For many years the focus of OBC was on summer Bible conferences. Large numbers of people gathered to hear popular speakers of their time, such as Evangelist Jack Van Impe, Rev. Brinkley Evans of the Sudan Interior Mission, Dr. Douglas McCorkle President of Philadelphia College of the Bible, Dr. John Whitcomb Jr. of Grace Theological Seminary and many local pastors from all over the North East. Over the years Bible Conferences migrated from camp facilities to more comfortable surroundings like hotels and large churches. The one area that was also growing was youth ministries, and camping became a large and attractive option for teens.
Around 1958/59, Homer Gillis Partin became the first Director of OBC Children’s Camp. Children’s camp ran concurrent with the Bible Conferences for years but in time it was obvious that God was directing OBC’s mission towards retreats and youth camping. Not only did it become the mission to reach youth through camping but it also offered leadership opportunities to serve as counselors, counselors in training, and other positions of service.
Over the years, thousands of children have attended the camp and have been impacted by the message of Jesus. From the 1960’s and to the present OBC has witnessed many campers make decisions for Christ and dedicate their lives to God’s will in their Christian walk. Many have gone to the mission field, become pastors, or sacrificially worked in their local churches.
OBC remains committed to carrying on the core mission of reaching youth.
Building Expansions & Grounds Improvements
Many expansions and improvements have been made over the years, including: moving the horse barn across the road to be used as a girl’s dorm, erecting a cinder block building becoming the East Dorm, moving the old Breisch cottage to the corner of Lakeview Rd. and Bluff Road to become the Camp Store, building a second cinder block building on the bluff in 1974, known as the Youth Center, and later, winterizing the cinder block buildings and adding bathrooms.
Until 1966 the water was pumped from the lake into a large metal water tower and was delivered by gravity to the kitchen, central restrooms and spickets around the grounds. Around 1973 they drilled a well and laid 1500 feet of new piping to various buildings.
Other changes that took place include the boys dormitory being converted to the Craft Shop and the wet land and creek between the main conference and the bluff were dredged out making the current lagoon.
The Dining Hall also took on several changes including moving the kitchen from the current lounge to an addition on the back side of the building. The lounge was enlarged and the restrooms were installed.
In 2005 OBC purchased a double wide and single wide unit and moved them to site of the old Osborne Lodge (the original farmhouse). The double wide, which was initially a meeting facility and office room, has since been transform into the Oasis Dormitory (2019). The office has since been moved to the single wide (2019).
In 2010 Dave Proietti began to clear out paths in the woods on the far side of the creek. Over time the walking/biking trails were carved out, making for a great addition to the children’s camp program.
In 2013 the Memorial Fellowship Hall was built. This addition not only placed bathrooms near the pool, but provided easy access to drinking water with the kitchenette. The main space became a beautiful meeting center and is used for camp registration, retreats, rentals and many other purposes.
At the heart of the OBC grounds stands the tabernacle. Over the years the Tabernacle has endured many repairs, mainly due to falling trees. The old saw dust floor was replaced with Tarvia floor, and electricity was added. More plans to repair and upgrade the Tabernacle are in motion (2020).
Into the Future
After 60 years of children’s camp and approaching 100 years as an organization, OBC looks to the future! We believe the God of yesterday is the same God today and forever. Like those before us, we resolve to seek the Lord for guidance and to praise Him for His Sovereignty and blessings.
OBC aims to maximize the use of the grounds by expanding its ministries and growing the children’s camp program. Through the generous support of people like you, the dedicated labor of many hands, and the providence of God Himself, OBC continues on. We are devoted to being good stewards of all incoming funds, caring for the grounds and buildings God has given us, making wise and godly decisions that will impact the future, and preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
OBC remains a place that God owns, Jesus walks, and the Holy Spirit uses to stir the hearts of individuals. All glory to His name!