About Us

Mission Statement: Encouraging The Health And Renewal Of Christian Leaders

Tradition & Experience

Fairhaven Leadership Retreat is an intentional setting committed to fostering a safe space and facilitating pathways where Christian leaders can be encouraged, supported, and refreshed physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Our prime focus is serving those in positions of Church, Mission, and Para-church/Business leadership. Examples include, Pastors, missionaries, denominational leaders, leaders of para-church organizations, and their respective staff members; Faculty and staff from Christian colleges, universities, and seminaries; Christian counsellors; and Christian business leaders.

Noble Roots since 1979

In 1979, Dr. Charles Shepson opened a retreat facility in Tennessee for Christian workers. The 100 acre campus has developed to the point that it now welcomes over 2,500 guests each year.

In 1997, Dr. Shepson and the Board of Fairhaven began a similar ministry in Canada.
Rev. Len Frank was called at that time to assist this new ministry.

In 2000, 167 acres near the city of Vernon and Silver Star Ski Resort was purchased.

Development began in 2001 with the first cottages being ready for use in the fall of 2003.

Today the campus includes six guest cottages, three staff homes, and the Charles Shepson Lodge. We welcome over 1000 guests each year.

Early in 2013, sensing that Fairhaven was entering a new chapter, Len Frank led the board through a succession planning process. Following a year of careful discernment, Tony Schnare was called to serve as the Executive Director, beginning June 2015.

Tony and his wife Gwen began formal pastoral ministry in 1991. Prior to coming to Fairhaven, Tony served at Briercrest College and Seminary as Director of Counselling and Health Services and as Faculty in the graduate Marriage and Family Counselling program for 20 years. The last seven years of his Briercrest tenure Tony also served as the Associate Dean of Seminary Students. Tony continues as Adjunct Faculty at Briercrest Seminary teaching classes on an annual basis. Tony is a registered Marriage and Family Therapist and is a Clinical Supervisor with AAMFT, CCPA, and PACCP. Having walked through their own challenging season of ministry, Tony and Gwen have had the privilege of walking alongside ministry couples throughout their time at Briercrest.

As we look to the future, God’s faithfulness in the Fairhaven story continues to be written. We invite you to witness it with us.

Statement of Faith

The Holy Scriptures are divinely inspired, entirely trustworthy and constitute the only supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. .
There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ our Lord is God manifest in the flesh. Being conceived by the Spirit, he was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died to atone for the sins of mankind, was resurrected physically, ascended to the Father in heaven where He serves as our mediator. He will personally return in power and glory.
It is only by personal faith in the substitutionary atoning work of Jesus Christ, accomplished through His death and resurrection, that lost humanity can experience salvation and eternal life.
The Spirit of God lives within all believers and empowers them to live a holy life.
The universal church, known as the body of Christ, consists of all true believers.


#1-8191 Rogers Road
Vernon, BC V1B 3M8