White Oak Conference Center, South Carolina Baptists’ retreat facility near Winnsboro, has been sold, according to a May 17 announcement by the South Carolina Baptist Convention’s Executive Board.
During the annual meeting of the SCBC held in 2016, the Executive Board was tasked by the Vision Committee to “recommend a plan of action in regard to the White Oak Conference Center that would reduce the need for Cooperative Program funding.” The Executive Board in 2017 voted to pursue seeking buyers for WOCC.
The facility was initially sold on a “lease/purchase” agreement to a private school from Winnsboro. That agreement was cancelled on the part of the buyer in June 2019. The property was again marketed for sale, with hope for a faith-based buyer emerging through several different avenues including a closed-bid process.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the facilities were closed to the public in July 2020. A skeleton crew kept the facilities viable, though the buildings were showing age and lack of use. The largest users of White Oak, the state convention’s SummerSalt and KidSalt camps, were relocated to Charleston Southern University, a ministry partner of the SCBC, in the summer of 2021.
At the end of the closed-bid period, a viable buyer surfaced, and White Oak Conference Center was sold to the Seventh District of the A.M.E. Church. The Seventh District will be referring to it as the Vision Center and has plans for years of Christ-centered ministry ahead. The property, including timberland north of the facility, and buildings were sold for a little more than $2 million.
After decades of faithful stewardship of White Oak, Executive Board members are excited that the legacy of the Lord’s work will continue on the grounds, their announcement stated.
— SCBC Communications