New name chosen for Bays Mountain camp

New name chosen for Bays Mountain camp

A retreat cabin from a former Baptist camp rests on the 82 acres where Holston's new camp will be located.


KINGSPORT, Tenn. (Aug. 18, 2015) – The new name is “Camp Bays Mountain.”

It might not be a surprising choice, but leaders of the camp soon to be developed on Bays Mountain said they considered 110 submissions from church members before choosing a permanent title for the new Kingsport ministry.

The Rev. Jeff Wadley, the camp’s new director, said the board wanted to be sure that Kingsport and Johnson City District members were part of the naming process.

“We wanted a name that would describe the location of the ministry and also define what it's about,” he said.

The name suggestions varied and included nature, scripture, and geographical themes, said the Rev. Randy Pasqua, executive director of Holston Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries.

The new 82-acre camp will be located on Bays Mountain, the largest city park in Tennessee. Leaders hope that placing the word “camp” in front of the name will help differentiate the ministry from the city park it borders.

The camp’s design is in the hands of Reedy and Sykes Architecture of Elizabethton, Tenn., the same firm designing the Alcoa Conference Center’s renovation, Wadley said.

Wadley and Pasqua said it was too soon to predict possible programming in 2016.

Camp Bays Mountain is the next chapter for 66-year-old Buffalo Mountain Camp, which hosted as many as 600 campers annually until an August 2012 flood caused irreparable damage to the Jonesborough site. The property is now listed for sale.

On July 9, Buffalo Mountain Camp was officially closed with a decommissioning service attended by 329 people, Wadley said. A log from Buffalo Mountain's last campfire has been saved for the first-ever campfire at Bays Mountain.

"Everybody left feeling good about it," Pasqua said of the decommissioning service. "They felt that God was in the decision to move on."

The camp's website is up and running at



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Annette Spence

Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newsletter.