Camp Mohaven Breaks Ground for Youth Facility
Story by Francis Tuffour
The leadership and members of the Ohio Conference held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of constructing a multipurpose pavilion for young people within its territory. The event, part of the 2023 camp meeting, occurred at Camp Mohaven in Danville, the conference’s camp and retreat center.
The building project, under the theme, “Building for Eternity,” is erecting a facility to support the youth’s physical and spiritual development, which aligns with the vision of past Ohio Conference officials who purchased the 700-acre property in 1961. Bob Cundiff, conference president, who recently chaired a virtual meeting and shared the campaign vision with constituents, disclosed that one of the most common questions people ask him is what leaders are doing to keep the youth in the church.
To him, what the conference has started will go beyond concrete and steel. He says, “Yes, we are raising money to build a building, but the erection of a facility is not the end goal. Rather, the end goal is to create an environment that provides meaningful spiritual experiences for our children. Raising our children to know and experience Christ is the single most important task of the Ohio Conference.” He reiterated that the building would serve as an avenue for kids to deepen their spiritual experience and to help them with mentorship, encouragement and training.
Ted Huskins, executive secretary of the Atlantic Union Conference (Mass.) and campaign consultant from Coleman Stewardship Services, Inc., made a brief presentation about the project, saying, “We build buildings because they’re tools to accomplish a purpose. And the purpose is to lead young people to Jesus Christ so that they are in heaven with us for all eternity.” He appealed that every member of the Ohio Conference make a “faith-based sacrificial commitment” to achieve the project’s goal.
According to Jo Ottinger, Youth Ministries director for the Ohio Conference, Camp Mohaven has become a center of influence for members who make decisions for Jesus and enhance their commitment.
Some campers reported how Camp Mohaven impacted their lives. Natalie Reid testifies, “If it were not for Camp Mohaven, I wouldn’t be a Christian today. It was there that a youth pastor … talked me through my faith when I was at my lowest.”
Virginia Johnson considers Camp Mohaven her second home: “I have made so many memories there, and I feel connected to God through Mohaven’s beautiful nature. My fondest memory is when my sons were baptized there.”
Abigael Isoe says, “I made memories and bonded with other staff and campers.”
The new pavilion with a gymnasium will provide a multifunctional space for large-scale events and other activities.