Standing in their own field of dreams – gold-bladed shovels in hand – committee members and partners of Lakeview Methodist Conference Center broke ground Wednesday morning for construction to begin on the new Camp Hearn and Bagley Hall, which will replace the Windham Dormitory Complex.
The groundbreaking is a big step for the the Methodist camp and conference center, made possible after a $6.5 million grant was received from the Moody Memorial Permanent Endowment Fund in February.
A longtime supporter of Lakeview, Moody Memorial PEF is a part of the Moody Methodist Church in Galveston and of the Texas Annual Conference of the Methodist Church.
Wednesday's groundbreaking brought the camp one step closer to completing a $15 million capital campaign titled “For Such a Time as This,” which looks to renovate and expand camp facilities over the next four years.
The new Camp Hearn and Bagley Hall facilities are expected to be ready for use by summer of 2015, with a 10-month estimated timeframe for construction.
The facilities were named for the Rev. Bert Bagley, pastor of Moody Methodist Church in Galveston, and Bishop Woodrow Hearn, bishop in residence at the church, who both were present for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Hearn publicly thanked the staff of Lakeview, who he said “make it all possible,” and noted Superintendent Rev. Matt Idom.
“The visionary leadership that Matt has given to this facility and to its future is remarkable, really remarkable,” Hearn said.
Bagley reminisced of earlier days spent at the conference center, working as a camp counselor and falling in love with the grounds – along with his spouse, who he met there.
“I just have to let you know, at Windham (Dormitory Complex), the summer of '73, that's when I fell in love with Karen by the way – we were co-counselors,” Bagley told those in attendance. “So it has been a lot of years. We appreciate so much all the things that have happened here.”