Maranatha has hosted summer camp and groups of all ages and sizes since shortly after the initial purchase of 98 acres along the Tennessee River over 50 years ago. Maranatha’s founders, members of the North Alabama Presbytery, created it as a ministry to serve the greater church and provide an affordable camp facility for youth and families in the region to allow them to connect with God in his creation.
Building on those early foundations, Maranatha ultimately expanded to 118 acres, constructed new facilities, and enhanced access to the lake with the construction of a sea wall and dock. As our alumni base grew, and camper numbers increased as campers shared their experiences with friends and neighbors, Maranatha expanded its vision as well, becoming a favorite refuge to people of all walks, economic situations, and cultures as a means to enjoy nature and use it to deepen their relationship with God. Maintaining our relationship with the North Alabama Presbytery provided the financial resources to grow to our current 4 climate controlled cabins (18 bed / 2 bath), 6 climate controlled hogans (3 bunks / bath house), Summer Lodge, Winter Lodge, and outdoor Pavillion, as well as a large kitchen and Dining Hall/Event Space.
During those years, Maranatha also became more than just a summer camp. With many family-oriented groups using the space for retreats including “campers” of all ages, Maranatha has long been a spiritual haven for adults as well. With the construction of our Lakeside Conference Center in 2002, which features 16 hotel-style rooms with en-suite bathrooms, a 1600 ft2 reconfigurable conference room, sitting area, and kitchen.
In Spring 2016, to enable each to better pursue their ministry, Maranatha was separated from the North Alabama Presbytery to operate as a stand-alone 501(c)3 Non Profit Organization. This opportunity opens up new doors for Maranatha as it continues to draw from its deep historical roots and network of alumni to create new experiences in nature that allow campers to connect to God and be transformed for his purpose.