Yellow Creek Lake Campground Celebrates 125 Years
By Julie Campbell
If you scroll back through your childhood memories of summer, chances are you will recall spending time at camp meeting or church camp. Not many church campgrounds can say they’ve been around before 1900, but Yellow Creek Lake Campground (YCL), in northern Indiana, can. The campground is celebrating its quasquicentennial—125th anniversary—this year.
In 1897, the campground was founded in Claypool, Indiana, as a gathering place for the Church of God. It is about a mile from the original camp meeting where D. S. Warner contributed to the start the Church of God movement.
“YCL is a special place and continues to be a place of serenity and reflection. I started going to camp in 1976 when my grandfather, Verle E. Fridley, Sr., was a Church of God pastor in Mishawaka,” said Scott Fridley, chairman of the board for YCL Ministries. “It not only changed my life, but continues to be a place where I feel God’s presence.”
Scott’s son, Mason Fridley, an Anderson University senior, has been a camper at YCL Camp since he was 8 years old. “When I was 12, I had my first interaction with the Holy Spirit at camp, and that experience completely changed my life,” recalled Mason. “I’ve dedicated my whole life to Jesus, and I thank YCL for providing space for that to happen.”
To celebrate its 125th anniversary, the camp is hosting a four-day long camp meeting, filled with special speakers, concerts, and events, from Thursday, July 27, to Sunday, July 30. Wes Hampton (of Gaither Vocal Band fame), who will also be the weekend worship leader, will present a concert on Thursday, July 27, and Sidewalk Prophets (with origins on the campus of Anderson University) will perform on Saturday, July 29. Both concerts will start at 7 PM.
Special speakers include Kerry Robinson, lead pastor of East Side Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) on Friday; Amanda Daniel, lead pastor of The Foundry (Columbia City, Indiana) on Saturday; and Josh Deeter, lead pastor of Catalyst Church (Pendleton, Indiana) on Sunday.
Looking forward to the next 125 years, YCL and its leadership have big plans. “We are hoping to expand our reach throughout the church as a place to come relax and enjoy the great space God has provided for us,” said Scott.
As always, Scott notes, there are upgrades that are necessary to keep the campground moving forward. “We are always looking for people or groups who want to come help with projects or make a donation to help the ministry. We are a fully volunteer campground and always love to have more help.”
Some current projects include:
- Children’s Play Area: A brand-new kids’ area was donated by Warsaw Church of God and the leadership of retired Pastor Jerry Yoder.
- Campground Roofs: “We have been needing to replace multiple roofs on our buildings. We are trying to schedule a couple of those as money is being raised,” said Scott.
- Cafeteria: The cafeteria has aged and needs many upgrades. “We have just replaced the grill top oven getting ready for the summer season and will be painting the room. The flooring needs to be replaced as the carpet in there may be as old as I am,” Scott joked. “We are working on putting in bathrooms in the cafeteria to accommodate all ages for convenience and location. We are still in need of waterproof planking to replace the carpet. We are hoping to get these completed in the coming months.”
- Auditorium: The camp staff is working on upgrading the sound equipment, staging, and insulation.
- Multi-Purpose Building: The main office is located in this building. If funds are available, plans are to replace the building’s drop ceiling and find a way to better insulate the space.
For more information on the YCL 125th Anniversary Celebration, other events, or to volunteer, visit www.yclministries.org or call the camp office at 574-491-3075.
Julie Campbell is an editor at Warner Christian Resources (formerly Warner Press) and a freelance journalist. A former city girl from Chicago, she enjoys country life with her husband, Russ, on a five-acre apple orchard in Madison County, Indiana. She is a blessed mom of three wonderful young adult children and one very spoiled red Doberman puppy.
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.