Latham Springs Camp and Retreat Center

Our Mission

To provide facilities and program opportunities to expand God’s Kingdom and disciple His people.

Latham Springs was started in 1923. Of course over the years a few things have improved. Now, all our buildings are air conditioned, and much more comfortable. We serve real food, not just camp food. All our food service is a serve yourself buffet, and our menus are very tasty.

Latham Springs is operated by 12 Baptist Associations of Churches in the central Texas area. That area starts just south of the Dallas Ft.Worth metroplex, and goes to the south of Waco. From the west, our member churches are in the areas of Granbury, and Gatesville, and on the east from Corsicana to Centerville. There are several groups that attend from outside our initial service area. We have had groups from all over the world visit Latham Springs.

Our primary focus of operations is to be a support organization for the local Church. Church groups can come to Latham Springs for a time of refreshing,  renewal, and inspiration.

Under the vision and leadership of Dr. L. F. Shoemaker, Hill County Baptist Association purchased the land for a Baptist Encampment in 1923. These Christian Saints that started this ministry saw the camp as a “place of inspiration, a place to help one resolve to follow Christ in a more devoted way”. Dr. Shoemaker, a medical doctor and member of Vaughan Baptist Church, worked tirelessly during these early years in soliciting other Baptist Brothers and Sisters to spend their free time working to clear and develop the camp grounds. The first service was held in the freshly built tabernacle in 1923, even before the land was officially purchased. Mrs. Mary Crow, a Hill County Baptist, wrote of this first meeting: “When we entered the tabernacle, R.D. Riddle and wife from Seminary Hill, Ft. Worth, were standing singing, ‘Lord send the old time power’, and I’ve often thought of how the Lord has answered that song-prayer in many ways over and over, and one could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, as they sang in a prayerful tone”.

Dr. Shoemaker’s dream was fulfilled over the years as Latham Springs Baptist Encampment grew. In 1964, because of its expansion and wider reaching ministry, Hill County Baptist Association transferred ownership to the 12 associations that was known at the time as District 14 of the BGCT. The camp has continued to grow, seeing exceptional growth through the 1970’s under the leadership of the Board of Trustees and Camp Manager Charles Rodgers, upgrading the facilities to 11 dormitories, new Dining Hall, Hotel and Recreation facility, and 5 acre lake for boating and canoeing. The encampment managers have been: J. E. Roth (? – 1975), James Roy Clark, pastor at Lake Whitney Baptist Church (1965-75), Charles Rogers (1975-94), Jerry Smith (1994-2007), Phil Colquitt (2008-2011), Red Colquitt (Interim 2011-2013), and Mike Wilson, present Manager and CEO.

Today there are facilities for 850, motel, modern conference rooms, 900 seat capacity auditorium, new office and welcome center, recreation activities including ropes course, two paintball courses, swimming pool, and newly developed waterfront with boating marina, swimming area, water slide and fishing hole. The camp is currently undergoing a major refit with cabins renovations, dining hall upgrades to handle multiple groups at a time, improved recreation and grounds. Historical writer 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”, and it is the goal of this ministry to continue this mission of 
being a place of refuge and inspiration, a place where the Holy Spirit can work to draw people close to 
Jesus Christ.