Forest Park is affiliated with the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church. Forest Park is used by many regional and local churches, Scouting programs, community organizations, and families for ministry, retreats, meetings, educational programs and family events.
Forest Park has 45 acres of natural old growth forest, 6 main buildings, over 30 individual cabins or dorms, and many amenities for groups that include young and older alike.
The mission of Forest Park Conference & Retreat Center is to serve the community through Christian hospitality in a nature setting.
The Board of Trustees
Forest Park Board of Trustees oversees and implements the operations, business plan, and programs of the facility. The trustees are officially approved by the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church at their Annual Conference. The officers of the Board are:
- Jerry Schwilling, Vice-Chair
- Jeanette Johnson, Secretary
- Linda Anguiano, Treasurer
Forest Park began its ministry through the Kansas Conference of the Evangelical Association in 1922, with 22 acres of beautifully wooded land, completely undeveloped. Developments in the park during the early years included the building of a large auditorium, a smaller auditorium known as the departmental building, two dormitories, a dining hall, a caretaker’s house, a bathhouse, and several small cabins.
In 1968, the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church merged to become the United Methodist Church. In 2014, the Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church joined the Kansas West Conference and the Nebraska Conference to make the Great Plains Conference. Forest Park Conference and Retreat Center is affiliated with the Great Plain Conference and is run by Co-Executive Directors and a Board of Trustees.
Forest Park continues to serve in the same spirit and intent as its original purpose. Although some changes have been made over time, the basic elements remain to minister to the spiritual and cultural needs of those gathering here.