Cooperstown Bible Camp

Feeling the need of reaching the people of this area with a Bible teaching arid evangelism program, the Saron Evangelical Free Church under the leadership of the late Rev. Ludvig R. Lunde, held the first Cooperstown Bible Camp in the summer of 1925 on the camp grounds located on the banks of the Sheyenne River, five miles south and three and one half miles east of Cooperstown. Open air meetings were held with the use of a gospel truck until a large tent was secured for the services. The tent was used until 1929. In that year a tabernacle was built on the camp grounds seating about five hundred people. Through the years a number of cabins, two dormitories, dining hall and refreshment stand have been built.

The first speakers at the Bible Camp were Rev. Gustav F. Johnson and Evangelist E. M. Anderson. Since its beginning, the Bible Camp has been privileged to have many nationally known Bible teachers and evangelists as their speakers, such as: Dr. H. A. Ironside, Dr. Alex H. Stewart, B. B. Sutcliffe, C. T. Dryness, Henry Ostrom, Oscar Lowry, Vance Havner, Walter L. Wilson, Paul Rood, William L. Pettingill, R. L. Moyer, T. J. Bach, L. E. Maxwell, William McCarrell, C. Raymond Ludvigson, and R. E. LeTourneau. Some of the well known song leaders have been Joseph and Gilbert Otteson, Wesley Nehf, Kim and Nyland, Harvester Duo and Arnold T. Olson, who is now president of the Evangelical Free Church of America.

Since 1940 the Bible Camp has given full support to Mrs. Frank Wallin (Thelma Nordquist) formerly of Underwood, North Dakota. Mrs. and Mr. Wallin are missionaries under the Evangelical Alliance Mission in India. The Wallin family have been visitors at the camp on their two furloughs. They are now on their third term as missionaries to India.

In the year of 1955 the Bible Camp was reorganized as the Cooperstown Bible Camp Association and is now is run by a board of eleven members. They are elected by the participating churches of the Evangelical Free Churches of North Dakota and Northwestern Minnesota.

The Bible Camp is operated on an interdenominational basis and aims to carry on a program of Bible teaching and evangelism that the pioneer forefathers began implicit faith in an Almighty God for this life and the life hereafter, that all may live in the unity of the Spirit.

(by Clarence Haaland, Fargo, North Dakota)

Source:  Cooperstown Diamond Jubilee 1882-1957 Page 29

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