New Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska to Open July 9

June 26, 2007

Lake Junaluska, N.C.: After less than a year of construction, a building of hospitality and reconciliation is completed. The new Bethea Welcome Center will be consecrated on Monday, July 9 at 11:30 a.m. at the Nancy Weldom Gym. The service is free and open to the public.

The 12,000 square foot Welcome Center will house Cottage Rentals, events registration, Marketing, Conference Coordinators and hotel management. A visitor’s center and a store featuring local art work and Lake Junaluska merchandise will be housed in the building. SEJ’s Executive Director Jimmy L. Carr said the building has the right name and mission.

“Bishop Joseph and Mrs. Shirley Bethea were beloved leaders on The United Methodist Church. They loved and supported Lake Junaluska and its ministries. Both of them gave significant leadership to issues of justice and reconciliation. This building was built as a place of Christian hospitality and as a symbol of reconciliation. It is more than appropriate that the building be named in memory of the ministry of these two persons,” Carr said.

Over $1.6 million was raised for the Welcome Center through donations from over 1,000 individuals, regional businesses and United Methodist groups, including the 15 annual conferences within the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Jim Hanna, Director of Foundation and Development, said all are welcome to the service.

“All annual conferences of the Southeaster Jurisdiction have participated on the funding of this building. We hope that every conference is well represented at this celebration as we consecrate this important building. All are invited and encouraged to attend.” Jim Hanna,

 The consecration service will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Nancy Weldom Gym. There will be a ribbon cutting at the front door of the Bethea Welcome Center after the service. Self-conducted tours will follow the ceremony.

For more information on the Consecration of the Bethea Welcome Center, please contact Sofia Aldana at 828-452-2881 Ext. 680.

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