National Capital Presbytery sells its Meadowkirk conference center

July 28, 2013

Meadowkirk, a 358-acre conference and retreat center near Middleburg, has been sold, according to officials of the National Capital Presbytery, the property’s previous owner. Loudoun County land records confirm that the property was sold July 15 to Delta Farm LLC for about $11.6 million.

The National Capital Presbytery, a regional council of 109 Presbyterian churches, bought Meadowkirk in 2004 for $6.9 million and developed it as a youth camp and center for retreats and conferences. But the economic downturn led to a decline in the corporate conference and retreat business. The property value also declined, and church officials said the presbytery could no longer afford to keep the property.

Wilson Gunn, a National Capital Presbytery spokesman, said the property will continue to be used as a youth camp and center for retreats and conferences. He said that the new owners, who wish to remain anonymous, will continue to operate Meadowkirk as a nonprofit organization and have kept some of the same members of the board of directors to ensure continuity.

Gunn said the sale relieves the presbytery of the burden of paying $70,000 a month to pay off debt on the property. “If the sale had not come to fruition in the next three years, the presbytery would have been in a position where it would have been closing and selling churches to make the payments,” he said.

The property, formerly known as Delta Farm, is about five miles northeast of Middleburg and has 2½ miles of frontage on Goose Creek. The presbytery renovated the farm’s manor house, which was built in 1905, and converted it into meeting space and guest rooms. The presbytery also renovated and expanded an 18th-
century stone barn and made it part of the main conference center, which includes a dining room and commercial kitchen.

The property has a 20-room inn and three cottages, a swimming pool, an astronomical observatory, high and low rope courses and a hiking trail.

Gunn said that although the presbytery mourns the end of its camping ministry of more than 50 years at Meadowkirk and its predecessor in Fairfax County, Camp Glenkirk, “there is some comfort that the property will continue to be in the same use as a retreat and conference center, which is available to our congregations for activities.”

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