Christian communal organization purchases historic Hiwassee College campus


MADISONVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Board of Trustees at Hiwassee College has announced the successful sale of the historic Madisonville campus.

The campus has been purchased Christian organization Bruderhof, a Christian communal organization in the Anabaptist tradition. Founded in Germany in 1920, the organization has established several communities in the U.S. as well as in Australia, the United Kingdom and South Korea.

They plan to refurbish the campus and operate a Christian community of families, an elementary school and a workshop, according to an official release.

“This has been a long but faithful process since the college held its final graduation in May 2019. The board’s sole desire has been the preservation and continued use of these hallowed grounds, so we are pleased to have found a purchaser that will build on the legacy of the college while continuing to be an asset to Monroe County and East Tennessee.”

Rev. Jason Gattis, Hiwassee College Board Chair

Bruderhof representatives visited the campus in October to meet with members of the board,
neighbors of the campus, and members of local and state government.

Glenn Moser, Mayor of Madisonville said, “It was a pleasure to meet at the Hiwassee setting. I am
looking forward to more interaction with the Bruderhof in our community.

“People here couldn’t be nicer. My wife and I are really looking forward to putting down roots in Madisonville and making new friends. One thing we have particularly appreciated is meeting alumni of the college and hearing their fond memories. I know it was difficult for many people to see the college close, but we are inspired to begin building community again, both on the property itself and within the wider community that has welcomed us so warmly.”

John Burleson, one of four Bruderhof members staying on the campus while the sale was arranged

Hiwassee College was a private liberal arts college in Madisonville, Tennessee. Founded in 1849, the
college is associated with The United Methodist Church and offered associate degrees as well as
bachelor’s degrees.

“We are grateful for the college’s 175 years of service to students seeking higher education, and we pray that the impact and mission of Hiwassee College will always carry on through its alumni and faculty,” said Rev. Gattis.

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