Location: Talladega, Alabama
Type of Venue: Christian conference center
Capacity: More than 1,400 guests
It’s been more than 70 years since the first group met at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega, Alabama, where more than 800 acres make a peaceful place for gathering and growing. The Native Americans that once inhabited the area called it “Shocco,” a word that means “The Gathering Place,” and many families and groups have been coming back for decades to gather at this modern-day Shocco.
Today, more than 500 events take place within the wooded grounds each year, offering guests a place of solitude and rest, free from the distractions of life, where the ultimate agenda for each event includes fellowshipping with other believers and growing closer to God. This private Christian conference center is not open to the general public, but instead hosts a range of customized retreats, conferences, camps and meetings for churches, religious groups, civic groups, governmental groups, education groups and other nonprofit organizations. The center boasts more than 55 different meeting spaces spread throughout the campus. A wide range of venues includes chapels, large conference rooms, private dormitory-style lodging and multipurpose buildings.
Meetings at Shocco Springs are all-inclusive: Lodging, food service, meeting space and recreational activities are all part of the Shocco Springs experience. Activities are planned individually for all groups that meet on the campus and include something for everyone. Kids can spend the morning zip lining into the water or bouncing on the Blob at the Aqua Park and then spend the afternoon learning the rules of the center’s beloved game Bazooka Ball. Basketball, fishing, and hiking trails occupy active guests, and countless team-building opportunities await on the ropes courses and building challenge course.
The center’s location an hour outside Birmingham, Alabama, puts guests in the perfect position to get away from the hectic pace of life and focus on spirituality. Decisions made while attending a retreat or camp at Shocco Springs tend to last a lifetime, according to many past guests who have recalled myriad life-changing moments at the conference center.
Meeting space is complimentary for groups staying overnight at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center, where lodging and meeting space can accommodate groups of up to 1,400 people. Lodging varies from updated hotel-style rooms on the main campus to rustic, dormitory-style accommodations in the Adventure Camp area. Shocco offers 55 separate meeting spaces, with options that hold as few as 20 people or as many as 1,400 people. A few favorite selections are the Rocky Ridge Lodge, which includes 30 guest rooms and two conference centers, for a maximum of 150 guests; the Bagley Center, whose dining room also includes 12 conference rooms, for a maximum of 200 guests; and the Stephens Activity Center, which includes three guest rooms, two conference rooms, and an auditorium, for a maximum of 350 guests.
The Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center has three dining locations on its campus for the convenience of all meeting and retreat guests. Generally, the center offers buffet-style serving lines as well as a salad bar and seasonal sandwich and taco bars. If a group is looking for a more intimate meal option, the center can offer a specialized banquet menu. Snack and beverage options are available throughout the day, and retreat guests and meeting groups rave about the “Shocco tradition” after meals: endless soft-serve ice cream. Alcohol is not allowed.
Planners don’t have to worry about a thing once they arrive at the Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center, where the event services department is dedicated to ensuring that all needs are met. Audiovisual services are available and include everything from LCD projectors and microphones — wireless lapels and handheld options available — to keyboards and professional sound technicians to run the equipment. Wireless internet is located in the central campus and in select buildings and is free for all guests. The team can also handle all setup needs, including chairs, tables and staging.
The Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center is located in Talladega, Alabama, about halfway between Birmingham and Atlanta. The center features more than 800 wooded acres in a beautiful, distraction-free environment, where groups can roam the grounds in their free time. The center’s on-site recreation department is available for planning activities based on the needs of each group. Water lovers can head to the center’s private lake for seasonal swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding and taking turns down the Wet Willie waterslide. Year-round recreation activities include bazooka ball, paintball, high and low ropes, basketball, a zip line, climbing walls, pool, putt-putt, field spaces and more.