Published June 21, 2007
CLAYTON — As surely as the swallows return to Capistrano each year, GAs are flocking to Camp Pinnacle for a summer of outdoor recreation, Bible study, and missions education. But this year, for the first time in nearly a decade, there will be a new face to greet them in the role of camp administrator.
Former career missionary to Brazil Stu Butler and his family are welcoming campers for the first season since longtime administrator Joe Moss retired last year. Butler assumed his leadership at the helm of Camp Pinnacle on Sept. 15.
Missions is everything to Butler, who first felt the call to fulltime service during a summer at a Baptist camp in North Carolina in 1983. That surrender led to three terms as a Southern Baptist missionary to Brazil, first as a journeyman where he met his future wife, Liz, who was the daughter of missionaries in the country. The couple now have two daughters, Maddy, age 11, and Julianna, age 14.
“My summer camp experiences were key events in my life setting me on the path to missions service,” Butler says from under a shade tree at the camp. “That’s the kind of experience we are praying for the girls who come to Camp Pinnacle every summer.”
Butler said because campers get to meet missionaries in person, they get to see, feel, and experience missions first-hand. That gives them the opportunity to realize that missions is not foreign at all.
Missions is ‘on God’s heart’
“It’s on God’s heart and it can get on their heart while they are still young. We want them to be challenged to become involved in ministry as soon as possible, whether it’s where they are at this point in their life or as soon as they graduate from college,” said Butler.
“We don’t want the girls to think missions is only something they can be involved in when they become adults. We don’t want them to wait until they are burdened with mortgages and debt when it becomes more difficult to surrender to career service,” he adds.
Another benefit to a week at summer camp is for an opportunity for the girls to observe godly staff who model a Christian lifestyle in thought and deed. In addition, they learn Bible verses and scripture songs that will remain in their hearts for the rest of their lives, he adds.
Butler said the existing cabins, which are being replaced as part of a massive campus upgrade, have been spruced up with fresh paint, linens, curtains, and a deep cleaning to provide a quality experience.
Construction on the Joe Moss Wellness Center, which includes the camp’s first clinic, has been suspended for the summer months due to the influx of campers. The building is already “under roof” and locked up and is ready for interior construction.
Parents who deliver their children to camp this summer will also notice another enhancement to the campus. A secondary gravel road has been opened on the north side of Camp Pinnacle from Pinnacle Drive.
Vehicles will enter the campus as before but drivers will be encouraged to use the new route as an exit to ease congestion on the narrow paved entrance road. The road will be locked at Pinnacle Drive to provide security and to prevent from it being used as an entrance.
Campers desiring to attend a week at the North Georgia facility can contact Karen Pace at Georgia Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union and Women’s Ministry at (770) 455-0404 or toll free at (800) RING-GBC (746-4422). The last week for camp will be July 16-20.
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