The land for Lutheridge (about 172 acres) was purchased in 1946 with the intention of establishing grounds for a Lutheran assembly available to those in North and South Carolina. Groundbreaking for the foundation for Efird Hall, one of the original buildings on site, was in July 1950.
In 1951, the first summer camp program began. The Hill Cabins are the original cabins on site, along with Efird and the large part of Lineberger Hall. Once the summer program outgrew the Hill Cabins, the Wilderness cabins were built. Thornburg, originally called Leadership Hall, was built in the late 1950s; it was later renamed Thornburg Hall after Dr. Lewis Thornburg, Lutheridge’s founding director. Kohnjoy Inn was built in 1964. There was a creek that ran through the lower part of the property, which was damed to create the pond on the lower part of the property. This served as the swimming pond for campers until the pool was built in 1966.
Most recent additions to Lutheridge include Lakeside Village and a multi-purpose building called the Faith Center. Lineberger Hall, Thornburg Hall, and the swimming pool have either recently been refurbished or will be refurbished/replaced by 2014.
Lutherock was started by eight congregations with the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and the first 50 acres was given in 1957; each of the eight congregations would take a week in the summer. In the mid-1970s, the first summer programming began and in 1984, the first part-time director was called; the Reverend Mark Radloff. With the creation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of American (ELCA) due to the merger of the ALC and the Lutheran Church of American (LCA), the boards of Lutheridge and Lutherock merged in 1991 to create Lutheridge+Lutherock Ministries, Inc. Lutherock now comprised 709 acres and is known for its Outdoor Adventure Program.
With the increase draw from throughout the Southeast, the need for a site to serve those in the deeper south was recognized. Several years were spent searching for the perfect space. In 2003 the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA approved a capital campaign to raise funds to establish this camp and conference center in north Georgia or north Alabama.
In 2007, the Lutheranch property was purchased and includes 519 acres near Tallapoosa, GA.
From 2006-2009 The “Challenge” campaign raised $3.6 million for land acquisition and to provide the Holy Trinity house which is a small retreat center serving up to 25 people at one time.
Lutheranch is currently in the beginning phases of a new Campaign to raise funds to build program ministry facilities and fund the land acquisition at Lutheranch.
Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Florida (LOMF) was organized in 1989 to serve youth and adults across Florida with outdoor ministry experiences. In its early years, LOMF programming was located throughout the state of Florida.
A 350-acre site, named Luther Springs, was purchased in April 1990. Through several capital campaigns from late 1990 through 2003, donations have helped develop program and site goals as well as reduce the mortgage.
Since late 2009, Luther Springs shared a special relationship with Lutheridge+Lutherock Ministries, Inc (LLMI), now Novus Way. Novus Wayhas been helping with ‘back office’ operations, including program registration and marketing and finances. This relationship is also enabling more Floridians to experience the benefits of sharing in the Christ-centered camp communities of Luther Springs, Lutheridge, Lutheranch and Lutherock.
With the addition of Lutheranch and the relationship of Luther Springs, the need for a new name was realized. Lutheridge+Lutherock Ministries is now Novus Way Ministries. While there is a new overall name, neither the mission nor the names of the sites are changing and the historic camp logos continue to be used with a fresh look.
Novus, which means “new, fresh, extraordinary” in Latin, is reflective of our desire to reach out and serve more in Christ’s name with new programs and creative ways of telling the story. The promise of the ministry is that campers and guests will “get inspired” as they visit each site.