Situated on 32 acres overlooking the picturesque Bosque River Valley in Clifton, Texas, Lutheran Sunset Ministries boasts a unique blend of Hill Country tranquility, small-town charm and nearby big-city conveniences. A town of 3,500 people, Clifton is located 35 miles west of Waco and no more than a two-hour drive from Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin.
Since its beginnings as a Norwegian settlement in 1854, Clifton has been home to multiple generations of families, summoning those who spent their childhoods here to return home to raise families of their own, as well as attracting new residents. Clifton is especially popular as a retirement destination, reminding folks—with its natural beauty, quaint atmosphere and friendly community—of simpler times.
Clifton was designated in October 2009 as a Certified Retirement Community by the TexasDepartment of Agriculture. The recognition ensures that Clifton meets the criteria of being a great place to retire by providing access to the arts, education and health care, among other amenities.
Known throughout the country as a hub for western art, Clifton is proud to be home to the Bosque Arts Center, a fine arts complex known far and wide for its extensive art collections, live theatre, photography exhibits, art club, culinary club, pottery guild, and civic music association. The Center is conveniently located in the former administrative building of the Clifton Lutheran College campus, only a stone’s throw away from Lutheran Sunset Ministries, enabling residents to walk to the Center and enjoy classes and workshops on a myriad of subjects. Clifton is also home to the award-winning Bosque Museum, countless arts events, entertainment opportunities, and area attractions, and a vibrant community of working artists and sculptors, including several nationally renowned artists—namely, members of The Cowboy Artists of America.
Sunset is located directly across the street from Clifton’s own fully licensed and accredited acute care general hospital, Goodall-Witcher Heathcare Foundation and Clifton Medical Center. Additionally, it has access to seven other hospitals within 60 miles of Clifton, including some of the top healthcare facilities in the state: Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center (Waco), Providence Health Center (Waco), and Scott & White/Hillcrest (Temple).
Annual Community Events
- FallFest: On the third Saturday of every October, Clifton hosts FallFest presented by Clifton Main Street and many local sponsors featuring family fun, food, entertainment, art and much more.
- Lutheran Sunset Ministries’ Quilt Auction: The annual auction is always held on the third Saturday in October at the Clifton City Park Armory in conjunction with the day-long community event, Oktoberfest. This is a fundraiser for Sunset.
- Zion United Church at Womack Heritage Sausage Supper
- Norse Smorgasbord Supper: An annual tradition, the Norse Smorgasbord has been held each fall since 1949 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in the Norse Historic District. Proceeds benefit a variety of causes.
- National Championship Barbeque Cook Off: This event is held the 4th Sunday in October in Meridian, Texas.
- Jack Russell Rotary Scholarship Golf Tournament: The Tournament, now in its 29th year, takes place in the each summer at the Bosque Valley Golf Club in Meridian.
- Civic Improvement Society’s Harvest Meal: Each Autumn, the turkey dinner takes place at the Clifton Civic Center.
- Norwegian Home Tour: The home tour takes place during the Norwegian Country Christmas festival, which is the first weekend each December. Tour guides and storytellers greet visitors at historic homes and churches to enlighten newcomers of the history of the early Scandinavians.
- Central Texas Youth Fair and Rodeo: The annual event takes place the first week of June at the Clifton Rodeo Arena. Exciting entertainment, rodeo competitions and the rodeo parade are all part of the fun.
- Nellie Pederson Civic Library: Clifton’s local public library has been open for 62 years and is located on Live Oak Street behind the Civic Center.
- Clifton Antique Mall: The mall features vendor rental spaces for the sale of antiques.
- Bosque County Emporium: An antique store featuring furniture, glassware and art.
- Clifton Municipal Swimming Pool & Walking Complex: The pool, which is located in Olsen Park (1103 N. Key Street (FM 3220)), features a playground, a 1/3 mile walking trail, swimming pool, and kiddie pool. The pool also offers a variety of classes including Water Aerobics and Senior Swim.
- Bosque Valley Golf Club: Bosque Valley is a well-maintained nine-hole course situated 50 miles west of Waco in Meridian, Texas (347 County Road 1055). It rests along the Bosque River and features mature oak trees lining its narrow fairways.