A christian camp and retreat center
Who We Are
Grand Oaks Baptist Assembly, Inc. is an organization owned and operated by eight Baptist Associations of Southern Baptist Churches in northwest and north central Missouri. We are managed by a Board of Directors elected by and representing each of those eight Associations. The Associations that are members of our Corporation are:
Linn-Livingston Baptist Association
Missouri Valley Baptist Association
North Grand River Baptist Association
Saint Joseph Baptist Association
Grand Oaks Camp exists to provide a place whereby churches, Associations and individuals may “win the lost, disciple the saved and train believers in Christian service.”
That is our Mission Statement which is carried out primarily through the summer camp ministry conducted by our member Associations. In addition, parts of Grand Oaks are open year round and are available for Retreats and Training Conferences. We also feel it is within our mission to serve families, and our facilities are available to private families for reunions and other gatherings.
Statement Of Beliefs
About us and the “Mission” of Grand Oaks Baptist Assembly, Inc. is to provide a place whereby churches, Associations and individuals may “win the lost, disciple the saved and train believers for Christian service.”
Grand Oaks, as a member of Christian Camp & Conference Association affirms the Statement of Faith of that organization which is:
WE BELIEVE IN…
- The Holy Scriptures as originally given by God, divinely inspired, infallible, entirely trustworthy and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct;
- The Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit;
- The deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His substitutionary atonement for sin, His bodily resurrection and His personal, visible return to earth to reign in righteousness and glory;
- The Person of the Holy Spirit and His work of conviction, regeneration and sanctification, who indwells every believer equipping them with gifts for service and witness;
- The necessity of new birth, in salvation by faith in Jesus Christ alone and the importance of a life fully committed to the will of God in Christ; and
- The church as the one universal body of Christ who is the Head, called to be God’s redeemed people.
Grand Oaks is owned and operated by eight Associations of north and north central Missouri Southern Baptists. In matters of faith and practice we affirm the Southern Baptist Convention Statement of Faith known as the Baptist Faith and Message. Click Here to download a copy.
About us and our history “…for the most good to the Baptists of north Missouri” was the stated reason for the purchase of a property known as Campbell’s Country Club. It was 1946 and just ten years past the great depression. World War II had just ended and the Country Club, which once had grand plans, had fallen on hard times. The previous summer a group of local church ladies and pastors had requested permission to conduct a week of summer camp on the property and that experience led to a vision of grand plans of a different sort for the site. The property was offered for sale and a group of Baptist leaders from all over north Missouri came together and secured the funds to purchase approximately 57 acres for $7000. They formed the “North Missouri Baptist Assembly” and held the first week long missions conference the following summer.
Improvements were quickly undertaken along with the hiring of a caretaker and soon the project took on a focus of serving youth and children. Now for more about us, within just a few years the name of the facility was changed to “Grand Oaks Baptist Assembly”—a nod to the great number of old oak trees on the property which borders the Thompson River, a part of the Grand River basin. At the time of purchase, the property had several cabins scattered about as well as The Lodge, a building that served as a meeting hall for the country club. The Lodge was constructed in 1928 using logs salvaged from various cabins and buildings up the river. Today the Lodge still serves as a rustic meeting space and has been undergoing a loving restoration.
Four distinct “building booms” have been undertaken over the years. In the 1950’s surplus army barrack kits as well as material from no longer needed veterans housing were used to construct Parker Hall, Pierce Hall and King-Hurst Hall. Pierce is still in use. In the late 1960’s a series of block cabins were constructed to vastly improve the sleeping facilities of the camp. Today those block buildings are known as the Riverview Cabins and Hilltop Cabins. The Nurse’s building is also from this era and has been recently remodeled.
As always, time marched on taking its toll and around 1983 the leaders of the camp came to the conclusion that they needed to “either fix the place up or shut it down!” This ultimatum led to a large capital improvement campaign known as “Together We Build” and resulted in the construction of a concrete pad for basketball and volleyball, a large swimming pool and a new Chapel. The success of the campaign left enough funds to undertake the construction of the Retreat Center—a self contained conference facility for groups of up to 54 persons—to replace the aging King-Hurst building. In the late 1990’s another Capital Campaign called “Building for Tomorrow, Today” produced a new Dining Hall, Staff Cabins and improvements to our recreational offerings, particularly in the pool.
We continue to make improvements and upgrades as the Lord guides and provides. Our current capital improvement campaign is known as “Strong Roots New Branches (SRNB)” and was started in 2013 to replace our aging pool and build a new multi-purpose building. We have been blessed to raise funds to complete the replacement of the pool and in 2014 the new pool opened for the summer season. We are now focusing on raising capitol for the multi-purpose building. For more information on how to get involved or our progress in the SRNB campaign select the Get Involved button.
Grand Oaks continues the vision of serving youth and children. The purpose as stated in our Constitution is “…to win the lost, disciple the saved, and train persons in Christian service.” The philosophy of the Board in decision making concerning improvements and policy is to first serve our core group, but if in doing so, others may be served also, then so be it. Consequently, Grand Oaks remains primarily a summer camp serving youth and children. However we also are available to other groups when available as long as the group is not in opposition to our beliefs as a Christian organization. Each year several family reunions are held here as well as special events and retreats for various denominations. Those events range from outdoor campcraft training to summer camps.
Thousands of young people have attended camps at Grand Oaks and year after year approximately 10% of those attending profess faith in Christ or make other life changing decisions. God has truly blessed the vision of those early pioneers and has certainly honored the many gifts and hours of labor given to make Grand Oaks what it is today. We hope to see you at camp someday!
About Us: Brad Fields, wife Erin and son Judah moved on campus and joined our team in May of 2016. Joining the Fields family on January 26th, 2017 was Manaen Donald Fields. Brad spent the ensuing months learning the camp operation in anticipation of transitioning to camp manager. In addition to learning the Grand Oaks “physical plant” operation, his business and computer skills have served well and he is now handling the billing and record keeping as well as helping guide a website renewal. Brad has a military background having served 4 ½ years in the active duty Air Force following high school. Initially he maintained B-1B aircraft. Following active duty he settled in Wichita and continued serving in the active reserves for 15 ½ years. He is trained in weapons safety instruction and also has led event security operations. After several years of employment at Boeing Aircraft his job moved to other locations, but he didn’t! Using the education benefits previously earned, he returned to school at Butler Community College earning an associate degree in Criminal Justice and another in Applied Science. He then earned his degree in Business Administration from Friends University. He has also worked toward a master’s degree in Business at Friends. [And, just so you know, Brad does not have a head cold…a serious bike accident as a young teen destroyed his voice box and he now has a very deep voice.]
About Us: Don & Jolette Boyer have served at Grand Oaks since February of 1986. Until 2016, Jolette took care of all the food planning and ordering as well as many office duties. As Manager, Don oversaw the care, maintenance and daily operation of the campus as well as serving as the guest contact person and public relations representative. Currently, Jolette is assisting in the care of grandsons and advising the food service coordinator in her duties. Don now serves as assistant camp manager in charge of much of the maintenance operation as well as some public relations. The Boyers live off campus about a mile or so up the road. Don & Jolette attended and met at Northeast Missouri [Truman] State University from which Don holds a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. He was pursuing a career in teaching high school Industrial Arts when the Lord called them to serve at Grand Oaks.
About Us: Erin Fields assumed the newly created role of food service coordinator in 2016, working closely with Jolette to learn the process of planning and ordering the tons of food consumed during summer camps. She meets with our volunteer cook staff on the first day of camp and also helps guide the clean up process on the last day. Being the one near the office, Erin takes care of the daily office duties of answering the phone and handling the bills and gifts in the daily mail. Erin has extensive experience in camp ministry having grown up here at Grand Oaks serving as summer maintenance helper and lifeguard. She served two summers on staff at Riverbend Retreat Center in Texas and two years as Assistant Manager at Linden Valley Conference Center in Tennessee. She holds a Business Administration Degree from Belmont University and Master of Business Law from Friends University.