In 1897 Congregationalist minister John C. Collins, from New Haven, Connecticut, joined with a number of like-minded associates from other denominations, including evangelist Weston R. Gales, to form the Mountain Retreat Association. "The corporation was not owned by one denomination but it was interdenominational in its makeup without church connection or control. The original Montreat idea has changed, grown and developed into what now is. Its name was derived from the words 'Mountain Retreat. '"
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