As of June 1, the Michindoh Camp and Conference Center in Hillsdale, Mich., is owned by Spring Arbor University. It comes as a gift from the Merillat Foundation, and is described as the largest gift in the college’s history.

Spring Arbor’s main campus is 35 miles away. The college has conducted a number of classes and programs at the camp over the years, and has supplied students for the summer camping program.

An article in the Hillsdale Daily News explains how this came about, and gives a lot of background. It says that Spring Arbor is the camp’s fifth owner since 2007. Here is how that works:

  1. Michindoh Conference originally owned the camp.
  2. In the spring of 2007, Gull Lake Ministries, another camping ministry in Michigan, agreed to assume ownership of the camp. But before the deal with completed, they backed out.
  3. In the fall of 2007, the Executive Leadership Team took control of the camp.
  4. The Executive Leadership Team deeded the camp to the Lenawee Christian Association, the organization created by Orville and Ruth Merillat.
  5. Now, the foundation has given the camp to Spring Arbor University.

The Michindoh Camp and Conference Center opened in 1987, replacing the former Michindoh Conference camp called Rothfuss Park, located just down the road. The conference center was built largely through gifts from the Merillat Foundation.

Camp Adeline is a small summer camp currently operated by several UB churches from the former Rock River Conference. The camp is located at the edge of Adeline, Ill. (a little west of Rockford, which is west of Chicago).

The Camp Adeline board is requesting help with two projects. They are looking for short-term work crews to come and help with the following:

  1. Remove the top floor from an existing two-story building and convert the remaining structure into a maintenance garage.
  2. Replace the windows around the top perimeter of the tabernacle. This is quite high and will involve some roofing.

Teams will have lodging provided at the camp and will have access to a kitchen to prepare their own meals while there. Material costs will be covered by the camp.

For more details, interested groups should call Don Hubbard, President of the Camp Adeline Board at 815-225-7638.

This is an excellent opportunity for mission service within the United States!

Rhodes Grove Camp (Chambersburg, Pa.) has designated November 19 as a Day of Prayer. Mark Story, director, explains:

“Collectively our board, staff, key constituents, and hopefully you will unite with us in spirit as we prayerfully seek direction and wisdom from the Lord. The format for the day will be simple, yet specific. This is not an event that we are asking you to come to Rhodes Grove to attend. Rather, I am asking that you intentionally plan to set aside a specific amount of time on that day to pray for us, wherever you may be.

“On that day, at Rhodes Grove, I will lead our staff and available board members in a time that will include:

  • prayers of confession for any areas where we have fallen short.
  • prayers for wisdom in decision-making regarding the future.
  • prayers of praise and adoration for the changed lives we see.
  • prayers for the freeing of available financial resources.
  • prayers for unity and love among our staff.
  • prayers for safety and protection for campers and guests.

“In recent conversation with Bob Kobielush, the president of the national Christian Camp and Conference Association, he shared with me that these are the most difficult days for leaders of the nation’s Christian camps that he has ever seen. These are unprecedented times of unbelievable challenge but also incredible opportunity.

“We are under budget in income. We are over budget in expenses. We are experiencing the ill effects of what is perceived to be a horrid economy. We are feeling the painful pinch of trying to figure out how to make ends meet–just like many other nonprofits, and like many of you.

“We are also seeing kids come to Christ, relationships strengthened, and biblical truth declared as a result of our ministry and mission.

“We are also asking for churches that claim a relationship with us to embrace this Day of Prayer by praying for us on November 16 corporately during the Sunday morning worship time and by encouraging individuals to set aside some time on the Wednesday to follow to pray for Rhodes Grove.”

Ron Ramsey, Bishop
The Michindoh Camp and Conference Center (Hillsdale, Mich.) is now a ministry of Lenawee Christian Ministries, an organization founded by Orville and Ruth Merillat, who basically donated the camp to us in the first place. In April, I signed various papers on behalf of the denomination to transfer title of all camp assets to Lenawee for one dollar. I believe it was the right decision.

After the 2005 US National Conference, Michindoh Conference took action to dissolve (like other conferences), but entrusted the conference council with determining the fate of the camp.

Various possibilities were considered. In the spring of 2007, Gull Lake Ministries, a highly-respected camping ministry in Michigan, agreed to assume ownership of Michindoh. But they backed out, sending the conference council back to square one.

We expected that all annual conferences would have dissolved by the 2007 US National Conference. However, Michindoh Conference couldn’t dissolve until they settled the fate of the camp. With no resolution in sight, the following happened:

  • The Executive Leadership Team asked Michindoh Conference to deed the camp to the denomination.
  • The ELT became, in effect, the camp board in October 2007.
  • A  temporary management agreement was signed with Lenawee Ministries to provide immediate oversight of the camp.
  • This spring, the ELT, confident of the camp’s future in the hands of Lenawee Ministries, decided to deed the camp to them.

Camp Michindoh was not an asset that the denomination could maintain long-term. We’re not in the camping business, and don’t have the deep pockets to finance some of the needs currently confronting the camp. So I’m happy that we could turn everything over to Lenawee. Jim McClellen, from Lenawee, is serving as the camp CEO.

Olinda Barnes has concluded her 13-year ministry as director of Camp Living Waters in Luther, Mich. Her last day was September 30. Olinda became the director in January 1995.

Olinda is looking for employment, and says she would love to remain in the UB church. She’s got lots of experience in youth and children’s minisry, women’s ministry, and running an office. You can contact her by email.

Scioto Youth camp kicks off today with senior high camp. The camp, located near Junction City, Ohio, is a free summer camp for children of all ages. It is operated and maintained primarily by dedicated volunteers from UB churches in southern Ohio.

There are four weeks of summer camp this year, ending with Primary Camp July 13-19. Finances are tighter, now that they no longer receive $10,000 a year from the conference.

The land was donated by Rev. and Mrs. Herbert Householder, with the intention that it always be free for any kid wanting to attend. That vision remains alive. Many kids over the years have found Christ at Scioto.

Camp Cotubic in Bellefontaine, Ohio, has an all-new website. It’s very well done, and includes some neat features, like online giving and an interactive map of the camp.

You can also join their email list to receive periodic updates.

Camp Cotubic was the United Brethren camp for Central Conference. It now, like most of our other camps, has its own board of directors and is no longer owned by the denomination. However, the camp’s roots run deep in Central Conference, and many UB people in Ohio and Indiana will be interested in keeping up on what happens there.

Dave Stephens, a United Brethren minister, is director of Camp Cotubic.

Come spend a weekend celebrating 40 years of Christian camping at Camp Living Waters (Luther, Mich.). A special commemorative weekend will be held September 14-16. There is no cost, but a free-will offering will be taken.

Events during the weekend include a Saturday evening concert by Eric Cherry, a Sunday morning worship service, plus horseback riding, hayrides, tours, singing, memories, and a Saturday night hog roast.
Check-in begins at 7 pm Friday. Checkout time is 2 pm Sunday.

Housing will be male/female cabins. RV sites are also available.
If interested, please RSVP for lodging and/or meals to:

The 3rd Annual Tom Ponsot Memorial Classic Golf Tournament will be held on September 15, 2007, with the proceeds going to support Camp Cotubic in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Many of us have fond memories of attending summer camp while we were growing up. Friendships were formed, knees were skinned, challenges were conquered, life-long lessons were learned, and most of all, many were introduced to Jesus. Now that we are older, we are glad such places still exist for our kids and grandkids.

Camp Cotubic is one such place, and it held a special place in the heart of Mr. Tom Ponsot, who passed away in the spring of 2005. Tom saw the great potential of Camp Cotubic and volunteered his time and financial resources to preserve it as a place where his own grandkids and many other children could continue to have summer camp experiences. Tom served as the Chairman of the Board for several years and was passionate about the camp’s ministry. We seek to continue that work through this fundraising event.

You can help in two ways:

  • Enter a Team. Find three other friends and enter a team. The cost is $50/person and includes greens fees, cart, and lunch. You can register by sending your name to
  • Be a Sponsor. Your business, church, affinity group or you can sponsor a hole for $100. You can also make a prize donation to be given away during the tournament.

The tournament will be held at The Woods Golf Course, 12083 US 127 South, Van Wert, Ohio. Sign-in at 7:30 am. Tee-off at 8:00 am.

For more information, contact the Zanesville United Brethren Church at (260) 638-4040 or

Mark Story, Executive Director of Rhodes Grove Camp (Chambersburg, Pa.), has announced The Ecclesiastes Institute, a new program designed to help UB ministers (and others) fulfill their continuing education requirements. The first course will be March 27.

“The Ecclesiastes Institute is a new branch of ministry at Rhodes Grove. Our desire is to facilitate your need for continuing education by offering CEU courses at Rhodes Grove in partnership with Lancaster Bible College. The Ecclesiastes Institute was created to give our educational initiatives an official introduction to the Cumberland Valley.

“The first Ecclesiastes Institute course is being offered on Tuesday March 27, 2007, at Rhodes Grove from 10 am – 3 pm, with a buffet style lunch included. Rev. Earl ‘Buck’ Summers, M.S., will teach ‘Introduction to People Helping: A Course in Christian Counseling.’ Participants in the course will receive .5 CEU and a Certificate of Participation from Lancaster Bible College.

You may also visit (click on Ecclesiastes Institute) to download a flyer or learn more about this exciting new program. At a minimum, we hope to offer two CEUs per year to satisfy your continuing education needs.”