Troubled Mountain

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 113 views 

What’s going on up at Mount Sequoyah Retreat and Conference Center in Fayetteville?

From what Whispers heard, CEO Abby Foster is on paid administrative leave, has had her keys taken away and is under investigation by a committee of three retired Methodist bishops.

Mount Sequoyah is owned by the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church, so when things go awry up there, it’s the church that has to sort things out.

Whispers has yet to discover what triggered the investigation, but it can’t be good. And keep in mind that Mount Sequoyah is a 32-acre campground with 50 buildings and enough beds to sleep up to 300 people. When you have your keys taken from you, that’s a pretty big deal.

Foster, according to a source, is still living up on the mountain in the director’s house and is awaiting the final outcome of the clergy’s investigation.

Foster came on as CEO in summer 2012. Since that time, as many as 14 staffers have either been laid off, fired or have resigned, and at least five people who lived on the mountain full time as hosts were asked, or perhaps even told, to move out on short notice.

Speaking during this year’s Easter sunrise service at the mountain’s Vesper Point, Foster told a reporter for ABC affiliate KHBS/KHOG-TV, Channels 40/29: “We get a do-over every single day. We get a do-over, and we get to embrace one another as we renew ourselves, and we seek once again to be the people we intended to be.”

Whispers is pretty sure Foster would like a do-over right about now. The million-dollar question is: Will she get one?

As for Mount Sequoyah itself, it’s a beautiful, tranquil place with a rich history. When news broke in March 1922 that the Methodist Church was going to build the camp on top of what was then East Mountain, it was reported that Fayetteville rejoiced with the ringing of bells.

If you haven’t done it yet, treat yourself to a visit to the cross for an inspiring sunset view, or walk the grounds during peak foliage season. Mount Sequoyah is a blessed place that deserves great leadership.