Sagrada Scholarship Bible Camp began when the Johnson family, a family originally from Alaska, moved to Missouri to a property inherited by Clifford, the father of the family. Cliff and his wife Susie began to use the property as a camp ground in 1997, when two teepees were erected and eight boys were invited for camp during the summer. In 1997, Sagrada became a 501(C)(3) Non Profit Organization of the State of Missouri and in 1998 the Internal Revenue Service recognized the camp as Tax Exempt. After the ground work was laid, the camp became a partner with Angel Tree Ministries, a ministry serving the children of incarcerated parents through Chuck Colson’s Prison Fellowship Ministry. Angel Tree provides the camp with the names and contact information of the children we minister to. Cliff continued his ministry as the Director of the camp until April of 2013 when he went home to be with the Lord after a struggle with cancer.
The camp was led by fellow staff member Richard Robbins through the 2013 camp season. Richard was joined by Abraham Godfrey in 2014 with Richard serving as the Program Director and Abraham as the Executive Director. In October 2014, unexpectedly, Abraham went home to be with his Lord. Richard again led the camp until November 2015 when Tracy Guppy came to serve as the Executive Director.
In 2016, Sagrada celebrated its 20th camp season, and in remembrance of our founders the “Chief Big Tick, Mother Hen Prayer Point” was built. This consisted of a pergola and erected a stone on the northeast corner of the property. As we remember our founders, praising God for their work that was done, but also praying forward, for the future and the campers, pointing them to Jesus.
Since the first camp with eight campers, Sagrada has blossomed into a six week summer camp ministering to upwards of 300 children. It is the current desire of the Sagrada staff to continue to expand the camp, increasing the number of Angel Tree children ministered to by the camp.
Throughout the years of the camp’s existence, many churches from around the United States have become involved in the ministry at Sagrada. Churches from Alaska, Florida, California, Ohio, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, and many others have sent brothers and sisters in Christ to come and minister to the Angel Tree children and to grow individually in their spiritual maturity. Churches in cities from which the children come have volunteered their members, time, and vehicles, to bring the children to the camp and to take them back home when a week of camp is completed. Many believers have come out to the camp over its 20 years of existence to help in the continual development of the property and its facilities. Like their church homes, Sagrada’s finances have been provided by the Lord, directing many of these members of our church families to give in support of this ministry and their loving obedience to His leading.
While our camp history is not lengthy; Sagrada is not an old establishment, but we have seen the hand of God mightily at work in the short time the camp has been in existence. The staff, board, volunteers, and supporters of the camp look forward to the future work of the Lord here with great anticipation!