Riverwood Christian Community, operated by Ability Ministry, has been in operation for over 30 years serving adults with developmental disabilities. Founded in 1986, Ability Ministry has expanded from the initial Riverwood I building, and now operates multiple facilities, including a location in Missouri, serving 28 adults with developmental disabilities. With the latest addition, a new Retreat Center, it is the hope and prayer of the Ability Ministry team that even more lives will be impacted through this location.
The new Retreat Center will be a facility used to house mission teams who come to Louisville to serve the residents at Riverwood. More importantly, the center will help build community with the residents and allow volunteers to take those experiences with them. During 2019, Riverwood welcomed over 15 groups of nearly 300 volunteers. Groups serve in a variety of capacities, such as regular maintenance of the building and property, fellowship and worship with the residents, as well as fun outdoor activities.
“It is our hope that the disability community sees the love of Christ through those who come to Riverwood and return home with a new appreciation for the abilities and talent of those affected by disability,” said Rhonna McBride, Director of Services for Ability Ministry. “We also hope those who spend time with us will encourage their home church to embrace this wonderful group of people.”
Additionally, the center will be used for groups seeking a retreat location. Located on a beautiful piece of property, and overlooking the Tennessee River, the Retreat Center will be the perfect place for groups to bond, relax, and recharge.
“It’s great that we have those who believe in Ability Ministry so much that they would give us the resources to build a project like this,” said Gary W. Spangler, Executive Director. “It’s also great that a group of men from Jack Ballard Church Builders have connected with us over the years to build five structures for us.”
Jack Ballard Church Builders will complete the Retreat Center in a matter of weeks with the help of nearly 60 men. There is currently not an official grand opening date scheduled, however, the team expects the facility to be ready toward the end of October.
“We hope this building will be the first step in welcoming and embracing the disability community,” said Spangler. “A mission trip here will change lives forever.”
To rent or schedule an event at the Retreat Center, please contact Rhonna McBride at (865) 984-5178.
Jason joins the Ability Ministry team and brings over 20 years of graphic design and marketing experience to the table. He has handled projects from local start-up businesses to publicly owned internationally based companies, including a Shark Tank company. Jason currently reside in Louisville with his wife, two daughters, and dog Pepper. In his spare time, he is a Master’s competitor in USA Weightlifting. His family attends Southeast Christian Church.