In 1956, a meeting of the Iowa Baptist Conference brought a recommendation to purchase a piece of land on the shores of Pine Lake near Eldora for $5,000. It seemed like an ideal location and the right price. Despite the lack of funds, a motion to purchase the property was passed. The moderator then asked the delegates to, "pause for a few minutes and ask God for the $5,000." By the end of the meeting, the total amount had been sacrificially given to buy the property.
Since 1956, Pine Lake Camps has expanded again and again to make room for more people to encounter Christ in a beautiful outdoor setting.
The current facility now boasts 49 acres, 34 buildings, in-ground swimming pool, high ropes course, 200 seat chapel, pastor's retreat cabin, along with a variety of outdoor activities.
Over the past 60+ years Pine Lake Camps has averaged 500 kids each summer; many adults and students have experienced retreats, and thousands of people have made decisions to cross the line of faith and follow Jesus.
Purchased 11.5 acres adjacent to Pine Lake State Park for $5,000.1958
Held first camps at Pine Lake Bible Camp.
Added caretaker house, 12 buildings, 2 bathhouses and a dining hall.
One week of camp costs $15.1962
Added a chapel to serve as the primary worship area.1969
Winterized the first cabins and winter retreats began.
District office building was built.1978
The swimming pool was completed
The beginning of Sixers camp started and the boat dock was added.1988
The walking bridge to boys hill was built.
A major chapel addition was completed.1998
Added the pastor's solitude cabin in memory of Harold Boman, Forest City, IA.1999
The high ropes course was built.
Parr Lodge was constructed in memory of Irv Parr, Des Moines, IA.2006
50th Anniversary of Pine Lake Camp.2009
The great hail storm hit Pine Lake which destroyed many trees and all buildings needed new shingles.
Pine Lake Camps was purchased by Free Grace United, keeping its ownership within the Converge North Central family. Summer programming and adult retreats continue to be open to all who wish to come and enjoy this special place.
FGU plans to launch a church in the PLC chapel in the fall of 2022.