Camp Bahamas was birthed in the heart of Richard and Andrea Albury during seasons of their life where God was calling them into full time ministry. Growing up in Nassau, Richard could see first hand the need for ministry geared toward reaching the youth of the Bahamas. As a teenager, God grew a passion for youth ministry in Andrea’s heart. As the calling on their life became more clear, they embarked on a journey that would lead them to begin Camp Bahamas Ministries. Andrea pursued Adolescent Psychology at Liberty University while Richard pursued an M.A.R. in Youth Ministry from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, graduating in 1995. During his time at Liberty, Richard immersed himself in the world of Christian camping at Kanakuk Kamp in Branson Missouri under the training of Joe White. He served as a youth intern at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia and, after graduating, as youth pastor at Fellowship Church in Knoxville Tennessee.
Sensing the Lord’s direction, Richard and Andrea left Fellowship in March of 1997 and entered a season of planning, support raising and fine tuning the vision of Camp Bahamas. In June of 1999 they put their belongings on a lobster smack fishing boat at a port in Ft Lauderdale & moved their life to the Bahamas. Residing first in Spanish Wells, they actively searched for a piece of property that would facilitate the needs of a Christian sports camp while becoming engaged in youth ministry and training wherever they could. They also began to host mission teams from the States, providing further opportunities for ministry to Bahamians-Vacation Bible Schools, Community projects, Day Camp for teenagers,etc.
SPANISH WELLS, BAHAMAS
Finally, in the summer of 2003 ,the first week of overnight camp began! Excitement was in the air as those first 35 Bahamian teenagers streamed through the door of Adventurers Resort, a hotel we had rented on Spanish Wells. With a staff of just 6 (including Andrea and Richard), an old truck and a donated van, we managed to shuttle campers to the various basketball courts, volleyball courts, fields and beaches on the 2 mile long island, and provide a week of high energy activities highlighted by challenging discipleship and relevant praise and worship. That inagural week saw campers make spiritual decisions-some getting saved, and all leaving with a renewed commitment to a God that came near to them during their week at Camp. For the next 2 years we saw our camping ministry grow as we held camp on Spanish Wells, renting out the hotel as well as a 50 seat movie theater.
TARPUM BAY, ELEUTHERA
With our growing needs we began seeking out other facilities that would be able to accommodate more campers. On the neighboring island of Eleuthera, on the edge of a little community called Tarpum Bay, we began to rent out Ingrahams Inn. We shifted camp there in the summer of 2006.
God blessed us tremendously in December 2006 with the donation of a 23 acre strip of land running sea to sea in the middle of the Eleuthera! As mission teams would come down, we began the tendious and backbreaking work of transforming a dense tropical landscape by clearing out a road, a beachfront and a place to begin cabin construction. We have seen a beachfront developed, cabins constructed, power lines strung, paintball field built, zip line built, a 7,000 sq ft Gymnatorium, an enormous sports field and quite a few other additions. In March of 2011, we were able to house one of our mission teams on the camp site for the first time! We used 1 cabin for meals and meetings and the other five were outfitted for sleeping with 4 triple bunks a piece. Since then we built 2 double cabins, one serving as our temporary dining facility. In 2013 we fully held the camping season on the camp property. What a blessing to see this dream fulfilled. God is good!
Currently in construction is a 2 story building which will serve as the Permanent Kitchen & Dining facility on the top floor overlooking the gourgeous turquoise waters & Administrative Offices, Laundry facilities and Storage on the bottom floor. Future plans inlcude an Olympic sized Pool, Staff Housing, Floating Docks, a Breakwater to protect our boats and wave runners, & a High & Low Ropes course. As we finish more projects we will be able to not only host Camp in the summer months (May through August) , but will be able to operate as a Conference Center, a host for local and international Sporting Events, provide yearly Sports Training Camps, a Christian Retreat facility and a Discipleship school during the off season. This is all in the Lord's hands and we trust Him to provide funding in His timing to see the building phase through to the final nail!