Christmount's new director seeks ties to town

Barbara Hootman

The Rev. Rob Morris is the new executive director of Christmount Retreat and Conference Center in Black Mountain. He began his position July 5.

“I am delighted to be in such a beautiful place with outstanding people,” Morris said.  “I had visited Christmount several times for special events, and now I have the pleasure of working at the conference center.”

Morris was the senior minister at Ridglea Christian Church in Fort Worth, Texas and also served as associate minister at Hillyer Memorial Christian Church in Raleigh.  He was also the manager for Lake Brownwood Christian Retreat in Brownwood, Texas.  He is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and earned a Master of Divinity degree at Duke Divinity School and holds a bachelor of arts from Texas Christian University. He is also a certified permaculturist.

“I want to build on the solid foundation of Christmount," the Rev. Rob Morris said.

Christmount’s mission is to provide Christian hospitality, rest for the soul, and renewal for the earthly journey. It was founded in 1948 as the retreat grounds for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  Christmount welcomes Christians of all denominations.  In 2010, Christmount started Camp Lakey Gap for people on the autism spectrum.  Each summer a trained staff works with both youth and adults.  The reputation of the camp has grown.  Camp staff is drawn from college students across the country.  Campers come from the entire East Coast.

In 2016, Christmount sponsored more than 40 camps, conferences and retreats for adults and youth.  It has two year-round hotels with 31 rooms and a sabbatical apartment available to Disciples ministers at a special rate.  There is also a 32-bed year-round lodge, plus camper cabins and an older dormitory.  Two family cottages sleep up to six people and are available most of the year.

To all this, Morris wants to expand. “I want to build on the solid foundation of Christmount," he said. "I want to connect and collaborate Christmount with a lot of local businesses.  We want the people who come to Christmount to shop in Black Mountain.  I want to learn how Christmount can help more locally.

"There are so many good things going on in Black Mountain.  I want to know how Christmount can be more supportive of the area.  I have approached Brandon Moffitt, the head of the Black Mountain Academy, and told him he can use our campus and facilities as a resource, and a place to meet, if he needs it.

“I also want to help Camp Laky Gap for Autism youth and adults with job training.  Christmount can help the students with training in food service, housekeeping and other jobs.”

Morris and his wife live in Asheville and have two teenage daughters and a 10-year-old son. Morris can be reached at

Christmount's Thanksgiving dinner

Christmount is reaching out to the community with a Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 24.  It is a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the “fixin’s” and none of the hard work.  Worship is at 12:30 p.m., and dinner is at 1 p.m. For more and to make reservations, call 669-8977 by Nov. 14.

Adults: $16

Ages 7-11: $12

Ages 3-6: $8

Under 3: No charge