Servants' News

Jan/Feb 2000

Port Austin, Michigan -- the Ultimate Family Feast


We believe the arrangements at Port Austin Center, Michigan will provide wonderful opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy and learn from the Feast of Tabernacles 2000. Its campus contains several meeting rooms, sleeping quarters, dining facilities and numerous recreational activities. All are available at a very reasonable price.

But that is not all. Within a very few miles, there are numerous quality motels and restaurants, and many other attractions and recreational opportunities. All of this comes in a beautiful, uncrowded area at the tip of the “thumb” of Michigan.

Port Austin has the capability for a close “big happy family” feast where brethren can eat nearly all their meals together and live within walking distance of each other. It also provides the dorm-atmosphere of a summer-camp for teens and singles. It also provides the hotel and restaurant environment of a traditional WCG Feast. All of this is available in one site!

How do we begin to describe it all?

When: Friday evening, October 13 to Saturday afternoon, October 21. These are the traditional Jewish calendar dates. (We will assist in making alternate arrangements for those keeping other calendar systems that are within a day or two.) When it is ready, a daily schedule of events will be mailed to people expressing an interest in attending.

Where: Port Austin Center is located less than a mile south of the city of Port Austin on State Highway M-53, at the tip of the “thumb” of Michigan. See the map, below. It is about two and a half hours from either downtown Detroit or Lansing. (From Detroit, take M-53 north or from Saginaw, take M-25 east from I-75.) Admittedly, Port Austin is not on the way to anywhere, but that is what helps to make it so uncrowded and unspoiled.

Port Austin, Michigan, map Services: We expect the services and music to be similar to the Feast last year in Butler State Park: Bible readings, short messages, prayer, discussion and a wide variety of music, with live (and a little recorded) accompaniment. We will devote a time to introduce everyone to everyone else. A few evening Bible studies on topics of interest will be offered. There will be some separate children’s classes as well as parts of the main service specifically designed for young people.

The main meeting room holds 200 people and has several smaller rooms connected. If more people attend, a 400-person community center is available within walking distance.

Port Austin Center has a a wonderful set of activities available on campus with no extra charge. Outdoor facilities include: volleyball, baseball, soccer, football, tennis and a playground. The sports fields have lights for evening use. If the weather is warm enough, we can use the outdoor heated pool. Indoor facilities include: basketball, volleyball, bowling (2 automatic lanes), racquetball, weight and exercise room, pool, ping-pong, video-room and a tanning bed. We also plan to make our Bible bowl buzzer system and board games available.

What is Port Austin Center?

I first learned of Port Austin Center for Advanced Biblical Studies at our 1999 Feast of Trumpets service. A friend brought an article about a music concert being held there to celebrate the real 2000th birthday of Christ. The founders had spent over $100,000 to take out ads in USA Today. While I was not convinced that it was exactly the 2000th birthday, I was interested in a Christian group that knew about the Feast of Trumpets—and was attempting to start a Bible study center—possibly even a college.
I did not have time to read the whole article during our service and it was not until several weeks later that the article was sent to me. It stayed in my “to read” pile for several months. A couple days before leaving to visit our intended West Branch Feast site, I called Port Austin Center. Here is what I found:
It was not teaching classes yet, but is a “college-in-the-making”. Five Christian men from the Detroit area were working together to start it. They all attend different Sunday-keeping churches. There is no group or denomination behind it—they are apparently funding it themselves. But their goal is to teach truth in a totally non-denominational manner. Hence, they have come across the Feast Days and other truths not commonly taught by Protestant groups.
Their proposed longer classes include: Biblical Hebrew, Biblical Greek, Old Testament History, Pentateuch, Tabernacle, Prophets, Ancient History, Gospels, New Testament Epistles, Doctrines, Church History, Manners, Customs and Idioms of the Bible and Creation Science. Shorter classes include: Bible Astronomy, Numerology, Communications Skills, Psalms, Book of Hebrews. Graduates of Ambassador College will see a certain similarity, though some classes are clearly different. Port Austin Center clearly has a greater emphasis on the original languages of the Bible.
Port Austin Center campus used to be an Air Force base, primarily used as a radar tracking site to look for missiles coming over the North Pole. Its buildings, dormitories, kitchen, and numerous recreation facilities are now being remodeled in preparation for opening the school. A complete faculty and academic program may take another year or two to put into operation. For now, they are are renting out the facilities as a Christian retreat and conference center.

If all of these activities were not enough, only a few miles away are lake beaches, canoe rental, lake cruises, fishing, go-carts, horse-back riding, roller skating and a championship golf course. For each sport with sufficient interest, we will organize games and tournaments. Also, there are several museums and shops in the area. Major department stores are 20 minutes away. Everyone can be as busy as they want!

Accommodations: Port Austin Center has sleeping space for 66 people in a variety of suite-type of accommodations, and for 160 people in 4 dormitory buildings. The beds and furniture are new (not Air Force base leftovers). Towels and sheets are provided and laundromat is on the premises. (No maid service is provided; clean your own room and wash linens as often as you like). Post Austin Center charges a flat fee per person and request that the group renting the center allocate the rooms among the guests. The “per person” rates for the entire 9 day package are:

Room with 3 meals each day $149
Room/meals, age 8 and under $89
Room only $90
Meals only $99
Meals only, age 8 and under $69
Use of facilities only $49
(neither meals nor room)

Children 3 and under are free for everything.

Send a $20 per person deposit to Servant’s News to reserve room space. (We have already paid $1000 to reserve the site). We will allocate the room space to best serve everyone—but in general, it will be first-come, first served. (We realize that many people will not want to stay all 9 nights, but will go home Saturday; but the Center wanted one set of prices.)

Each floor of the 4 two-story dormitory buildings has 20 beds and a large common bathroom. We will designate one building for men and one for women. We will make sure that there is a responsible adult on each floor among the teens. A large, extended family or other group may reserve a dorm floor for themselves.

The building containing the suites used to be a motel. Their various room arrangements are too numerous to describe here. They will go fast. Camping and RV-hookup facilities are also available by request. Please call or write Servants’ News for information.

If you do not want to stay at Port Austin Center, see the box, below. You are still welcome to join us for meals.

Port Austin Accommodations

Name Per Night Price Size Max Telephone #
Beachcomber Motel & Apts $74 2bdrm kit 6 517-738-8354
(lakefront location) $54 2bdrm 4  
Best Western Hotel & Resort $70-75 room 1 517-269-3930
(heated indoor pool) $80-85 room 2  
(17 miles away in Bad Axe) $100 room 4    
Blue Spruce Motel $40 room 4 517-738-8650
(6 mi. away in Grindstone city) $60 room, kit 4 810-781-8387
Breaker’s On The Bay Resort $79 lakefacing 4 517-738-5101
(lakefront, 4 miles from site) $71 non-lake 4  
Captain Morgan’s Cottages $40 room 2 517-738-7665
  $50 2bd, kit 4 517-738-6783
Captain’s Inn Bed & Breakfast $72-125 room 2 517-738-8321
Garfield Inn $95-110 room 2 800-373-5254
Krebs Beachside Cottages $57 1bdrm, kit 4 517-856-2876
(lakefront, accept pets) $72 2bdrm, kit 6  
  $93 3bdrm, kit 8  
Lakefront Rental Cottages $86 cottage, kit 5 517-874-5181
(lakefront, call for other sizes) $142 home 10  
Lake Motor Lodge $48 room 2 888-200-4208
(various rooms/rates, call) $68 2bd, kit 10 517-738-5201
Lake Vista Motel & Cottages $64-68 room 2-4 517-738-8612
(lakefront) $100 penthouse 4  
  $74-84 1-3bdrm, kit 6-7  
Parks Harborview Cottages $57 2bdrm, kit 6 517-738-5277
(lakefront, various rooms/rates) $86 3bdrm, kit 10 941-389-1444
Sand Castles on the Beach $49 1bdrm kit 4 517-738-4200
(lakefront) $59 2bdrm kit 6  
  $69 3bdrm kit 7  
  $49 room 4  
Sun-N-Sand Motel $45-49 room 2-4 517-738-7513
  $55 large rm, kit 4  
Town Center Cottages $42 2bd, kit 6 517-738-7223
• All prices are per night.. Many motels will offer a discount for longer stays. In only a few cases have these prices already been reduced to reflect a week-long stay. Feel free to negotiate a lower rate or find other housing.
• "Max" column gives the maximum number of people for that type of unit.
• Unless otherwise noted, all accommodations are about a mile from the site.
• Only the Best Western (17 miles away in Bad Axe) has a heated indoor pool. Others may have heated outdoor pools which may not be open in October.
• Other campgrounds in the area include Mel-O-Day Acres Motel/RV Park (517-738-8461) and Port Crescent State Park (800-543-2937).

Meals: Port Austin Center will serve cafeteria-style meals according to the menus that we gave them (Breakfast on the 14th to dinner on the 21st). Their staff will cook breakfast and lunch, they will have local area restaurants cater the dinners. Our menus will be sent along with the rest of the Feast information. We encourage everyone to eat together and spend time with the brethren. We realize that some will not want to eat every meal at the Center, but it will be too complicated to pay for a meal at a time. At these prices, most people can afford to buy the meal plan, and still go to restaurants a time or two.

If you are interested, please contact us at 517-625-7480, fax: 517-625-7481, e-mail: , or write Servants’ News; PO Box 107; Perry, Michigan, 48872.

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