Living Waters Baptist Youth Camp

Living Waters Baptist Youth Camp

Evangelist Mike Ragland
Founder/Director

History of the Camp


For several years while pastoring, Bro. Mike Ragland conducted camps for his own youth group using camp property belonging to others. During this time the Lord began dealing with his heart about starting a camp where small churches could bring their children. While seeking the Lord's guidance on property for a camp, a family donated twenty acres for this ministry to be built.

Construction began in April of 1987 with most of the labor being done by Bro. Mike and a few of his friends. During that first summer, two weeks of camp were held, one the last week of July and the other the first week of August. The first week of camp included fifty-three campers and thirteen souls were saved.

During the first summer the camp operated with two concrete block dormitories with screen windows and a large shelter in the middle with a dirt floor and no walls. All activities, preaching and meals were held under the large shelter and the cooking was done under a tent by Bro. Mike's wife, Mrs. Debbie. Bro. Mike and Mrs. Debbie slept in the dorms with the children.

During the first few years of operation, a pool was built away from the other buildings, a concrete floor was poured under the large shelter, then walls were built to create the original "Big Building" and a ball field was cleared. It was also during the first few years that a small apartment with no windows was built on a second level of the main building above the kitchen to allow Bro. Mike and his family to move onto the camp grounds where they have lived ever since.

In the early nineties a separate dining hall was added to the main building and by the mid nineties the first air conditioners, which were donated, were installed in the dining hall and later the girls and boys dorms. Also beginning in the early to mid nineties, a rock altar was built and many cabins or single room cottages have been constructed which have facilitated many activities such as the week long prayer meeting, ladies conferences and family camps.

Toward the close of the nineties the need arose for a larger building so a new gymnasium was built and the original building was divided into a dining hall and a permanent chapel. Since the add-on dining hall section had been outgrown, that area was converted to an office area and an additional work area for the kitchen.

In recent years a second floor was added to the entire main building to accommodate a game room for things such as ping pong and air hockey, another building has been erected with a two story girls dormitory on one side and a shop and warehouse on the other and most recently a separate new chapel has been erected because the chapel in the main building has overflown during many camp weeks for the past few years.

The Lord has blessed this ministry greatly over these years and every step has been taken by His guidance and providence. From the early years when Bro. Mike and Mrs. Debbie served while raising two small children to the recent years where their grown children serve together with their own families, this has been a labor of love shared with the many friends who come through to help. To God be the Glory!

© 2009 Living Waters Baptist Youth Camp, Evangelist Mike Ragland - 100 Marie Drive, Hayden, AL 35079
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