1200 Glory Way Blvd
Bradenton, Florida
Call (941) 746-2882
Always Open
Parking Lot parking
Our missions objective is to mobilize the church into the harvest. These are exciting days to be living in...uncertain and perilous, but exciting for the if you're ready to step out of your comfort zone and into the will of God for your life, then look further into our website and plug-in to your area of interest.


* Our vision is to win people to Christ,
* Consolidate people into the church,
* Disciple people in the Word of God,
* And send people as leaders into the world”

What We Believe - Statement of Faith

Meet the Pastors - Pastoral Staff

I hope to meet you personally someday, either here in this world or in heavenly places with our Lord.

Your Servant for Souls,

Phil Derstine
Senior Pastor
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Christian Retreat is a Conference Center & Family Church in Bradenton Florida hosting events & retreats for all ages year round. Book your own retreat!
n 1955, Gerald Derstine, a young Mennonite pastor in northern Minnesota, prayed for revival and God answered with seven days and nights of supernatural, now chronicled in his testimonial book, Following The Fire. Following the Fire by Dr. Gerald DerstineDirected by the Spirit of God to move to Florida, the Derstine family met and teamed up with Henry M. Brunk, a retired businessman who had formed Gospel Crusade, Inc., a non-profit corporation, to do missions work. Their vision was the same: to fulfill the Great Commission…go into all the world and preach the Gospel, winning souls to Christ and bringing healing to those who are hurting. For many years, they worked together, establishing churches, schools and orphanages at home and abroad. Gerald, his wife, Beulah, and four children traveled in evangelistic ministry throughout the world. In 1965, Derstine founded Strawberry Lake Christian Retreat in Minnesota where the revival had taken place. In 1968, he established Christian Retreat on 110 acres in Bradenton, FL, envisioning a Christian community where year-round conferences could be held.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Phil Derstine, a graduate of Oral Roberts University, accepted the mantle of leadership, establishing The Family Church at Christian Retreat in 1986 and becoming president of Gospel Crusade, Inc., in 1990. He and his wife, Jannette, married nearly 40 years, co-pastor The Family Church at Christian Retreat and its outreaches. Brother Gerald still remains active in ministry, and directs summer conferences at Strawberry Lake Christian Retreat.

Over the past six decades, thanks to many who have partnered with us, we have seen multitudes of lives transformed through the global outreaches and apostolic network of Christian Retreat/Gospel Crusade. Leaders have been trained and another generation has stepped forth to carry the torch and proclaim the Gospel message. Our mission remains the same: to teach Kingdom of God principles and help Christians learn how to share Christ’s love, joy and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit. We will work until He comes….
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General Information
LODGING: A selection of lodging options include 110 spacious, air-conditioned hotel-style rooms, reasonably-priced, bordering a tropical lagoon on the banks of... the Manatee River. Some Kitchenettes rooms with private balconies as well as suites are among the choices available to our group guests . The beautiful, vaulted lobby in this 3-story facility includes coffee bar and spacious seating areas for fellowship. Miracle Manor has in Interior corridors, attached patios and decks overlooking the river, exercise room and Internet access in the hotel lobby.

MEETING ROOMS: The facilities include several multi-purpose meeting rooms of various sizes to seat 10 to 1000 people. Meeting rooms are located in the 2-story International Training Center. The spacious lobby includes a reception area, Book & Gift shop and the Mission Oasis coffee bar. Our technical service staff will set up your meeting room according to your specifications.

FOOD SERVICE: Agape Gardens Cafeteria, overlooking a peaceful pond and gazebo, is located steps away from lodging and meeting areas. Buffet-style meals served daily during conferences and for our group guests. We also offer banquet services as well as snack and party trays for your special event.

RECREATION: Recreational amenities at Christian Retreat include a large outdoor swimming pool, , tennis court, volleyball court, shuffleboard, basketball courts, campfire, canoes and pedal boats as well open fields to utilize for outdoor activities.

✔️Basketball Court
✔️Volleyball Court
✔️Tennis Court
✔️ Pedal Boats
Pontoon Boat
✔️Grassy areas and fields for outdoor sports
✔️Riverside Campfire
✔️Prayer Island – a tropical paradise with Pontoon boat access.
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