Paul Emerson, Interim Executive Director
Paul Emerson accepted the role of Interim Executive Director at Camp Maranatha in March of 2022. His roots at camp run deep beginning as a child attending family camps and work weekends with Trinity Presbyterian Church in Huntsville. As a teen, Paul accepted Christ as his personal savior during a high school retreat and he became an “owner” through Muscles in Mission camp each summer. During his college years, Paul worked as maintenance assistant and summer counselor where he was able to share his passion for the Lord and the outdoors with the youth of North Alabama. In the summer of 1987, Paul met Kimberly, his best friend and now wife of 31 years. Paul took a detour away from camp earning his BS (1991) and MS (1992) degrees in Electrical Engineering at Georgia Tech which led to a rewarding ~30 year career in the electronics industry where he engaged in circuit design and is the inventor / co-inventor of 13 patents, managing global business teams, and leading cutting edge research culminating in early retirement from Texas Instruments in December of 2020. Since retiring, Paul has become a part time electronics instructor at KTECH which is the workforce development arm of Kids2Love foundation.
Paul re-engaged in Camp Maranatha when the camp was shuttered in 2016. He became a supporter, champion and early board member of the newly created 501(c)(3) while still living in Texas. Paul has served as board chairman since 2019 after moving back to North Alabama to support family and be closer to camp.
Paul has a lifelong passion for the outdoors and for serving others. He is an Eagle scout and has been a boy scout leader for over 10 years with a special focus on teaching outdoor skills and leading high adventure treks. Paul enjoys all things outdoors including cycling, hiking, backpacking, and paddling.
Paul and Kimberly have three children. Kimberly is a Licensed Practical Nurse and homemaker. Kathryn (22) is a former camp counselor (Scout), a graduating senior at Texas A&M university and lives in College Station, TX with her husband Nathan who has a BS in Statistics and currently serves as a ministry fellow at Grace Bible Church. Joseph (20) is a returning camp counselor (Slinky) and is a rising Junior at Samford University. James (16) is a returning CIT at camp and is a rising Junior at Bob Jones High School. The Emersons are involved members of Restoration Foursquare Church in Madison, AL where they are called to help build God’s Kingdom while actively living out racial reconciliation.
JoBeth Watts, Assistant Director
Hey there, my name is JoBeth! I am from Gadsden, AL, and I graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the spring of 2021. All of my college summers were spent on staff at Maranatha, and those two months were always the highlight of my year. I am thrilled to now be a full-time staff member! The Lord has been so gracious to let me work at a place that is dedicated to glorifying Him above all else.
At Maranatha, we live, play, adventure, and learn in the beauty of God’s Creation. This gives us the special chance to share the Good News of Jesus with our campers in a simple, unplugged, distraction- free environment. It is my prayer that through marveling at His majesty in nature (Psalm 8), every person who comes to Camp Maranatha will experience the hope and joy that can only be found in Him.