Report of the
Pinebrook Bible Conference
A wise man once wrote:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV)
Of course that ‘wise man’ was Solomon, and what he wrote is a part of God’s Word. It reminds us of the ebb and flow of life, and the fact that change is a necessary fact of life. The BFC has maintained Pinebrook Bible Conference since 1968 and is committed to continuing a family camp/conference ministry into the future. During 2011 some things stayed the same, and some things changed. The year began with several weeks of the BFC Board of Youth & Young Adults conducting ‘Sno-Glo’ as almost 1,000 teens were challenged to make their lives count for Jesus Christ. Throughout the winter months, retreat groups from the BFC churches and other churches were cared for, catered to, and as a result, many lives were changed to the glory of God. In the spring, Pinebrook hosted the BFC Conference, as well as a Ladies ‘Refresh Her,’ among other retreat groups. During the summer months, a children’s day camp was inaugurated to provide a Christian environment for children who lived in the local community. The Summer Bible Conference program included exceptional music and special speakers, such as: Dr. George Murray, Dr. Ron Blue; Dr. Stanley Toussaint; Rev. David Epstein; Dr. Andy Giessman; Dr. Donald Hubbard & Rev. John Goadstone; Dr. Wendell Calder & Dr. Todd Magnum. In the fall, the Senior Saints Retreat was led by speakers Lynn Warner & Brooke Solberg. To some, 2011 appeared to be the same old thing, but to others, it was all brand new. So what changed? The ministry of Pinebrook was continuing, but the financing necessary to maintain Pinebrook was not as forthcoming as it had been in the past. Higher expenses + less revenues = a problem to be solved!
In the spring, the BFC Executive Board presented to both the Pinebrook Board and the BFC Conference several areas that needed change at Pinebrook. Since there was not total agreement on some of the items, the Pinebrook Board asked the BFC Executive Board to reconsider some of those changes. They agreed. What those changes would entail was a question that was not resolved until a joint meeting of the Pinebrook Board and BFC Executive Board in September. At that meeting it was decided that in order to raise cash, the Crawford property would need to be sold, and there would need to be some personnel changes. The lack of retreat groups in November and December required an infusion of cash that was provided by the sale of the Crawford property. In November, the BFC Executive Board decided to replace the Director with a person who had different skills and abilities. The Pinebrook Board thanks Daniel P. Allen for his many years of service to Pinebrook both as a member of the Pinebrook Board and as Director. In December, the BFC Executive Board appointed Nate Brosius to be the Interim Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference.
The Pinebrook Board thanks the many staff members who assisted Pinebrook throughout 2011: Matt Allen (Director of Food Services), Vonnie Allen (Dining Hall Manager), Jeremy Beichler (Director of Grounds & Facilities), Heather Devenezia (Registrar), Nate Heater (Maintenance), Jeremy Kellerman (Grounds, Life Guard, Paintball), Ann Lee (Bookstore & Office), Steve Rau (Director of Programming & Conference Host), Mike Stettler (Marketing Consultant), John Vandegriff (Director of Development & Marketing, Assistant to Director), Ruthie Vandegriff (Accounting). Although not on ‘staff,’ the Pinebrook Board also thanks the Ruch family who continue to supply plants and flowers from the Didden Greenhouses in Hatfield, PA, and especially Nell Ruch for her work in the Children’s Garden and flower beds.
Many volunteers have come to help Pinebrook minister to retreat groups. The RWR (Retreat Within a Retreat) folks come for a weekend to serve others and still receive a spiritual blessing in their service. Pinebrook could not function without their loving service.
Change happens, and when it does, it makes life different. Without change, we would all continue to age until we come to our human end. At 79 years old, Pinebrook is showing its age. With change, however, there is hope for a bright future. Pinebrook is going through a period of change, and yet the change should enable Pinebrook to continue to be a ministry to and of the BFC for many years to come. If you want to see the changes being made, check out the website (www.pbc.org) for information concerning ministry opportunities, retreat possibilities, and the BFC Summer Family Bible Conference.
The Pinebrook Board continues to give leadership, counsel, advice, and service to Pinebrook Bible Conference. They are still working through the new paradigm of BFC leadership and recognize that change will provide a new perspective and create a new future for Pinebrook. One thing that should not change is your support of Pinebrook through your prayers, assistance, and financial investment.
Department – Pinebrook Bible Conference Board:, Alva C. Cassel, Chairman; Charles Cole, Vice
Chairman; Charles Bomgardner, Secretary; Carl Ackerman, Jonathon W. Arnold, Sr., Wayne Chadwell, Brian H. Cooper, LeRoy O. Herb, Gary Karch, Gerald Schlonecker, Hans R. Waldvogel, Robert Zentz. Kermit K. Gehman, Honorary Member.