WARSAW – The gates at Baptist Ridge Camp, a facility of Fellowship Baptist Association (FBA) located in Warsaw, have opened on a new chapter as newly hired camp manager Randy Festervand, and his wife Melissa, assume the position upon the retirement of Jim Andrews, and his wife Jean, who served in this position for 16 years.
Festervand has a master’s degree in theology, and is currently working on his doctorate. His education, experience as a pastor and previous camping career will help him lead Baptist Ridge Camp in their vision to improve the overall experience for campers and to increase its facility usage days.
“My wife and I are ready for a new chapter in our lives and new challenges,” Festervand said. “I believe one of my primary responsibilities as camp manager will be to remove any distractions that could keep someone from focusing on God during their camping visit, and this could be as simple as a toilet not flushing properly. I want to do all I can to help campers have an encounter with God while they are here. I will be available for God to use me in a variety of ways from maintenance to counseling.”
The Festervands come at an opportune time as Baptist Ridge Camp is in final preparations for its annual benefit dinner and auction to be held April 7 at the Benson Center in Clinton. Tickets to the benefit can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling 660-438-6678.
FBA Director of Missions David Mifflin said the benefit auction last year netted approximately $30,000, and he is confident the proceeds this year will go a long way in helping the camp with improvements, and possibly the funding of a capital gain project such as a new multipurpose building.
“We will be tearing down the yellow dorm which is beyond repair,” Mifflin said. “Mr. Festervand and I have discussed the benefits of replacing it with a building that would provide us with the functionality to offer more diverse camping experiences year round.”
Festervand’s vision for the building includes a large group meeting space, along with private sleeping rooms, which would make it especially ideal for events such as couples and family retreats. He said that a putt-putt golf course is an additional consideration that could help increase awareness of the camp among the local community, bringing more people to the campus.
The couple has four adult children and a nine-year-old son, Philip, with special needs. Festervand’s wife Melissa has hopes of making the camp more accessible for everyone. For now, she and her husband plan to provide a monthly worship service in the campus chapel that will offer a relaxed experience, meeting the needs of families with special needs members.
The Festervands have immediate goals to paint the dorms and classrooms in the chapel. They will also make repairs and add some details to the dorms to help increase privacy and improve the experience for the campers.
Baptist Ridge Camp has been offering valued ministry through a summer camping program for students from across Missouri since 1976. It is located just south of Warsaw on top of an Ozark Ridge and nestled among an abundance of Oak trees.
The modern facility includes dormitories, a full-service cafeteria, pool, nurse’s station and beautiful chapel. Mifflin hopes to maintain the ability to provide a camping ministry for many years to come.
For more information about the camp, or how to donate, visit www.fellowshipbaptistassociation.com, or call 660-438-6678.