Vision: Changed lives to the glory of God in our generation.
Motto: Get away… Quiet down… Hear God speak… Make life-changing decisions…
Maranatha Bible Camp held its first session June 6-13, 1938 on a farm east of North Platte, Nebraska. In a few years, it was obvious the camp needed a permanent home. Land was located near Maxwell, Nebraska and a fundraising postcard was prepared. Interestingly, the postmark shows June 6, 1944 which turned out to be D-Day in WWII! Times were hard, but a number of Christian leaders in the area were supportive of the Bible Camp and attendance began to grow.
The facilities started out consisting of tents only. Then came the “slab cabins” built from Colorado timber sawmill rough cut wood obtained by trading loads of baled hay from the Platte valley. A swimming hole was dug to help cool off on the hot summer days.
One of the strengths over the years has been the help of many volunteers. Even after paid staff positions began to be implemented, camp could not operate without the volunteers who assist in programming, cabin leading, maintenance, sweet shop, etc.
A strange thing happened that God used to really make the Maranatha Bible Camp location highly visible. In the late 1960s, Interstate 80 was built running through Nebraska. The plan took it right through the northern edge of camp property. Much effort was made by the camp board to get the route moved to no avail. A big concession was made when the highway department agreed to create the 40 acre Lake Maranatha by excavating fill sand to raise the Interstate road bed up to a flood proof height. Additional land was bought at the time to make this possible.
Our thirty feet high Cross which is lit at night with the words Maranatha Bible Camp has become a nationally recognized landmark for those travelers who frequent I-80.
In 2005, George Cheek and Tad Stryker pulled together a book detailing the ministry history entitled: Maranatha, the Miracle Camp on the Plains. It includes a number of testimonies and photographs organized by decades.
Contact us to order this informative and encouraging book relating the story of how God used a small group in hard times to start a ministry that continues to have national and international impact.