Faith Comes by Hearing the Word of God
Lincoln Lake Baptist Camp, located on the second largest lake in Kent County, Michigan has been in operation for seventy years. Hundreds of youth have come to know Christ and today many minister at home and in foreign places.
The Early Years
The camp was founded in 1938 by a group
of believers from various churches who gathered at different sites for camping
activities. This led to the purchase of property
In 1945, a large tent was used for the
tabernacle. Built in 1946, men’s and women’s bathroom facilities were the first
permanent buildings on the grounds. The quonset building was built in 1947 to
serve as the tabernacle, and was used for that purpose until 1973. During these years and before 1950 the hotel
and dining hall (where the lodge now stands) was constructed. The “Houseman
Hilton,” also built in the late 1940’s, was named for Pastor and Mrs. Russell
Houseman for their faithful dedication to
In the early years, pastors of the supporting churches performed the tasks of business manager and hired all the staff. Records from 1954 call the camp “Lincoln Lake Bible Conference, Inc.” Later, in the late ‘50s or early ‘60s, the camp was named Lincoln Lake Baptist Youth Camp, Inc. In the articles, fifteen member churches were named and the purpose stated was “to provide Christian fellowship, Bible teaching, preaching of the Gospel, and having Bible camps.”
During the 1960’s, the eleven cabins were built as projects of several different member churches. Albert Siegel served as the camp’s first superintendent, beginning in 1971. Al and his wife Helen served as superintendent and secretary until 1982. In 1973, the Lincoln Lake Chapel was built and was named the Siegel Chapel in 1986, in honor of Albert and Helen Siegel, who both recently passed away.
Rev. Walt and Shirley DeBoer became the
new camp director and secretary in 1983 after serving as pastor for 25 years in
three different churches. Bill Moss served summers alongside the De Boers as
sports and music director until he graduated from college in 1986 and full time
after that as the activities and maintenance director. During their thirteen
years at the camp, they saw two major building projects completed: the
Records from 1984 confirm that Lincoln
Lake Baptist Youth Camp, Inc. was owned by 30
The wooden dock at the waterfront was
built in 1986, and was used until 2006.
Immediately after summer camp in 1994, the old dining hall-hotel was torn down and building of the new lodge began. Thirteen trees in the bonfire area had to come down to build the lodge, so the lumber from those trees was cured and used for the woodwork in the lodge. Prior to summer camp and due to licensing, staff meals were cooked in the De Boer kitchen and served in the quonset. The first meal in the Roy Botruff Lodge was Friday lunch for Mini-camp that summer of 1995. Walt and Shirley DeBoer had plans to retire in the beginning of 1996 after their 13 years of faithful service at Lincoln Lake Baptist Youth Camp.
Rev. Curt and Connie Gordon began as the camp director and secretary in 1996, along with their sons, Andrew and Daniel. The Gordons served in this capacity for eight years and continued to see the camp grow into a year-round ministry facility. Bill Moss continued to serve with the Gordons until he felt his calling to leave Lincoln Lake Baptist Youth Camp in 2002.
As the camp grew, more staff was needed, including Dave and Janet Moody, who have worked in the capacities of Director of Plant Management and camp nurse since 2002. CJ Nissen and his wife Becky worked at the camp from 2002 to 2004 in the areas of program and secretary. Chris Howard began in the summer of 2003 by helping CJ with program, and took over that area when CJ left, until 2006.
After Curt and Connie Gordon were called
to a church in
The Master Plan was written by
Fleetmeyer & Lee Associates, Inc. in 2005, which details how the camp will
be expanding. Since Pastor Alan has come
(Compiled by Kim Brubaker, with help from Shirley DeBoer, Spring 2008)