In 1923 Dr. Shoemaker, a medical doctor and member of Vaughan Baptist Church, led the Hill Baptist Association to buy the initial tract of land and begin clearing the land. Volunteers worked tirelessly to build the first tabernacle in 1923. Mrs. Mary Crow, a Hill County Baptist, wrote of the first meeting: “When we entered the tabernacle, R.D. Riddle and wife from Seminary Hill, Ft. Worth stood and sang, ‘Lord send the old-time power’.”
Due to the expansion and the wider reach of its ministry, the Hill County Baptist Association transferred ownership to the 12 surrounding Baptist associations in 1964.
Under the leadership of Camp Manager Charles Rodgers and enthusiastic support of member churches and associations, 11 dormitories, a new Dining Hall, Hotel and Recreation facility, and a 5-acre lake for boating and canoeing were added during the 1970s.
Today there are facilities for 850 guests, cabins and hotel rooms, modern conference rooms, a 900-seat auditorium, new offices and a welcome center.
Recreation opportunities include high and low ropes courses, two paintball courses, disc golf course, and a swimming pool. The waterfront offers a boating marina, swimming area, water slide and fishing.
Historian Mrs. Walton Smith said, “In the camp’s colorful history, God has called to Himself many pastors, missionaries, music and education directors, teachers and dedicated laymen.”
As Doctor Shoemaker dreamed, Latham Springs continues this mission of being a place of inspiration.