FOUNDED IN 1950
The original burden to start Twin Peaks Bible Camp was placed on the heart of Rev. Cliff Gustafson when he came to Grand Junction in 1945 to begin the work of Calvary Bible Church. After exploring the need and the possibilities of a youth camp in the area, the first camp was held in 1946 using the Methodist camp grounds at Baron Lake. The second and third years a dude ranch called Lucky GJ Ranch near Gypsum, CO, was used with good success. The camp moved into the town of Mesa for the following year using the public school house. Some of the speakers for the early camps included Dr. M. R. DeHaan, G. Christian Wiess, Sam McCarroll and Phil Ward.
One of the men on the camp board, Dr. G.C. Carey owned a farm north of Grand Junction in the town of Fruitvale. Tents were set up on this property and some of the services were held in Grand Junction at the early stages of the building at Calvary Bible Church. This was quite different from previous years of camp but many souls were saved that year as well.
After this kind of a beginning, steps were taken to seek out the Lord’s will in a more permanent location for camp. Negotiations were begun with the Carpenters who owned the property along Big Creek, south of Collbran, CO, where the camp is presently located. Obviously the Lord had set aside this parcel of land because people were not selling land in those day…they were buying. However, there was about 20 acres of land on the other side of Big Creek which was inaccessible to the sheep which were grazing on the land, so the Carpenters finally agreed to sell the property for $500.
A lawyer by the name of Hotchkiss drew up the corporation papers and the name of the camp was THE BIBLE AND MISSIONARY CAMP, the year was 1950. This name was chosen because it was the desire of the founder and the camp board to have two main thrusts in he ministry here. First, to give a strong Bible teaching emphasis which would lead boys and girls, men and women to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as their Savior. Second, this camp was to be a place where everyone who attended would b e challenged to give their lives for foreign missionary service. A key verse in he beginning ministries was Matt. 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and tech all nations, baptizing them in he name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
In the early stages of the development of the property, evening vespers were held out in the open; with benches made from peeled logs set up on the hill and a crude pulpit at the bottom. Looking across the landscape from that place two mountain peaks stood out. It was suggested that these two peaks represented the two goals of camp – the one, the Bible, and the other, the missionary emphasis. And so the camp was then called Twin Peaks Bible and Missionary Camp. In 1979 the name was shortened to Twin Peaks Bible Camp, which it is called this day, yet continuing to maintain the goals of the preaching of the Bible and missionary emphasis.
The men on the first camp board consisted of John Mannel, Verle Underhill, Jim Anderson, Karl Van Ehrencrook, L.E. Van Dam and Cliff Gustafson. Cliff Gustafson was the director of the camp for the first ten years and then L. E. Van Dam for about 22 year. The camp had different directors for 5 years and then called Cal Sheppard by a unanimous vote in 1983 and he was the director for 25 years. Twin Peaks Bible Camp was the first camp to become a member of the national organization of the IFCA (Independent Fundamental Churches of America) in 1947 and has remained a member until this day.
Prior to the arrival of Cal and Jan Sheppard in 1983, the facilities were used for approximately two to three weeks a year. Since that time, the usage of camp has increased to being used year around. As the usage increased, so did the property as an adjacent 20 acres was purchased in 1989 for a total of 40 acres.
In December 1996, the staff of Twin Peaks increased as the camp board accepted Aaron and Karin Thomas with a unanimous vote to the position of assistant director. In 2008, the camp completed a three year transition of the directorship from Cal to Aaron in which position he serves in to date.
All of the present buildings including the chapel, dining hall, dormitories, and privately built cabins have come from gifts of money and labor by people who love Lord and agree with the basic goals and aims of this camping outreach. As new ideas and new people become involved it will always be the aim and desire of the Board of Directors that the two main emphasis of the Bible and Missionary challenge be maintained.
Today, Twin Peaks Bible Camp continues to focus on the preaching of the Bible and the emphasis of missions as they strive to assist the local church. Twin Peaks is currently running four weeks of youth camps in the month of July, a family camp and men’s and women’s retreats, a youth winter retreat in December, and other activities throughout the winter months. Throughout the rest of the year, camp is rented out to churches and para-church ministries of like faith for four to six weeks in the summer and several weekend retreats through out the rest of the year. The desire is that all that is done will be to the glory of God.