activity center got its moniker from Rev. John Whitney, one of four men who knelt before the Lord by a tree stump in the spring of 1922, and asked Him to establish a Bible Conference — a meeting place that would accommodate spiritual gatherings and the proclamations of His Word. And as the four men joined their hearts in one accord, they claimed the promise of Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
The Lord heard and responded to their prayer, making a way for them to purchase the land in 1927. A year later they bought the dance hall that they had been leasing as a tabernacle and watched in amazement as God blessed their Sunday evening meetings. The dancehall went from being filled with frolicking youth reveling in the Charleston, to worshipful believers honoring God.
Today there is a plaque mounted at what has become known as the “Glory Stump,” marking the spot that the four faithful men humbled themselves, knelt, and called upon the Lord. It was there that He answered them and showed them great and unsearchable things eclipsing their imagination, dreams, and hopes — things that began then yet continue to this day — decades later.
Odosagih is a fantastic, multifaceted facility with grounds that include cottages, campsites, a motel, guesthouse, dining hall, and recreational areas. The motel is set high above Lime Lake and offers a breathtaking panorama of its shimmering waters nestled against the rustic country landscape. Visitors can enjoy the serenity of the lake in paddle, row, or sail boats, and if desired, you can arrange to be baptized there. Participants gather to worship at Odosagih’s old fashioned tabernacle, and their dining hall hosts an open buffet with its legendary home-cooking. Additionally, Odosagih’s facilities include a pool, miniature golf, pontoon boat rides, fishing off of the dock, tennis, shuffleboard, and volleyball, as well as RV and camping grounds.
They have the whole package and it attracts families, church groups, retreats, and more. Furthermore, Odosagih offers countless programs that draw participants from all over. Located on the southwest shore of breathtaking Lime Lake in Machias, New York, Odosagih is just 45 miles south of Buffalo, New York.
For more information call Odosagih at (716) 353-8555 or visit their Website located at www.odosagih.org.