HISTORY OF HIGH PASTURES
In 1958, Elizabeth Motsinger, seeking a hideaway in which to seek God found this place. She had been struggling for years to know if God actually exists, and, if so, whether He could be known. A year passed while her lawyer worked to clear the title. Betty attended Camp Farthest Out at Kanuga Conference Center outside of Hendersonville, where she received the Lord Jesus as her living Lord and Savior. That very night a telephone call came saying that the title to the land was clear and that she could purchase it. Isaiah says, “He that putteth his trust in me shall possess the land” and is a biblical promise that Betty claimed.
After making her 732-acre acquisition, Betty moved into the small four-room shack at the lower end of the property. The snow blew in between the siding on cold, windy winter days and nights, but the time seemed like a “honeymoon” in her newly found relationship with Jesus. The weather was not suitable for building, so it was the following Thanksgiving before her new residence was finished. And was she thankful!
Having been touched so powerfully by the Spirit of God, she dedicated her all to Him, yielding herself to be His handmaiden. Her resources and her newly purchased property were joyfully surrendered to honor and glorify the Lord Jesus for His highest purposes. In her heart of hearts, Betty committed her life to obedience to His direction and plan.
And so High Pastures was birthed. As it emerged, God established it as a place where “His sheep” could be fed, find refuge and refreshing, be equipped and strengthened for service, and anointed for ministry.
Soon after Betty moved into her house in 1960 she began receiving visitors send by the Father. Small groups began to come for weekends, and Betty was hard pushed to provide for their care. She says she didn’t “found” High Pastures. The Lord sent the people and all she could do was try to cope with that He was doing.
As the number of guests outgrew the capacity of her house, Betty built more buildings as demand dictated and as she was able. By this time she felt that she was living in Isaiah 54:2:
“Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.”
Each time another building was finished, this scripture was dropped into her mind. By 1968 her home was surrounded by a log cabin, a guest house, a two-bedroom cottage and a small hut. She could go no further without help, so High Pastures was incorporated and a Board of Directors was elected.
As groups, families, couples, individuals, and people from many Christian ministries were using the facilities and resources, the need for additional lodging and food services buildings became apparent. In 1970 the dormitory, upper residence, and dining hall were built. The prayer tower was built in 1980 to 1981 – a unique structure for prayer and meditation.
In 1992, construction was begun on Laurel Lodge conference building which was opened in the spring of 1993. The Dining Hall was expanded in 1995.
Betty retired from actively managing High Pastures in 1989 and passed into His presence October 19, 2002. As she had dedicated High Pastures to honor and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ for His highest purposes, she assured its continuance by basically leaving her entire estate (including the beautiful 732-acre property) to the organization, thereby endowing the work God had called her to even after she was gone to be with Him.
The buildings, the landscaping and trails, the food and other support services, the staff and Board of Directors are all for the purpose of glorifying God, for providing a place for His Word to be proclaimed, and for providing training and outreach into all the world to further the good new of Jesus Christ. Those were Betty’s goals and purposes then and are the goals and purposes of High Pastures today and in the days to come.
It is our prayer that everyone who comes to this mountain will have a meeting with God.