Our Story

Impact Stories

Our Story

The Lelia Patterson Fitness & Aquatics Center (LPC) has its roots in a Seventh Day Adventists community called Fletcher Academy, Inc. (FAI). FAI began in 1910 as the Asheville Agricultural School and Mountain Sanitarium.

The medical missionary work at the sanitarium grew to become the area’s well-known and loved Park Ridge Health, and the school grew into the Captain Gilmer Christian School (grades K – 8) and Fletcher Academy (grades 9 – 12).

The goal of FAI is to positively impact people through education and service in the community. In doing so, FAI brought in services and facilities to support both their students and the community at large, including the Lelia Patterson Fitness & Aquatics Center, the Fletcher Park Inn retirement community. In addition to the community support offered by these branches of the FAI, the businesses offer a Work Study Program to students, helping them to acquire practical life skills.

The LPC was named for Lelia Patterson, a nurse and pillar of the early FAI medical community. She spent 43 years with what is now Advent Health, dedicating her time to ministering physically, spiritually, and financially to the mountain folk in the Fletcher community.

Student Testimonial — Lisset Fuentes, Fletcher Academy 2016 Graduating Senior

Lisset had been to eight different schools before she found Fletcher Academy. As she navigated her way through the public school system, she heard about FA and felt a pull to find a way to attend. As the start of her sophomore year in high school approached, she took a chance and applied.

“I decided to fill out all paperwork and really try and make it and leave the rest up to God. Two weeks later, I received an acceptance letter and a week after I finished public school I came for the summer work-study program.”

Lisset joined the Plant Services work crew and began building friendships with the staff and other students. She also began visiting the Lelia Patterson Fitness & Aquatics Center.

“It’s wonderful to have such an amazing place to relieve stress, keep body healthy and as a result keep mind healthy! The staff there is always ready with a smile to help. LPC has such a variety of programs, activities and machines that target all types of needs, and I love that all ages are welcome and supported! LPC truly is a magnificent place for everyone, especially as a busy student who has crazy schedules but still wants a welcoming place with all that I need!”