New leader chosen for Camp Wesley Woods

New leader chosen for Camp Wesley Woods


TOWNSEND, Tenn. (March 11, 2015) – A new leader has been chosen for Camp Wesley Woods.

Anthony “Tony” Lea, age 44, will join Holston Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries on April 1 as director of the United Methodist camp hosting more than 7,000 people annually at the northwest gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains.

“Tony Lea comes with a strong background in camp programming and administration and has a real heart for ministry,” said the Rev. Randy Pasqua, executive director, Holston Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries. “This is the type of leader we were hoping to find.”

Since 2008, Lea has served as executive director of Jamestown 4-H Educational Center in Williamsburg, Va., where the summer camp served more than 1,860 campers and volunteers at a 94 percent capacity. Through his six-year leadership, the camp raised more than $730,000 in capital projects, gifts and grants.

From 2005 to 2008, Lea served as group services and equestrian director at YMCA Camp Ockanickon in Medford, N.J.

Lea and his wife, Patrice, have four children, ages five to 11. They attend Williamsburg Community Chapel in Williamsburg, Va. Lea is a native of Birchip, Victoria, Australia, and has a bachelor’s degree in sports sciences from the University of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia.

“We are a Christ-centered family that has been feeling a call by God very strongly in the last few months,” Lea said. “Wesley Woods has streams and forest and everything my family loves. We’re a camping family, and we love the mountains of Tennessee.”

Lea follows John Erdman, director of Camp Wesley Woods from November 2010 to December 2014. Erdman is now the director at Living River, a Presbyterian camp in Montevallo, Ala.

Established in 1959, Wesley Woods is one of four camps operated by Holston Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries. In 2014, Wesley Woods hosted 1,050 people in summer camps, 4,200 in outdoor education programs, and 2,030 in retreats for a total 7,280 participants.

Holston Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries is connected with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church, including 887 churches in east Tennessee, southwest Virginia, and north Georgia.