Capital Campaign

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Our new Dining Hall is up-and-running and has helped to transform the Glisson experience. It was full of summer campers in June and July, and continues to be fully utilized by retreat groups currently. Our Dining Hall Consecration service was held on a beautiful Saturday, March 28, 2015. Nearly 500 alumni, camper families, donors and friends of Glisson gathered in cool temperatures under spectacular blue skies to celebrate this milestone in Glisson's 90 years of Christian ministry (1925-2015).

View Consecration Photos 

Serving Generations was the name of the $4.9M campaign which made this new Dining Hall a reality - helping to ensure Glisson's long-term sustainability as a vibrant ministry. This new Dining Hall will allow Glisson to serve the full capacity of camp for another 60 years and beyond. 

Thank you to everyone who helped us achieve this very ambitious goal – including hundreds of individuals and families, dozens of United Methodist Churches and some very generous foundations. If you have already joined us and helped us get to this point, we thank you. If you haven't yet, there's still time. Scroll down this page to learn more about the objectives of the campaign - which ran from 2012 to 2014 - and the methodical, multi-year process which brought us to this juncture in Glisson's rich history.

Serving Generations Overview

Serving Generations Campaign Brochure   
View Flipbook or PDF ... Make a Pledge

Now that we've celebrated the new Dining Hall, and while construction on the Dining Hall is complete and the Bob Lanford Leadership Lodge nearly complete, this webpage serves as an historical look at Serving Generations – the capital campaign which made all of this possible.

In 2011, prior to the public launch of the campaign, we received a $500,000 matching gift from a friend of Glisson which would match individual campaign pledges dollar-for-dollar. We launched the public phase in May of 2012, and we were able to claim the full half-million-dollar matching gift before the end of 2012 because of enthusiastic support from hundreds of individuals.

Later in 2012 we received notification that another friend of Glisson had offered a campaign challenge gift of $750,000 which was officially claimed in October 2014 when we hit the 100% mark of $4.9 million in campaign pledges.

   Glisson Dining Hall Status Report
Congratulations! We reached our $4.9M goal!

Every single member of our Board and year-round Staff took a lead role in 2011 by making a three-year campaign commitment. We have officially consecrated the new Dining Hall, and we have also begun serving meals in it. Now that summer camp is underway, we're thrilled to see the new Dining Hall full of summer campers and summer staff - all dining together at one shared mealtime for the first time in decades.

You may recall from long-ago newsletters that at the outset of the campaign the Board of North Georgia Camp and Retreat Ministries (NGCRM) had pledged $900,000 in Glisson operating funds toward the campaign goal. While Glisson will honor that commitment, it also represents an invitation to anyone who was thinking of joining us, but hasn't yet done so. There's still time to join us. Gift recognition levels and Naming Opportunities are still available. You can still Pledge online or use our Donate Now feature to give securely anytime. Or keep reading to learn more...

Why Did Glisson Need A New Dining Hall?

The cornerstone of Serving Generations is this new Dining Hall we recently completed. Our "old" Dining Hall was built in 1951 when Glisson hosted around 125 campers each week. Now that Glisson's growth over the years has us hosting as many as 320 campers each week (plus nearly 100 summer staff) during summer, and just as many retreat guests during retreat season, we find ourselves feeding as many as 400 or more people per day. Glisson's ministry simply outgrew this much beloved 64-year-old Dining Hall which we had come to love through the years.

Dining Hall Front circa 1951

After completing a detailed Master Plan Update in 2010 and a meticulous feasibility study in 2011, it became clear that our most urgent need was for a new dining hall:

  • With a capacity of 170 people, serving meals to as many as 400 (and sometimes even more) people per day, the "old" Dining Hall was too small to accommodate the volume of summer campers and retreat guests we currently serve. This posed significant programmatic and practical challenges as large groups were required to dine in multiple shifts, interrupting the flow and scheduling of activities.
  • The Dining Hall is vital to Glisson's operations, used by virtually every participant, every day. It is the only onsite facility without which the entire ministry could not exist.
  • The "old" Dining Hall facility is now 64 years old, well above the typical life cycle for a facility which is so heavily used. While this is an outstanding testament to Glisson's stewardship of resources, it became clear that the time had come to build for the future.  

What Will The New Dining Hall Be Like?

The sharing of a common table is fundamental to building Christian community. By creating enough room for the entire Glisson community to break bread together, this new Dining Hall will heighten the sense of community that is at the heart of camp and retreat ministry. Features of the new dining hall include:

  • Seating capacity for a total of 460 people;
  • Flexible seating space that can be used as two smaller dining rooms or as one large dining area;
  • A lobby area which can accommodate up to 100 guests, adding much-needed space for group interaction and casual gathering time that builds community;
  • A commercial kitchen with ample storage and a packout area to support the overnight camping component of the summer program;
  • A lower floor which includes the relocated camp store, a prayer chapel, a large meeting room, storage and a coffee area adjacent to the camp store for additional casual gathering space.
The new Dining Hall is located on the banks of Cane Creek adjacent to Sparrowwood Lodge. The Dining Hall more than doubles the dining space in our "old" dining hall and has been built to withstand heavy usage and maximize functionality. To preserve the beloved tradition of Singing-on-the-Porch, the Dining Hall includes a large entry porch and adjacent open-air plaza which echoes the design of the "old" Dining Hall.

During the Serving Generations campaign, upon learning that a new Dining Hall is being built, many Glisson alumni would quickly respond with concern about what might happen to the facility we keep referring to as the "old" Dining Hall and that porch we've all come to love so much. All can rest assured that the Dining Hall built in 1951 will remain for a very long time. While our Updated Master Plan called for the current Dining Hall to be re-purposed into meeting space - in some future phase - during the campaign we had no idea when that re-purposing would be undertaken.
And then in early 2015, after we had reached our Serving Generations capital campaign goal, a very generous friend of Glisson offered the largest single gift Glisson has ever received - one million dollars. This friend wanted this incredible gift to be used toward some of the projects in phase 1 of our Master Plan which had not been addressed in our Serving Generations capital campaign. The re-purposing of the "old" dining hall is one of the projects being addressed currently.

What Other Projects Were Included along with the new Dining Hall?

Two additional components of our Updated Master Plan were also identified as part of the Serving Generations campaign because they were directly tied to the Dining Hall construction:
Master Plan ScreenshotNew South Entrance: A new entrance on the south side of the Glisson property allows large delivery trucks and other service vehicles to access the new Dining Hall.  This will improve walk-ability around camp while enhancing the safety of our campers and guests by removing all large service vehicles and other traffic from the center of camp. This is also the route taken by summer camp parents when exiting the Glisson property on Sundays and Fridays during summer camp when they come to drop-off and pick-up their campers.
Double Cabin PlansBob Lanford Leadership Lodge: A new 30-person lodge has been constructed between Boys' Row and Girls' Row to replace the bed space lost when the Prince and Gaston cabins were removed to make room for the new Dining Hall. This new Leadership Lodge, which is named in memory of former Glisson Director "Uncle Bob" Lanford, will house leadership staff during summer camp training, summer campers during summer camp, and will also be used as a retreat lodge for small- and medium-sized retreat groups the remainder of the year.

The Power Of A Pledge

        Make a pledge online...
 Pledge quickly and easily online

We invite you to consider making a Pledge to the campaign as a way to help Glisson meet the $900,000 commitment made at the outset of the campaign. While we successfully claimed the full $500,000 matching gift in 2012 which an anonymous donor offered in the early stage of the campaign, and the more recent challenge gift of $750,000 which another friend of Glisson had offered, gift recognition levels and Naming Opportunities are still available for those who still want to join us.

Need more information first? Check out the video above or this Brochure. To fulfill your pledge, you can make online gifts securely at any point during your pledge period through our Donate Now feature.

Gift Recognition Levels

New Glisson Dining Hall PorchGift recognition levels are available beginning at $2,500. Recognition will appear in various designated locations within the new Dining Hall. Families, churches and fellowship groups (i.e. former Glisson summer staff groups, Sunday School classes or youth groups) are encouraged to combine their multi-year pledges to qualify for any of the recognition levels or naming opportunities listed below.




  • Campaign giving between $2,500 and $5,999 will qualify the individual, family, church or group's name to be included in a central location on the lower level of the new Dining Hall
  • Campaign giving between $6,000 and $9,999 will be recognized in a central location on the Dining Hall porch
  • For gifts above $10,000, several Naming Opportunities are available.

Can I Make Gifts Of Stock? 

   Georgia United Methodist Foundation

Absolutely! Outside of giving cash gifts, there are many ways of giving to Glisson - and therefore many ways to make payments toward a multi-year pledge. Gifting a specific number of stock shares is one of the more popular of the alternative methods for fulfilling a campaign pledge. Glisson's Gift Acceptance Policy states that shares of stock which are given to Glisson will be immediately sold.  

The most tax-efficient method of making this type of gift is to donate the stock shares directly to the Georgia United Methodist Foundation on Glisson's behalf. The Foundation will immediately initiate a sale of the stock shares and forward the proceeds directly to Glisson. The donor then receives documentation from the Foundation regarding the stock sale transaction as well as official notification from Glisson of a charitable gift once the funds are received by Glisson.

For instructions to provide to your broker about how to initiate your gift of stock for Glisson, Email Pam or call 706-864-6181.

Honoring The Past ... Building For The Future

Glisson has served the children, youth and adults of North Georgia since 1925 - for 90 years now.  In some families, four generations have experienced the transformation of Christ in their lives because of the vision shown by the leaders in the North Georgia Conference so long ago. Thousands of individuals have answered God's call on their lives in ministry as either lay or clergy leaders – in part because they were offered a place to meet Him face-to-face, in the midst of His Creation, where the demands of their everyday lives could be put aside for a period of time and they could be receptive to His still, small voice.


It's amazing to think of what we've accomplished together at this juncture in Glisson's 90-year history, and this new Dining Hall will help usher Glisson into the next 60 years of ministry and beyond.

Next Steps

To learn more about what our next steps may be, including the projects being addressed by the one-million-dollar gift announced in January, please either visit our Dining Hall FAQ page or Email Pam or call (706) 864-6181.


"It was great! It was my first year, and I was very happy that I got to do some amazing activities. I was a little scared on the high elements course, but I did it (and I am glad I did)!"

Emily, 8-year-old camper