At first glance, the old abandoned golf course was not a very pretty picture. Besides being overgrown by weeds, sections of the property had been charred by fire and littered with clumps of debris. Even though there were a few usable buildings and a swimming pool, years of neglect made it hard to imagine a bright outlook for this plot of land without a major makeover.
Fortunately members of the College Avenue Church of Christ in Enterprise, Alabama, had great faith and the support of other area congregations in their brotherhood when they purchased the property in 1968. Their dream was to establish a Christian summer youth camp, giving young people a safe, happy place to spend time with friends and learn to live by Bible principles. Once the purchase was made and details were settled, many days of hard labor followed. As a result of those combined efforts, Camp Wiregrass was born and emerged to host its first camp session in the summer of 1970.
Accomodations were limited, and frills were nonexistent, but seventy campers came willing to sleep in borrowed tents as the gates first opened at Camp Wiregrass. The director was fortunate to have a pop-up camper to stay in because no sleeping quarters were available for him yet. There was a dining hall but NO KITCHEN, which meant that food had to be brought in for each meal. In addition, one small building provided cramped quarters which had to be shared by the nurse and the office. Thankfully, though, two bath houses had been built, along with a craft hut, and a concession stand too. And......with much hard labor, the swimming pool was clean and functional. So, with high hopes and many prayers, the little mission took its first steps that summer.
With those humble beginnings the camp continued to grow, adding a chapel and camper cabins in 1971. Then, in 1973 the pavilion, which houses the director's apartment, office, restrooms, canteen and a large covered area for activities, was constructed. Those improvements were followed by a new nurse's building in 1989 and a large kitchen/dining hall in 1997. As a result of the faith of so many, and the guidance of Our Lord, the property has continued to receive upgrades over the years.
There has never been any doubt as to who truly oversees the camp mission. Even in the darkest of times, as a tornado sprayed debris over the land and destroyed two structures, God blessed the camp with new buildings and workers to revamp the property. More recently, when fire reduced the nurse's station to ashes in 2004, the needs of Camp Wiregrass were met with a nicer replacement. For over 40 years now, our Heavenly Father has allowed the work to progress and continuously blessed the efforts here.
You can learn more about the Camp Wiregrass story by reading God Smiled and Wiregrass Was , a beautifully written book by Hoyt Nelson.
Please contact us by phone or email if you are interested in purchasing a copy. All proceeds of the sale of this book support the work at Camp Wiregrass.