Church retreat approved
BY ZACH MITCHAM
A major church retreat center for missionary training will soon be located in Madison County.
County commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning request for Yeon Soo Kim of the Dial Community Christian Retreat Center Wednesday, April 30. The action paves the way for a missionary training center on 152 acres on Drake Woods Road.
The church center will include a 4,800 square foot chapel, two lakes, cabins, classrooms and six gardens representing various countries.
The retreat lodging and academy will have operation hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Three weeks out of the month we’ll have somebody on site receiving training,” said Paula Hill, who spoke for Kim. “The length of stay will probably be one to two weeks max.”
The retreat’s youth center will be used primarily during June through August.
“The main thing here is Dial wants everyone to know that they want to be a good neighbor,” said Hill. “They want to participate in Madison County. We want people to come and see what we’re doing.”
Hill said the center will be available for public use. For instance, couples will be able to rent the chapel for weddings. Local youth will also be able to enjoy the facilties, Hill said.
Construction isn’t expected to begin for at least a year. Commissioner Stanley Thomas urged the Dial Community to seek local contractors for construction work, saying that the local labor force could use the work.
In a separate matter last Wednesday, the board unanimously approved a request by Callaway Baxter, of Neese Commerce Road, to rezone five acres of a 53.59-acre tract on Adams Clarke Road from A-1 to A-2 with a conditional use permit for a mud bogging business.
The commissioners approved the operation on the condition that the mud bogging not take place while a neighboring church holds Sunday services. The facility will operate on Saturdays and between 1 and 5:30 p.m. Sundays. Trucks will be washed before leaving the mud bogging business.
Also Wednesday, the board agreed to change the county zoning ordinance regarding political signs, bringing county regulations in line with state guidelines. The state stipulations are less restrictive than the county’s had been in terms of when signs can be posted.