What is the Zion Retreat Center? Zion Retreat Center is an 8-bedroom retreat center on Galveston Island, 10 blocks from the beach. Each bedroom can sleep up to 6 people with 2 double beds and 2 lofted single beds. A private bathroom is attached to each of Zion’s bedrooms. This facility includes a multi-purpose meeting space, kitchen, dining area and bedrooms with private bathrooms. Zion Retreat Center will be open to the public and can be used by any group or organization, corporation or private party. Zion Retreat Center has a full time staff person to host groups, serving as the facilities manager. Zion Retreat Center will also offer the public programmed retreats, that are planned and facilitated by our staff. We are a Christian based non-profit organization.
Zion Retreat Center is part of Lutherhill Ministries, which includes the 85-acre Lutherhill Camp and Retreat Center in La Grange, Texas.
Lutherhill Ministries’ mission is to be “a place for all people, of every generation to experience the love of Christ in unique settings and new ways.”
Zion Lutheran Church, a Swedish Lutheran congregation established on Galveston Island in 1896, will be renewed as a retreat and conference center for Lutherans and others – the only Christian retreat facility on the popular island destination.
When Hurricane Ike devastated Zion’s ministry facilities in 2008, the congregation repaired and renovated the church building; they reopened in November 2009 with a new commitment to worship and to serve the community.
Even with this resolve, the lasting impact of the devastating storm on the Galveston community meant that the Zion membership could not sustain its mission as a neighborhood church, and required the congregation to explore new ways for the property to continue to be used for Lutheran ministry. Seeking a path to ensure their hard work and commitment to their ministry would not go to waste, members of the congregation voted in November 2011 to dissolve, and they asked the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod to help them develop a plan to continue the church’s work at their location.
Members of the congregation met with Bishop Mike Rinehart, members of the Lutherhill Ministries staff and others in the community to envision a new future for Zion. The congregation voted unanimously to donate its assets to Lutherhill Ministries – the Gulf Coast Synod’s outdoor ministry – for the purpose of opening a retreat center on Galveston Island. Lutherhill Ministries assumed ownership of the Zion property on January 1, 2012.
Zion is renewed as of the completion of the renovation in Winter 2016. Zion Retreat Center, a retreat and conference center with a ministry that includes summer camp, programmed retreats, family reunions, congregation council retreats and other groups seeking a venue for ministry and other activities.
You can view the progress of the construction of the Zion Retreat Center by clicking here.