The Founder's Heart
Phil Tubbs became the pastor of Eden Valley Baptist Church in Farson, Wyoming. While ministering there, he traveled the area and met neighboring pastors at churches in Wyoming, Idaho and Utah. Several of those pastors took their young people to a rented camp in the area but desired to have a camp of their own, so they asked Phil to pray about that need. (Pastor Bill Springstead, Pastor John Lovegrove, Pastor Ed Bonne, Pastor Ron Van Hee, and Pastor Wally Higgins are some of the men.)
October 4, 1973
Phil wrote in his resignation letter to Eden Valley Baptist Church the following:
"Seeing the need of a Bible camping program in the Wyoming area, and given the opportunity of beginning such a work in the Pinedale area; after much prayer, we feel that God is calling us to build a camp. Knowing that this is the will of God for us, we are therefore resigning as pastor of Eden Valley Baptist Church."
Phil moved with his wife, Lois, and daughters, Cherylynn and Dorothy, to Pinedale, Wyoming. One of the first brochures Phil sent out about the camp was called "The First String." The brochure asked for people to be praying for a team dedicated to building the Main Lodge for Bible Camping, Inc., a home missions project on behalf of the numerous small Bible-preaching churches in western Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah.
In The First String brochure, he went on to write,
"Generally… camping is one of the strongest ‘arms’ of the local church. Believing that it is, a local Christian businessman in Pinedale, Wyoming, deeded acreage as a gift inside the Bridger National Forest for the building of a camp. Bible Camping, Inc. is entrusted with that responsibility. Personally… I’ve seen the value of camping during my own teen years and also as I was in the pastorate. As the director of Bible Camping, my wife and I are dedicated to building this camp…"
Phil chose II Chronicles 16:9a as the camp verse: "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him." Phil’s desire was to serve his Lord with a perfect heart, reflected by his life verse: "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21). Though Phil knew we do not live a sinless life here on earth, he wanted to keep bringing his heart to God in submission to the Holy Spirit’s working in his life; so that the Lord would see Phil’s heart and show Himself strong in the behalf of the camping ministry.
– Information shared by Lois Tubbs Parke, wife of the founder