This is How it Began:

In the late 70’s several women from Bismarck, North Dakota, attended Brown County Women’s Retreat in Brown County, Indiana. These women came home excited about the wonderful time they had and filled with a desire to share the blessing of their experience with other women. After much prayer and planning their desire became a reality -- in the fall of 1978 Dakota Women’s Retreat was birthed.

DWR held its first retreat that September at the Richardton Abbey, Richardton, North Dakota. The theme was, “Have You Heard?” Anne Walls of Carmel, Indiana, was the speaker. The musician was Beatrice Bush Bixler, a nationally known composer, pianist and soloist from New York State. Song leader, Gyneth Luginbill, from Berne, Indiana, led the services in lively and heartwarming singing. Seven workshops were offered. This program format (speaker, musician, song leader, workshops) was adopted for following retreats. Because of conflicting fall events DWR is now scheduled each spring, at the end of April.

In 1992, DWR moved to Medora, a tiny tourist town tucked away in the Badlands of western North Dakota. The colors are vibrant, and the air is the cleanest you will ever breathe. Medora is adjacent toTheodore Roosevelt National Park. The retreat is held one month before tourist season begins, so along with local residents, we have the whole town to ourselves.

DWR is not affiliated with any church denomination, nor is it supported by any outside organization; however, we have the prayer support of many congregations of various denominations. DWR draws women from North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana.

”Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me”, Psalm 51:10.

We are so thankful for those who have committed to pray for the ministry of Dakota Women’s Retreat. God moves as His people pray. If you would like to be on the email list for prayer requests, there is still time. DWR’s email address is