1936

Dr. Henry Savage, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Pontiac, Michigan arranged to use the conference grounds for a four-week camp of 500 boys. Karl Steele, chalk artist, joined him.

1936
1937

Dr. Savage signed a five-year lease on the property and later raised funds from other ministries to purchase the property.

1937
1938

An entire summer of programming was scheduled by Dr. Savage and the property was named Maranatha Bible Conference. Howard Skinner was named Summer Manager. He and his wife Ada were both soloists and keyboard artists and managed the property until 1974. Karl Steele was part of the ministry for over forty years. His chalk art presentations were a highlight several nights per week during the evening services.

1938
1940

Amy Lee Stockton joined the ministry as an evangelist, Bible teacher and counselor. Rita Gould served as the conference hostess and director of children’s ministry.

1940
1946

J. Stratton Shufelt, better known as “Strat,” built his cottage. He served in many areas, including guest musician, on a volunteer basis.
In the 1960s, Strat became Howard Skinner’s assistant and served as director of activities and as a musician for several years.

1946
1951

Billy Graham was a featured speaker from mid 1940’s to 1951. He returned as a nationally known evangelist and spoke to a crowd of 8,000 seated in the Tabernacle and surrounding lawn.

1951
1956

Several rental cottages and the first privately owned cottages on leased land were built. The original Lebanon Lodge known as the “Rec Hall” (Recreation Hall) was also built.

1956
1961

The number of board members went from six to over twenty. Opportunity to become a shareholder was offered which led Maranatha into a membership organization. Additional trailer park was established.

1961
1962

Special programming weeks were started. Partnering with ministries such as: Gospel Films Ministries, Youth for Christ, World Vision and United World Mission. Saturdays concerts became a highlight and features many guest musicians and then concluded with chalk art from Karl Steele accompanied by the music of the Skinners.

1962
1963

Dr. Savage retired.

1963
1969

The Savage Memorial Prayer Tower was dedicated.

1969
1973

Howard Skinner retired.

1973
1974

Tedd Bryson became Executive Director until 1987. Strat Shufelt joined the summer staff to work with music, adult programming and was the conference host. He also started the Maranatha Penny Fair – a highlight at the end of the week, and it continues to this day.

1974
1976

The Lodge was built.

1976
1980

The Duneside Apartments were built and “The Skinner Room” was established for morning meetings.

1980
1983

Don Aldrich Memorial Golf Outing was initiated. The proceeds are used to help fund projects of Maranatha family missionaries.

1983
1986

The first Lakeside Condominium was built. New accommodations made it possible to establish a tri-season retreat ministry.

1986
1988

Ron Busch became Executive Director until 2000. The Maranatha Musicians were established and had annual concerts. Fall and Spring Senior Retreats, homeschool week and baseball camp were all introduced under Ron’s leadership.

1988
1993

Robert Adams became the Director of Music and he and his wife Pam along with their music team served for many years. Thursday afternoon music recitals were introduced and became a favorite weekly event.

1993
1999

The Family Life Center was built and offered additional meeting space, a gymnasium, the sweet shoppe and the craft room. This added functional space for our summer ministry and made it possible to extend our year-round ministry. Israel and Jordan apartments were built.

1999
2000

Scott Barger was Executive Director until 2005. Sports camp ministry expanded and a partnership was established with Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

2000
2001

A climbing tower and zip line were installed. The Lodge lobby was remodeled to enlarge the space, redecorate and add an elevator.

2001
2005

Terry Agal became Conference Manager.

2005
2006

The new Lebanon Teen Center was built.

2006
2007

Tim Ostrander became President and Terry Agal became Chief Operating Officer. Under their leadership, they brought efficiency and stability to the ministry. Additional improvements were made to the Lodge, Duneside and the Tabernacle.

2007
2009

The Plaza was built in the area between Lodge and Duneside.

2009
2010

The old ball field was transformed into a lovely grass area to be used as an all sports field and overflow parking when needed.

2010
2011

Five additional rental cottages were acquired and remodeled.

2011
2012

Tim and Terry both retired. Mark Sumney became Executive Director until 2015.

2012
2013

Ecuador was reconstructed into a duplex.

2013
2015

Gary Feenstra became Executive Director and currently holds that position.

2015
2016

The Lodge was completely remodeled.

2016