Editor’s Note: Today is day 39 of our 50-day countdown to the start of Camp Meeting and our series of articles celebrating 50 Years at Lake Agape. The following article was written by the Rev. Gary Turk for the camp’s centennial in 1998. Click here to read other articles.
My memories of Delanco Camp begin in the late 1950s, at the old Fletcher Grove camp grounds in the town of Delanco. In those days there was only one summer session and it was the camp meeting session. I went with my parents and we stayed in one of the family cottages that lined either side of the tabernacle. Three of those cottages would be brought to the present camp grounds, where they are still in use for other needs. The one known as the “junk shop” retains most closely the appearance of the old cottages.
I spent several years in the boys dorm, where Mr. Raymond Green was the boy’s counselor. In the evenings, following dinner, we would walk several blocks to the bank of the Delaware River, where we would have a time of devotions and prayer before the evening service. I remember one time we set
up a primitive telephone system between the second floor boys dorm and the girls dorm, which was above the dinning hall. It was a piece of string between the buildings with tin cans attached to each end. I don’t remember how, or if, it worked.
Though we did not think about it at the time, the whole camp grounds was a very small area. We had to go down the street to the city park to play ball, and, until we got a camp swimming pool, we had to take a bus to a public pool for swimming.
My relationship with the camp has continued across the years, being a part of the development of the camp and program since we moved to our present location in 1965. I have been privileged to serve as a director across many years, have served as dean of junior camp, dean of the camp meeting youth program, and as president of the Camp Meeting Association. But the real significance of Delanco Camp in my life is spiritual. There are people in the life of Delanco Camp across the years, too numerous to mention, who have had a deep influence on my life. I thank God for these precious people who have been living examples of holiness of heart and life.
The Camp Meeting has always been the heart of Delanco Camp for me. Year after year it has been a place to go for renewal. I have always enjoyed the adult Bible study where the evangelist lead us in a study of God’s word, and where some of the saints of the camp shared their spiritual wisdom and knowledge. I have had the privilege of sitting under evangelists like Maurice Stevens, Jimmy Gibson, Herb McComas, Delbert Rose, and Frank Stanger in the past, and more recently the likes of Victor Hamilton and Roy Lauter, to name a few. There was the ministry of Lela McConnel and her students from Kentucky Mountain Bible Institute.
I have precious memories of sacred moments at the altar in prayer. Many have been the times when the Spirit of God has come down and done a marvelous work in the hearts of young people and adults gathered around the altar rail. At other times the Spirit has moved people to shout, to wave their hand or handkerchief, or to get up from their seat and move around in joyous praise.
Delanco Camp has played an important part in the forging of my spiritual joumey. The camp has always nurtured my spirit and provided underpinning for my faith. I am grateful to God, not only that I have had the wonderful experience of drinking at the spiritual well of Delanco Camp’s ministry, but that I have also been able to raise my children under that ministry. I pray that influence may always be realized in each of their lives in a heart for God.
In the words of a great song, which I first learned at Delanco Camp many years ago, “To God be the glory, great things He hath done.”
Join us at camp for the Lake Agape 50th Anniversary Dinner on Saturday, June 6, at 5 p.m. Click here for more info.