Mount Sequoyah to celebrate 90th anniversary with ceremonial bell-ringing on the square

The Overlook Cross at Mount Sequoyah center’s most recognized features.

Photo: MRHSfan via Flickr, CC 2.0

The historic Mount Sequoyah Retreat and Conference Center will celebrate its 90th anniversary in Fayetteville with a bell-ringing ceremony on the downtown square at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 15.

The event is a re-enactment of the original bell ringing of March 15, 1922 which occurred shortly after news arrived that the retreat was coming to town on what was then East Mountain. According to an article in the Fayetteville Daily Democrat, “the entire town had been made aware of it by the ringing of bells, which rivaled the Armistice signing.”

Among the incentives Fayetteville offered to bring Mount Sequoyah to town were 400 acres, $35,000 in seed money, connection to city utilities and a road between town and the mountain. The site was chosen over proposed locations in Rogers, Mena, Neosho and at Mt. Magazine. The retreat, originally named the Western Methodist Assembly, opened in summer 1923.

After the bells have sounded Thursday evening, County Judge Marilyn Edwards, Mayor Lioneld Jordan and the Washington County Historical Society will read proclamations honoring Mount Sequoyah and its place in local and regional history.

Situated on 32 acres, Mount Sequoyah is a facility of The South Central Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. Mount Sequoyah welcomes individuals and families, faith groups, non-profits, businesses and corporations for leadership training, personal renewal, and spiritual formation. As a “hideaway above the city,” the center offers a unique change from hotels or convention centers.

Making the celebration possible are Mount Sequoyah, The University of Arkansas, First Christian Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, First United Methodist Church and the Center for Mission Mobilization.

For more on Mount Sequoyah, visit