Lake Huron Director to Retire after 25 Years

Rev. Ann to Retire at Year’s End

Portrait of Ann Emerson

Rev. Ann Emerson

Rev. Ann Emerson has been a leader in Christian hospitality and education throughout her ministry, including the last 25 years as site director at Lake Huron Retreat Center. Rev. Ann will retire at the end of 2023, and Michigan Area United Methodist Camping is grateful for her years of service and high levels of commitment to sharing God’s love through retreat ministry.

“When we think of Lake Huron Retreat Center and its joyful hospitality and service to its guests, Ann Emerson is the first thing that comes to mind,” said Rev. David Berkey, executive director. “Ann has modeled servant leadership for Michigan United Methodists and the hundreds of other guest groups and special needs campers who have come to rely on Lake Huron Center as a place of rest and renewal for over two decades. She will be missed!”

Rev. Ann, a deacon in full connection, came to Michigan from the West Ohio Conference with years of experience in Christian education and youth ministry. She began her position at the retreat center in January 1999 directing the $1.2 million renovation that turned the former summer camp into its current use as an adult retreat center. Under her leadership the center has become a beloved destination for many groups and individuals. Her vision of a private retreat cottage led to the renovation of an older, underutilized building to become the At the Water’s Edge cottage.

Adults from God's Treasures Camp outdoors at Lake Huron Retreat Center

God’s Treasures Camp 2022

Over the years she has been an important part of the team that puts on the annual God’s Treasures Camps for adults with special needs and abilities. “My greatest joy has been overseeing our God’s Treasures Camp program,” Ann said. “The commitment of our volunteer team has made this one of the highlights of my entire year. These campers are near and dear to my heart and they have profoundly changed my life.

60+ People in Group photo from God's Treasures Camp

God’s Treasures Camp 2022

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve these 25 years as Director of Lake Huron Retreat Center. I am indebted to all those men and women who have been and currently are members of the Lake Huron staff. Their commitment to our ministry of sharing God’s love through hospitality has made our ministry what it is today,” Ann said. 

Ann said she looks forward to settling in the Columbus, Ohio area and continuing her nearly 35-year relationship with the travel ministry of Educational Opportunities. 

“Ann has built a strong foundation for the future of the Lake Huron Retreat Center and she will be a tough act to follow,” David said. “Our goal is to find a new leader to help shepherd Lake Huron Center’s ministry into a new and exciting future. We wish her the best.”