Camp Changes Lives

Serving North Alabama since 1956

Maranatha has hosted summer camps and groups of all ages and sizes since shortly after the initial purchase of 95 acres along the Tennessee River in 1956 for $6,000. 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 in 1983, 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 has opened up 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.

Camp Changes Lives

Full Time Staff

Micah Beard, Executive Director

Micah Beard comes to Camp Maranatha from Palomar Christian Conference Center located on Palomar Mountain, CA. Micah has been in camp ministry since 1996. He attended Sam Houston State University, which is where his relationship with Christ grew and his love for camp began. Micah first started camp ministry at Forest Glen Christian Camp where he served Christ in many roles. After 10 years, he felt God lay on his heart to be a children’s pastor at The Woodlands Church in The Woodlands, TX. As a children’s pastor he shared God’s word, led a ministry team, and helped the church plant satellite churches around the Houston area. After two years at the church, Micah again felt a calling to do camp ministry. He became a director at Carolina Creek Christian Camp in Huntsville, TX. As director he oversaw summer staff for program camps, helped develop and build a new camp facility, directed the year-round retreat program, and served in many other leadership areas. In his most recent role as Executive Director of Palomar Christian Conference Center, Micah oversaw camp operations and led a team of incredible camp ministry servants. He is active in both fundraising and board development. Micah has a passion for God’s word and wants to share God’s love with everyone he meets. He believes that lives are changed through camp. Micah is married to Jana, his wife of 23 years and they have two incredible children, Grace and Benjamin.

Micah Beard, Executive Director
Micah Beard, Executive Director
Ally Wilkes, Assistant Director
Ally Wilkes, Assistant Director

Ally Eaton, Assistant Director

Ally Eaton, former Maranatha Counselor, has been the Assistant Director at Maranatha since January 2023. Ally grew up in Pensacola, FL but moved to the beautiful town of Scottsboro a few years ago and is currently enrolled at Northeast AL Community College studying Wildlife Biology. She has worked as a summer staff member since graduating high school, and has found her time working at camp “life changing and so fruitful for my relationship with Christ”. In her role as Assistant Director, Ally supports the Executive Director, helps support retreats and conferences year-round, and helps develop and implement the amazing summer program. Ally says “I am happy to now be a part of full time staff and to work at a place that is dedicated to serving Him. The Lord has provided me with many great opportunities and Maranatha happens to be one of the most special!”

Get Maranatha right in your inbox

Our monthly-ish newsletter is full of camp updates, news, and excitement all year round!