Living Water Retreat Center closes

Catholic Sun archive photograph of Living Water Retreat Center in 2006.
Catholic Sun archive photograph of Living Water Retreat Center in 2006.

Living Water Retreat Center in Cornville closed its doors April 28 after more than 30 years of serving the Christian community in Arizona, the center announced on its website.

Living-Water-retreat-logoThe center, which was founded by a protestant community, has served the entire Christian family. In 2006, City of the Lord took over operations, but the center continued to serve all Christians.

Through its website, Living Water thanked supporters “for all the love you have shared,” adding, “We would also like to remind you that God gets all the glory for what has happened here for the last 30 years.”

“If you have been healed, had an encounter with God, come to know Jesus personally or had another miracle in your life as a direct result from your visit at Living Water we strongly encourage you to take that blessing from God and pay it forward,” read the statement. “Love others unselfishly, unconditionally, expecting nothing in return. This is how the legacy of Living Waters will live on even after the doors have closed.”

John French, who founded Living Water with his late wife, Barry, placed a major emphasis on hospitality. Through hospitality, he said in an interview with The Catholic Sun in 2006, visitors have more time to listen to God.

“Having an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit is welcomed and where people didn’t have to do everything for themselves” gives visitors more time for spiritual reflection, French said.

The center, which has a half a mile of creek-front property, could host more than 100 visitors and had private rooms for married couples. The kitchen was staffed and serves meals so guests could focus on spiritual growth.

French said his Christian community’s relationship with City of the Lord began well before the Living Water Retreat Center. Tens of thousands have visited Living Water since it opened.

City of the Lord was founded in 1974 to “live together in the power of the Holy Spirit under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.”