Small Beginnings, Big Results
In the early 1960s, young families and individuals who had trained at Wildwood Lifestyle Center & Hospital and Oak Haven began establishing selfsupporting outreach in other regions.
These outpost centers garnered attention, and individuals living around the world began calling, seeking to learn more about selfsupporting work. Ralph Martin, founder of Oak Haven, initiated a small committee made up of institutional leaders. This committee met annually, providing leaders with an opportunity to step away from their projects for a short time and share information, ideas, experiences, and challenges.
Retreats helped unify the efforts of each ministry in the expanding work. Also, many people who attended the retreats responded to calls to enter the work or be trained at one of the institutions.
As the ministries expanded, the leaders felt a need for more structure. In the early 1980s, Warren Wilson, who was then the president of Wildwood, recognized the necessity for an organization that could counsel and encourage the growing self-supporting family. Outpost Centers International was incorporated in 1983 for the purpose of meeting the diverse needs of those who were expanding the work.
During the past 50 years, these retreats have evolved to meet the changing needs of the worldwide circle of self-supporting ministries; from a gathering of close friends to larger leadership sessions, the annual OCI leadership retreat still fills the need for encouragement, unity, and training.
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