We’ve talked a lot about what the Prayer House will look like and what its functions will be.

But building a facility starts with the land. So, we want to bring you up to date on what’s happening on the land.

Read on for news about:

  • the prayer bench
  • treatment of hemlock trees
  • plans for fire safety
  • communication hub

The Prayer Bench

Any building project begins with the land. The site of the 2007 Prayer House has been soaked with prayer since before PRMI purchased the property for the Community of the Cross.

Brad Long sitting on the prayer bench
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Brad Long sitting on the prayer bench

There’s a bench just below where the house will be, placed there by the former owners. It provides a great view of the surrounding valley.

It is where Brad and others would go to pray over the land before we even owned it.

The view from the prayer bench at the site of the prayer house
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The view from the prayer bench at the site of the prayer house

A lot of people have prayed at this bench over the years because we thought for a long time that’s where the Prayer House would be.

Treating the Hemlock Trees

If you’ve walked the trails at the Community of the Cross, you may have noticed that we have some beautiful hemlock trees. The area around the site of the prayer house is no exception.

Sadly, the land has fewer hemlock trees than it used to. Over the last fifteen years, the hemlock trees in this area have been susceptible to the Woolly Adelgid, an invasive species of aphid-like insects from East Asia that have decimated the hemlocks of the Southeast.

As part of the process of stewarding the land, PRMI recently inoculated the hemlock trees against this insect (this is the second time we’ve treated our trees since purchasing the property).

A stand of trees at the site with Hemlock saplings in the foreground
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A stand of trees at the site with Hemlock saplings in the foreground

The process is expensive, but allows us to help our native hemlocks stay healthy. We consider care for the land an important element of building a place of prayer.

Fire Safety

In order to get approval for building plans, the fire department has certain specifications for fire safety for each building.

In order to build the Prayer House, we need to provide access for fire trucks to get up to and down from the site.

One of the current paths leading to the site of the Prayer House at the Community of the Cross
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One of the current paths leading to the site of the Prayer House at the Community of the Cross

Those fire trucks need a road that isn’t too steep or too narrow. To create an appropriate entry and exit, we will be widening and adjusting the grade on the lower and middle trails.

Saving Our Trees

The architect in charge of this project, Brewster Ward, recently met with an arborist about which trees around the site will need to  come down (for safety and aesthetics), taking into account the most recent decisions about widening the fire access road.

Trees at the site marked with colored tape
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Trees at the site marked with colored tape

PRMI is committed to removing as few trees as possible while still building a safe and beautiful facility.

Connected but Not Distracted

Another piece of the puzzle is determining what communications and electronic needs PRMI will have out there and how to meet them.

For example, how will staff and visitors connect to the internet?  The Prayer House will need lots of outlets for computers and charging devices, but we want to promote a balance between freedom from electronic distractions–because this is a place of prayer–while providing for the functionality of the tools that can help us do the work of prayer.

Exterior View Prayer House at the Community of the Cross Black Mountain NC
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Your Next Step

Contributions have been coming in, and we are immensely grateful to everyone who has given to help birth this vision into reality.

We still have a long way to go. Please pray with us for discernment, patience, and provision throughout the process.

If you would like to contribute financially to the prayer house, please follow the link below. Designate your gift for the Prayer House.

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