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We have a rich history of ministry in which urban youth and church bodies receive prioritized and contextualized retreat programs. They are distinctively served as they encounter community in a more rich and meaningful way than they may have ever seen.
With a deep desire to join in what God is doing among the urban poor, The Oaks provides a place where people from all cultures, backgrounds and situations in life can step away busyness into the wilderness. The quality of our facilities, grounds and service are offered to local churches and communities for deeper health and growth. Our hope is that in this place, the distractions of day-to-day life will fade into the background and all who come will hear the Lord and be drawn closer to Him. As is often said, “God is changing lives at The Oaks.”
Efrem Smith, President of World Impact, shared: "We have a rich history of the camp environment being one in which urban youth and church bodies receive prioritized and contextualized retreat programs. They are distinctively served as they encounter community in a more rich and meaningful way than they may have ever seen."
Ever since the Lord provided this beautiful, secluded valley to World Impact there has been continuous growth. Older buildings have been remodeled and many new ones have been built. Programs and events have met an increasing range of needs and situations. And especially important, more and more people have come to be part of what God is doing. As you tour our web site you will be able to see these facilities. In 1995 the Lord even added 475 acres of the National Forest, which surround the camp.
A distinctive of The Oaks is the core staff who are full-time missionaries. Each of these missionaries have responded to God’s call to demonstrate and declare God’s love to the people of the inner city. Many of the programs and the events at The Oaks are specifically designed to accomplish this purpose in a camp setting. Their dedication to God’s vision has certainly furthered the Kingdom. May the Lord continue to build Oaks of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Our Mission Statement…
Changing lives. Impacting communities.
Pursuing God's heart for the poor.
Affirmation of Faith
Affirmation of Faith
- There is one living and true God, infinitely perfect in glory, wisdom, holiness, justice, power and love, one in His essence but eternally existing in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. God sovereignly created the world out of nothing, so that His creation, while wholly dependent upon Him, neither comprises part of God, nor conditions His essential perfection (Genesis 1:2; Matthew 28:19,20).
- The books which form the canon of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God, inerrant in the original writings, the only infallible rule of faith and practice (II Timothy 3:16).
- God created man in His own image, in a state of original righteousness, from which man subsequently fell by a voluntary revolt, and consequently is guilty, inherently corrupt and subject to divine wrath.
- Jesus Christ, the eternal Son, became man without ceasing to be God by uniting to His divine nature a true human nature in His incarnation, and so continues to be both God and man, in two distinct natures and one person, forever. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, exhibited His deity by manifold miracles, fulfilled the requirements of the Law by His sinless life, shed His blood as a vicarious and propitiatory atonement for man's sin, was resurrected from the dead in the same body, now glorified. He ascended into heaven and now intercedes in glory for His redeemed as our great high priest and advocate, and as the Head of the Church and Lord of the individual believer (Matthew 1:20,21; John 1:1-14; Romans 3:21-26; 5:6-11; I Peter 3:18; I John 2:1,2; Luke 24; Acts 1:9; Hebrews 8).
- The Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgement, through the ministry of regeneration and sanctification applies salvation and places believers into the Church, guides and comforts God's children, indwells, directs, gifts and empowers the Church in godly living and service in order to fulfill the great commission, and seals and keeps the believer until Christ returns (John 16:1-33; I Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 1:13,14).
- Every man, regardless of race or rank, who receives the Lord Jesus Christ by faith is born into the family of God and receives eternal life. This occurs solely because of the grace of God and has no ground in human merit.
- The Holy Church is the one institution specifically ordained of God to function in the furthering of the Kingdom until Christ comes again. It consists of all those regenerated by the Spirit of God, in mystical union and communion both with Christ, the head of the Body, and with fellow-believers. Neighborhood congregations are the local manifestation of the Church universal. In obedience to the command of Christ, these congregations preach the word of God, equip God's people for the work of ministry, and administer the Lord's Supper and Baptism.
- The Lord Jesus Christ will return bodily, visibly and personally to receive His own, to conform believers to His own image and to establish His millennial kingdom. He will judge the quick and the dead and will effect a final separation of the redeemed and the lost, assigning unbelievers to eternal punishment and believers to eternal glory, enjoying conscious fellowship with Him (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:50-58; Revelation 20:4-6).
- Man's chief end in life is to honor and glorify Almighty God. Personal salvation is a means to this end.
Located in the quiet little town of Lake Hughes, The Oaks Camp and Conference Center has definitely been a gift from God. The Oaks was originally known as Juday Flats, named after Clarence Juday who homesteaded the property back in 1900. In 1960, Mr. Juday donated 122 acres of his land to the Brigade Trails Association to be used as a campsite with the specific intent that it promotes the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Around 1970, Brigade Trails donated the property to Rolling J Ranch which continued the boys brigade camps and enhanced the programming with family camping. For over nine years, Keith Phillips, president of World Impact, prayed for God to provide a place free from the distractions and pressures of life in the city where missionaries in the inner city could take those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy a camping experience and learn more about a relationship with Jesus Christ. In August of 1986, God led the Rolling J. Ranch board to donate the camp to World Impact. The donation included a total of 172 acres of beautiful mountain property just an hour and a half north of Los Angeles. World Impact changed the name to The Oaks to acknowledge God’s call to build “Oaks of Righteousness, the planting of the Lord, for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:3.
The Lord has provided continuous growth for the camp since World Impact was given the property. The growth began with a maintenance facility in 1987 and continued with the addition of two cabins which brought the guest capacity to 148. The Prayer Chapel, was was built in partnership with Glendale Presbyterian Church in 1989. Staff housing was added at the same time, along with numerous amenities. A master plan for future development was also completed in 1989. An intern program to train and disciple inner-city young adults began in 1994.
In 1995, the Lord blessed the camp with the acquisition of 475 acres of surrounding land. An Act of Congress was needed to acquire this National Forest land and Rosey Grier, a long time supporter of World Impact, was very helpful in making this happen. Two new buildings were completed at the same time. Wimer West, a prayer retreat center, was dedicated for the renewal of Christian workers. Hamblen Lodge, a 260 seat dining room, was built in honor of Stuart Hamblen. The program grew by leaps and bounds as adventure elements of rappelling, rock climbing and a challenge course were added.
The Leaders in Training (LIT) program started in 1997. This program is aimed at developing inner-city teens into next generation leaders for the cities. It is a three-year program that incorporates an intense summer camp experience with a curriculum in the cities during the school year. During this time we added a Winter Teen Retreat as well as the summer program growing from three to five weeks of camps. Up to 550 campers were now attending. Our Outdoor Education program began and quickly grew to nine weeks each spring. World Impact's Los Angeles Christian School started bringing their 4th and 5th grades for a life-changing experience. The zip line and leap of faith were added and started stretching the faith of hundreds of campers. New hiking trails were cut by volunteers.
With youth camping established, in 1999 we started development of a Family Conference Center. Nelson and Fickett Lodges, motel-style housing, were dedicated in 2001. These increased our housing capacity to 270. Two weekends of Family Vacation Camps started in the summer of 2002. Families from World Impact inner-city church plants attended and thoroughly enjoyed being able to have a family vacation filled with food, swimming, crafts, worship and fellowship. Hayford Hall was dedicated in October of 2004. This state-of-the-art facility has a 400-seat auditorium and seven break out meeting rooms. In the spring 0f 2007 we broke ground on two motel lodges, a second dining room and a child care facility; these were completed and dedicated September 2008.
Since 1987, the number of campers who come per year to The Oaks has grown from 2,000 in 1990 to over 13,000 in 2006. The ministry is the result of many staff responding to God's call to come as full-time missionaries. With God's guidance The Oaks will continue to serve inner-city youth and families as well as churches of Southern California. May the Lord continue to grow "oaks of righteousness," the planting of the Lord, for the display of His splendor.
Dining Hall Team Leader