Three years ago, we at Davenant were blessed by the Lord with the opportunity to purchase a beautiful small retreat center property in the Blue Ridge Mountains of upstate SC, which we dubbed Davenant House. We enthusiastically sketched out a vision for a study center dedicated to the renewal of Protestant wisdom, offering residential courses, study retreats, and serving as a hub for building networks and ministry in the region. Unfortunately, the path forward for this work proved far rockier and more winding than we had anticipated, and we had all but abandoned this vision when the Lord brought Michael Hughes and his family across our path last summer. Over this winter, He opened many doors for bringing the Hugheses on, beginning in Summer 2019, as full-time directors of Davenant House, ready to realize the initial ambitious vision for the property, engage in active student ministry throughout the Western Carolinas, and raise funds for the further development of the property. It is with greatest excitement and joy that we introduce them to you today. —Brad Littlejohn, President
Who We Are
Hello, please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Michael Hughes and as I write this I’m in the great, though incredibly cold state of Wisconsin (the next few days will not get above zero degrees Fahrenheit with the potential for -50 wind chill forecasted). My family and I will soon be leaving Wisconsin due to a calling from the Lord to move to the Davenant House (This has nothing to do with the cold. We promise). We are excited about what the Lord has in store!
My wife Lynette and I have been abundantly blessed with 5 children: Elizabeth, Isaiah, Malachi, Adoniah, and Eliakim (pictured below). We have been married over 12 years and both graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. I have a B.S. in Biology, Environmental Education, and Museum Methods and since earned an M.A. in Theological Studies and am currently working on an M. Div. Lynette’s degree is in Elementary Education, Math, and Environmental Education.
I have spent the past nine years serving with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in my home state of Wisconsin, first as a campus staff minister, then a team leader, and the past few years as an Area Ministry Director and Regional International Student Ministry Champion. While serving with InterVarsity, we have deeply invested in college students and seen the fruit displayed in their lives as they are equipped and sent to be Christ’s witnesses in the world through their vocational calling and otherwise. Thus, we have a deep passion for whole life discipleship and Christian integration through the application of Christian wisdom to every area of life.
I have been excited about what Davenant is doing ever since I first heard about them two years ago. What I’ve seen among college students during my time with InterVarsity is that Christian students are increasingly lacking in biblical literacy, in relational and conversational skills, in historical knowledge, and ultimately in the biblical wisdom needed to discern truth and apply it to their lives in every area as the Lord has called them. All is by no means lost, however. I have seen the greatest impact long term on students through deep one on one discipleship and long term investment that intentionally helped them grow in these areas. That is what I see as a great impact Davenant House can make and why my family is joining the Davenant Institute in this retrieval of Christian wisdom. Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9-11 (ESV) really captures well much of what we desire to see happen in those participating in the Davenant House activities:
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.”
May it be so!
Our Vision for the Ministry
As caretakers of the property, hosts, event planners and facilitators, we will be living at the Davenant House and ministering to guests and in-residence students through discipleship and spiritual direction. Beyond the current summer programs and convivia, we will be working to further develop programs that best utilize the Davenant House property in line with Davenant Institute’s mission. Additionally, working with students on campuses and seminaries in the region, I will be leading studies and presentations for growth in Christian wisdom. This will also allow for recruiting students for programs at the Davenant House to give them an opportunity to go deeper. We will also be working to create a network of friends among regional churches, seminaries, and campuses for mutual building up and partnership in the gospel.
These are all things I have experience in and I am very excited to use my gifts in this way. Our family is also excited for the ways they can be involved in this great mission. My wife is very excited about hosting and serving at the Davenant House and interacting with students as a family. She is also a woman who loves to read, study, and learn and she is looking forward to sharing in discipleship – both learning and growing herself and mentoring others. We think modeling a Christian marriage and Christian parenting will be a great blessing to the students we host who have grown up in the midst of a society where many examples in front of them have been so broken.
Living out the Christian faith requires hard work and plumbing the depths of Christian wisdom from church history. We must wrestle with complex answers to questions if we are to learn to discern and rightly apply truth to the complex and fast changing world we live in. The next generation of professors, teachers, politicians, scholars, pastors, missionaries, and citizens of our world in whatever capacity must be taught these tools of discernment and the need to learn and glean from the past if they are going to be able to walk on into the future in a way that honors and pleases our Lord, bearing witness to truth and glorifying Him. It is our prayer that we will be able to make Davenant House a place to grow, be refreshed and renewed, and be prepared and equipped in godly wisdom for the tasks and callings that the Lord has given each person that passes through its doors.
You can get in touch with Michael and learn more about his vision for Davenant House by emailing [email protected]
Support the Hugheses and the Work of Davenant House!
Please consider giving to support this wonderful ministry. Just designate your gift for “Davenant House”