About the Camp
A Brief History of the Camp
The camping program of the Christian Church in Tennessee began prior to 1944 with camps being held at facilities around the state. In 1944, the campground property in Kingston Springs was purchased.
The State Board (now the Regional Board) considered 62 suggestions for a name of the campground. Miss Diane Douglas of Eastwood Christian Church and Mrs. Walter M. White of Woodmont Christian Church had submitted the name Bethany Hills. Reasons given for the selection were that Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived at Bethany; Jesus found Bethany to be a retreat for himself and a retreat center named Bethany could likewise serve Christians today; and Bethany was a favorite name of one of the Campbell founders.
The first camps and retreats were held at Bethany Hills in 1945. For the first ten years, estimates of 1400 to 2000 people attended camps and retreats. The State Conventions, now our Regional Assemblies, were held there in 1946 and 1947.
Many of the same camps are still held today. There is still Junior Camp, ChiRho Camp, and CYF Camp. Camps for younger children have been added: Firsters Camp for children in Kindergarten and First Grade and Discovery Camp for children in Second and Third Grades. The program of Eighters Camp deals with human sexuality. We continue to have "fellowship" retreats - ChiRho, CYF, Disciples Women's and Men's, and a Silent Retreat in the Fall.
Providing a Christ-centered camping program gives campers a chance to encounter God through nature, solitude, and a Christian community and builds leaders for today and tomorrow.