As is recorded in a Baptist seminary church history textbook from 1936 (A Centennial History of Texas Baptists, Broadman Press, 1936), “It seems well established by the facts that the first fruition of the youth encampment idea came in west Texas; for on July 12-14, 1898, the BYPU (Baptist Young People’s Union) of Haskell, Albany, Anson, and Abilene met in a beautiful pecan grove on the Clear Fork for a season of physical and spiritual refreshing. During the days of this first meeting, it was voted to effect a permanent organization under the name of West Texas Baptist Union.” Later the name would change to Lueders Baptist Encampment, and in 1973 would again change to Big Country Baptist Assembly.
Many believe that BCBA is the oldest continuing Christian Youth Camp in the world. Some have speculated that the very phrase “Youth Camp” may have been coined here while the BYPU was promoting those earliest camps.
BCBA is not just the oldest Christian Youth Camp in the world. This growth from 6,000 to 17,000 campers a year ranks BCBA among the fastest growing camps in the world as well.
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