Nestled in the rolling hills of Arcadia Valley, just 3 mins from Ironton’s main street, but secluded in its woods and dells; you’ll find Selah. A Christian Retreat with quaint cabins and beautiful gathering rooms, a chapel, bookstore, a grand open air pavilion and plenty of room to roam on the many paths and trails around the property.
Selah, a biblical term mentioned 72 times in the book of Psalms, is simply a directive word to tell you to ‘pause and consider’ what you just read or sang.
This is exactly the vision that Suzie and Ron Burgess have attempted to create in their Christian retreat with the same name. The property was originally a Methodist church camp and is home to about a dozen cabins and structures from the 30’s and 40’s that Suzie and Ron have lovingly remodeled, maintaining the original character and integrity of the place.
Suzie shared that she has had a desire to create this sort of safe haven for believers for many years. You can read all about her inspiration for a Christian retreat in her own words on her website after she read the book by Corrie Ten Boom, “Tramp for the Lord”. The book detailed Ten Boom’s experiences following her imprisonment at Ravensbrück (a German concentration camp) during the Holocaust.
The retreat is tailored to adult small groups, particularly women, and specifically Christians. Suzie shared how this property has had years of prayer over it, for the people who came here when it was a church camp, and since then while she has owned it. She considers it ‘holy ground’.
This is a quiet place to unplug from your current hectic and distracting world. To draw back to a quiet and peaceful place, back to the Lord. To hear His still, small, voice and to find a new direction to which He may be calling you to. Then to be refreshed and renewed with a new purpose to go out and accomplish all that He may have for you to do. “It’s about getting back to a simple message. That people may be drawn back to the Lord. That they will let the Holy Spirit flow; not let it be dammed up by all the distractions,” Suzie expressed, wholeheartedly.
The types of events that are often hosted at the retreat center are:
When you come to Selah Among the Hills, you receive more than just a quiet spot to read and a comfortable place to lay your head. You will also get to enjoy carefully prepared meals by your very host, Suzie. She prides herself in crafting quality meals from fine ‘real-foods’, much of which she grows fresh in her vegetable garden in season.
Something that stood out to me as we walked the grounds was how many spots Suzie has created to sit in quiet and beautiful places. There are little nooks in the garden with rustic wooden benches. Every cabin’s porch has a comfy chair and table or a porch swing with a pillow. The main gathering hall has a beautiful couch and chairs drawn up to a fireplace. Antique, upholstered chairs in the cabins, with a vintage trunk to set your Bible. The chapel with its comfortable chairs in rows. And many other cozy spaces to pause and reflect.
When we asked Suzie to offer some advice to those who may be interested in starting businesses in the area, she had some great input. Consistency. If you have a storefront, have consistent hours so people can count on you. Never compromise quality; ever. If you serve food, keep it clean. Don’t take shortcuts. Take care of your people; seems obvious, but be friendly. And do as much of the work yourself as possible.
Davy and I enjoyed our time roaming the grounds and taking photos of the cabins. They are all unique and you are sure to find one that will meet your needs for whatever your next gathering may be. I look forward to going back and chatting with Suzie again soon.
2017 marks the eighth year for the annual Home Grown Farm Tour. On August 26th, enjoy the self-guided tour featuring eight venues highlighting the diversity of local farms and nearly 250 years of history in Washington County.
Read all about how this local non-profit is reaching families in our community to provide support and encouragement specifically to moms in need and how you can be a part!
The Fancy Crow is a unique gift shop located in Bonne Terre. The shop features primitive, country, Americana home decor items and handmade gifts made by local artisans.