Brief history of Galilee Bible Camp
1949 - 1953
In 1949 Levin Vagle offered land for a camp site and the offer was accepted. Later, in 1950 the committee comprised of pastors and lay persons set a goal of $4000.00 before construction could begin. On May 19, 1952 a meeting was called to gather contributions. At this meeting, the articles of incorporation were approved. On June 8, 1953 these articles of incorporation were signed. Levin Vagle was known as “Mr. Bible Camp.”
The dining hall was the first building constructed. The cornerstone was laid on August 31, 1953. Pastor Ernest Raaum of the Newfolden parish laid the cornerstone. There was a need for a place for the workers to eat but more important a place to worship the Lord and pray. Many workers from district congregations gathered to work at the camp.
During 1954 the boy’s dorm was being built when a serious wind and hail storm damaged the building. The building was rebuilt in the fall of 1954. Camping still took place during 1954. A tent was used for the chapel. The other buildings have been added throughout the years
1956 - 1959
In 1956 the staff cabin and the cook’s cabins were built. The chapel was built in 1957 by a volunteer crew in 9 days. The pews were added by volunteer carpenters in 1958. Also, in 1958 the speaker cabin was built. The camp family dedicated the chapel and the mortgage was burned in 1959.
1975 - 1977
A bath house was built in 1975 and a caretaker’s house was donated. In 1977 individual congregations of the district took on the responsibility maintaining, cleaning and preparing the buildings for each camping season.
Improvements continuously are being made to the camp. Much of the work done in the later years was the winterizing a number of the buildings.
1974 marked the year when the camp was transferred to the district of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations (AFLC). It is owned by the Galilee Bible Camp Corporation. A donation of $25.00 to the camp constitutes membership. All AFLC pastors are members of the corporation without the $25.00 donation. The corporation board consists of 12 members elected from membership of the Northwest Minnesota District of the AFLC.
The theme verse for the camp is from I John 5:4, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world, and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
Much thanks is given to Pastor Dennis Gray for providing much of the above information.