History of the Laymen’s Retreat

The first Laymen’s Retreat was held in 1948 at the Michigan Education Association Camp on St. Mary’s Lake near Battle Creek. The Retreat was sponsored by the Michigan Council of Churches. There were approximately 25 attendees at the first Retreat. Most of those in attendance were from the Lansing and Pontiac area. The Retreat was held at St. Mary’s for a number of years. Other sites have included the Haven Hill Lodge in White Lake, MI, and the Waldon Woods Resort in Hartland, MI. The Retreat moved to Olivet College in the early 1970’s, and remained there until 1990 and 1991, when it was held at Michigan State University. The Retreat returned to Olivet in 1992, primarily due to the unique setting of the school and campus in the very small and quiet town of Olivet, which is located approximately 30 miles south of Lansing, MI.