Over 50 years ago, the Western District Baptist Churches joined together to establish Ridgecrest Christian Education and Convention Centre. Ridgecrest grew from a vision to create a space where Christian young people in the west could gather together for fellowship, teaching and community – and now does that and so much more.

At the top of a ridge looking over Burrendong Dam, Ridgecrest is an oasis and refuge, and God is at work in that place.

Renee, who became the Manager of Ridgecrest in 2020, at the start of COVID, says she is constantly in awe of what God is doing on their site. So, to celebrate 50 years in 2022, the team set up a timeline along an entire wall of the main meeting room, and asked visitors to share what had been significant for them at Ridgecrest.

Relaunching after COVID, the team made a particular effort to give God control, asking Him, “Your place, Your space, Your time, how do you want Ridgecrest to function in this environment?” And God has faithfully led them forward each step of the way.

“If we try to run Ridgecrest as a business we die,” reflects Renee, “but if we run Ridgecrest as a ministry, God does amazing things over and over again”.

And the presence of God at Ridgecrest is palpable. Driving up the driveway to the ridge, visitors often comment that “you feel yourself coming into God’s presence”.

Ben, a schoolboy, came to Ridgecrest on a one-week camp with a non-Christian group. He was struggling to eat in front of his peers so would sit alone at mealtimes. Renee and her team noticed Ben and sought to welcome and love him as Jesus would. Ben slowly moved from eating alone to eating with the rest of his group. At the end-of-camp bonfire, Ben exclaimed, “I don’t know what it is about this place or the people who are here, but for the first time in my life I feel accepted.”

And God clearly has more planned for Ridgecrest, as he unmistakably and dramatically protected them from the March 2023 bushfires. The fire threatened every building on the site and jumped containment lines, but never touched a building.  Of the 280 acres that makes up Ridgecrest everything except the 10 acres with buildings burnt.


Even when staring down the face of the fire from the north, the team were able to look at it with unwavering peace, knowing that somehow everything would be ok. Sure enough, the fire from the east came through and cut off northern fire before it reached them.

God protected the site and claimed it as His own. Renee now looks at the fire as back-burning, with God clearing out the old, and wonders what God has planned for the space.

Pray for Ridgecrest and the people who visit the site.
Pray that God’s presence will be known, and His Will will be done.
Pray that they may live true to the favourite saying on the site:

“How do we get out of God’s way”.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here