PINE RIDGE CAMP
In the year of 1922 Rev. Lloyd Carl Pierce was minister of the Lickingville charge and Rev. F. D. Ellenburger was the District Superintendent. That was back in the horse and buggy days.
Rev. Ellenburger would come by train to Leeper to be met by Rev. Pierce with the horse and buggy and stayed a week at the parsonage and leave the next Saturday to go to another ministerís charge.
As they would travel over the dirt road between Tylersburg and Lickingville, Rev. Ellenburger would often remark what a lovely place for a Bible Conference camp grounds and on one trip he insisted on tying the horse to a tree and they went to where the tabernacle now stands and knelt down and prayed that God would one day bring it to pass that it would become a Bible Conference grounds.
As time went on Rev. Ellenburger passed away and Rev. Pierce went back to Ohio, his home state, due to a throat infection. But he loved to hunt big game and one day decided heíd come to Lickingville and buy a camp site, but he didn't find one. But a friend of his, Earl Everhart, made him promise as he went through Oil City he would stop and see a lady who had land to sell. So he did and bought what is now the Pine Ridge Camp grounds.
He put up a small cabin and then remembered the vision that he and Rev. Ellenburger had many years before. So with the help of his family and friends they cleared the grounds and built a small platform and the first meeting was held August 20, 1939 with the people sitting outdoors on plank benches.
The people came and heard the gospel and many have been saved over the years and many young people have gone into Christian service.
Every year more work was done until now the tabernacle is very comfortable. Much time and money from Rev. Pierce and his family went into the Lordís work at Pine Ridge.
On July 7,1965, Rev. Pierce laid down the work, other hands must carry it on if it is carried on.
Rev. Pierce was not disobedient to the Heavenly Vision.
The camp ground stood unused for a few years, although offers were made to purchase it for a skating rink and a dance hall. Mrs. Pierce felt she wanted it to continue for religious purposes.
Rev. Mike Chapman used Pine Ridge for several Youth Rallies of the Pittsburgh District of the Pilgrim Holiness Church, thus making our acquaintance with the camp ground and its owner. Rev. Andrew Slozat became interested in the property and began praying about it as he kept his eye on it. While Rev. Orrin Fay was conducting a revival in the Franklin, Pa. P. H. church, Rev. Slozat took him to see the camp. They had prayer in the tabernacle and felt the encouragement that God wanted us to have it. He also took Rev. Lancaster, from Illinois, to see Pine Ridge while he was in a revival in Franklin. While praying in the car the Lord seemed to witness again that we were to have this camp. Rev. Slozat also took Rev. G. I. Norman to see it who said he felt Godís presence in the midst of the trees as they prayed there.
Rev. Slozat and his relatives and friends gave money for a down payment. When this offer was made to Mrs. Pierce she accepted it. The camp was purchased in June 1967. A few days later some Methodist preachers came to Mrs. Pierce with the money to buy the camp. The first camp was held in August 1967.
There was a tabernacle with rooms above it and two rest rooms, a three room cottage, a book room, and a pump house. Meals were prepared and served in a community kitchen above the tabernacle. Later, meals were prepared in the kitchen of the three roomed cottage and served close by in a tent pitched for that purpose. Finally a nice dining hall and kitchen were built, then a two-story dorm with rest rooms and showers. More recently a motel was built for workers. The water well was abandoned and spring water was piped in from behind the caretakersí home. This four-bedroom home is on the end of the camp grounds and was purchased by a donor. Hook-ups for trailers have been added and sidewalks. The camp is debt-free.
The camp has its by-laws, constitution and special rules. Each year a business meeting is held with members of the Pilgrim Holiness Churches of NY, Inc. within the association for the election of officers. A camp board serves the association.
God has so wonderfully blessed and honored each of the thirty years with His presence and many souls have received help. To Him all glory is ascribed.
Over the past 30 years, the Camp Presidents are as follows: 1967 to 1968 ó Rev. Andrew Slozat and Rev. George Shull (Co-Presidents); 1969 to 1979 - Rev. Andrew Slozat continued as President; 1980 to 1982 - Rev. Bobbie Bidwell; 1983 to 1985 - Rev. Andrew Slozat; 1986 to 1991 - Rev. John Case; 1992 to present - Rev. Donald C. Myers.