owners of Trimble County retreat
revamp, expand services
find opportunity at just the right time
(December 2007) Steve and Deb Rumer received
a phone call last fall from Steves son, Brad, asking them to pray
about a unique ministry opportunity he had discovered. Those prayers
were obviously answered because in a series of lifes little twists
and turns, the Rumers found themselves the managers of the new Agape
Wilderness Retreat, located at 831 Barebone Rd., in Bedford, Ky.
by Konnie McCollum
and Deb Rumers Agape
Wilderness Retreat in Beford, Ky.,
provides services for Christian,
civic and coroporate groups.
The Agape Wilderness Retreat is situated on 80 acres of
beautiful, pristine land. It is a non-denominational, Christian ministry
with a goal of serving both the local community and the church through
a variety of retreats. Corporate and civic groups are also encouraged
to use the retreats teambuilding and trust initiatives.
A large, comfortable lodge has seven bedrooms and five bathrooms to
accommodate overnight retreat guests. A cozy meeting room with a large
fireplace is one of several places in which guests can relax. A large
dining area, with a deck overlooking the lake, is adjacent to a state-of-the
Outdoors, there are multiple hiking trails, a fishing lake and secluded
prayer covers. A new outdoor amphitheater and chapel seats 125 people
for worship and activities.
Formerly, the retreat was called The Plantings, and was
then owned by Jim and Joanne Marcum. They played host to Christian ministry
retreats at the site for many years before deciding to move on to something
In fall 2006, Brad Rumer and wife, Peggy, had been transferred to the
Bedford area and were looking for a home. Brad, a regional manager with
Circuit City, is also involved in youth pasturing. Brad and Peggy saw
the retreat while shopping around for a home. They knew Steve and Deb
would be able to work miracles with the retreat.
In the meantime, Steve, 62, who had moved to Colorado in 2000 with the
intent to start a church, had instead gotten involved in real estate.
After graduating from Louisvilles Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary, he had spent more than 28 years pasturing churches in Indiana
and Michigan. Unfortunately, when he arrived in Colorado, he suffered
a massive heart attack and almost died. His calling for the ministry
was temporarily put on hold.
At the same time, Deb, 53, who is gourmet cook, had changed her career
and was also working in real estate. The two met and married in 2004,
but both were dissatisfied with their careers.
When Brad called them with the prayer request last fall, they flew out
to Bedford to look at the property. We knew this is where God
could use us, said Steve. It is such an opportunity to minister.
However, the couple knew buying the retreat would be a financial mountain
for them. But God knew what he was doing, said Deb. He
started making things move in the right direction for us, and we knew
we were supposed to be here.
While both Rumer families were working on a plan for the retreat, Mark
and Susan Smithson of Louisville, Ky., saw the property and wanted to
buy it. They were looking for a way to be involved in ministry, but
they did not want to actually run the retreat. The Smithsons purchased
the property and agreed to lease it to the Rumers for 10 years. Can
you see how perfectly things worked out? said Deb. We know
it was Gods plan.
Steve and Deb are the onsite managers who do the day-to-day running
of the retreat. Brad and Peggy are involved in all ministry aspects
of the retreat.
There are a variety of regularly scheduled retreats held at Agape, including
the popular Chocolate for the Heart. This retreat is for
women to learn the goodness and grace that God has for them and to simply
share fun time with other women.
Another popular retreat, Goin Fishin, is a mens
retreat that teaches the basics of becoming fishers of men as well as
enjoying some fishing in the lake. Ice Fishin, is
a follow-up retreat that helps men deal with difficult witnessing situations
Agape WildÍerness also offers a variety of services for groups
who want to plan their own retreats. Corporate groups can take advantage
of the teambuilding and trust initiatives built in the woods. We
are really seeing interest growing with our corporate and civic groups,
Special situations are also not a problem for Agape to handle. We
can serve anything from hot dogs to lobster, said Steve. We
can plan everything or offer just the basic accommodations.
For more information about Agape Wilderness
Retreat or to schedule a visit, call (502) 255-7676 or visit: www.agapewilderness.com.
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