Vista House

A hospitality home and intentional christian community

Vista House is one of those places of becoming for me...I continue to see the ways that the witness of Vista House hospitality shapes my life and values. More than that, I see Vista House shaping a community of people who carry its ethic out into the world. That is a good thing.
— David Wantland

Hospitality

Founded in 2003, Vista House is a hospitality home where all people are welcome to participate in a community dedicated to thoughtfully exploring the Christian faith through conversation and community. Regardless of where they are in their faith journey, you are welcomed into our home to bake some cookies, study in our library, or read in the hammock in the backyard. Vista House is a safe space of open and honest inquiry, and we do not adhere to a specific Christian denomination or position. 

Intentional christian community

In addition to a hospitality house, Vista House operates as a home for an intentional Christian community comprised of Furman University students, graduates, or Greenville community members each year August 15-May 15. This intentional Christian community seeks to provide a glimpse into life beyond the boundaries of our own mortality, a place where God's grace can become a tangible reality. However, living in such a community is no easy task! The community members learn to navigate through the inevitable conflicts that occur when living in close quarters with others, as well as to create a hospitable environment for people much different than themselves.

The responsibilities of the community include helping to maintain the Vista House house and grounds, planning and executing the various annual events that occur throughout the semesters, as well as the more spontaneous gatherings of students and friends hosted at the house. To prepare their hearts and minds for such an exciting yet exhausting list of activities, the community gathers each morning for a communal prayer. This time of reflection and renewal through the physical manifestation of joining together ensures that the community can focus on being Christian servants in all the work that is done.

Grounds

Vista House is set among eight acres of land in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. It is adjacent to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, and is best accessed from the crossing near the BP station. It is just over a mile from Furman University—an easy bike ride or walk from campus. The grounds are open for all to enjoy. Relax in a rocking chair on the front porch, take a nap in the hammock, or read a book on the lawn!

Kierke-Gaarden

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Community members and friends of Vista House work together each year to plant, nurture, and harvest an organic garden. Affectionately known as the “Kierke-Gaarden,” the produce from this garden is used in the food served at Vista House events. Vegetables, berries, and herbs are abundant all summer long. Please contact Rimes McElveen if you are interested in helping develop this project.

Guest Rooms

The Community seeks to always have a room available for students in need of retreats from campus and traveling guests, which are open and available to all by arrangement with the Vista House Community.

We seek to make hospitality available to all, at any time. In fact, guests in need have arrived in the latest hours of night and the earliest hours of the morning. Visitors may contact Heather for room availability and arrangements.

Living in community and truly opening up to others means exposing the most fragile aspects of your being. That exposure can be terrifying and at times, damaging, but I do believe that the breakdown ultimately leaves you stronger, that we tear down the weak walls around our beliefs and build up more steady structures in their place. It is a painful process...but what you gain is more valuable in the end.
— Allison Jarrett