It’s a special kind of place that comes together to meet a need in the community. Back in 1986, some 16 years before The Summit broke ground, members of the Christian Church of Virginia (Disciples of Christ) started talking about the need for a senior living option.

Centra Joins the Mission

The Church had the mission and vision, but they needed a partner with the management, skills, and reputation to make The Summit viable. That partner became Centra. The character and values of the institution and its people were an excellent fit. Centra was a nationally recognized leader, yet was a locally based non-profit with a Board who lived in the area. The Summit would be able to provide a full continuum of care and expertise to residents with Centra.

Vision to Action

Talking led to a task force, feasibility studies, recommendations on location, and eventually a full-time director, Rev. Ken Burger, to move the idea to implementation. Lynchburg College provided free office space to support the project. The head of a local construction company, who had been preparing to retire, bought into the vision and 430 acres of cow pasture.

Over the next six months, he drew up a plan for a Traditional Neighborhood Development. This walkable, village-style design, had The Summit on one side and housing, stores, restaurants, places of worship, the Jamerson YMCA and public spaces on the other side. This neighborhood today is Wyndhurst. 

The Summit Opens

In 2002, 16 years in the making, construction began on The Summit. Tucked inside the roof of the front entryway, handwritten on the truss, future residents wrote prayers, poems, songs, scripture, and good thoughts so that all who entered would do so under their blessing.

The Summit officially opened 15 months later on August 4, 2003, with five households moving in that day.  The joint venture between the Christian Church of Virginia (Disciples of Christ) and Centra was a reality.

But it was only the beginning. The Summit’s first building was dedicated to Independent Living. The partners would work together to build Health and Rehab in 2006 and Assisted Living in 2007. The Summit’s campus was now complete, providing one seamless source of services to its residents.

Out the front door of The Summit is a bustling neighborhood, coffee shops, and restaurants. Out the back door – what a lot of people don’t know or see – is an eight-and-a-half acre lake, a view of the Blue Ridge mountains, peaceful walking paths, gardens and flowers. The Summit reflects the thoughtful consideration of many people to create a welcoming, comfortable place that residents can truly call home.