Rev. Frank Hughes, Jr.
 
Joe at RBA
(Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly)
(1966-1968)
Many of the ministers who spoke at Ridgecrest may be found on the
"Audio" web page.

(Rev. Frank Hughes, Jr. served several terms on the Assembly's Committee of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, which managed and developed new projects and buildings for Ridgecrest and Glorieta.)


 

“From the Mountain Top of Vision and Inspiration, Southern Baptists would carry the message of Jesus into every valley of human need.”

 

(From B. W. Spilman Auditorium cornerstone, 1938)

Dr. C. Roy Angel spoke at an evening service, Lake Dew, 1966:
Rev. Raymond Fowler Staples
was the first Manager of Ridgecrest:
While serving on the Staff, I learned two things from one of the ladies who worked in the library section of our Audio-Visual department.  First, that Rev. Staples, retired and living in Black Mountain, NC at the time, fell dead while walking down a street in that town. He was taken to an Asheville hospital and pronounced DOA.  And second, that when it came time to find a successor to Robert Guy, who had decided to return to Hospital Administration, the Sunday School Board voted unanimously on the first ballot, to ask Willard K. Weeks to assume the position as Manager of Ridgecrest.
-J.Hughes
(Next 9 Pictures from "Swannanoa Valley" by Mary McPhail Standaert and Joseph Standaert):
Dedication of new Spilman Auditorium:
Interior of Spilman Auditorium today, after recent enlargement:
Scripture verse on side of
Children's Building:

Robert L. Middleton's book written on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Ridgecrest Baptist Assembly, has now been put into the public domain, and is offered here for you to read:

 

"Ridgecrest" a booklet published in 1928, by Dr. Bernard W. Spilman (for whom the Spilman Auditorium at Ridgecrest was named), is now in public domain, and offered here:

"B.W. Spilman--The Sunday School Man" has been put in public domain and can now be read below.  It is a biography of one of the key men who had a major influence on starting Ridgecrest.

Under the administration of the SBC Education Board, steps were taken to have a summer camp for boys and girls. The initial step was the building of a 15-acre lake, now known as Lake Ridgecrest. The long-range plan called for a girl’s camp on one side of the lake and a boy’s camp on the other side. Today, Lake Ridgecrest is the centerpiece at Camp Ridgecrest for boys and Crestridge sits on the opposite side of I-40. Under the leadership of Mrs. J.M Dawson, then of Waco, Texas, a girl’s camp, known as Camp Swannanoa, was operated in the summer of 1926 and 1927. A large two-story residence was purchased from Dr. B.W. Spilman; it was used as a camp headquarters building. A number of cabins and other facilities were then built. However, logistical business issues caused the camp to close in 1928.

When the Baptist Sunday School Board took charge in 1929, they realized the need for a boy’s camp. Under the leadership of Mr. Noble Van Ness, who was active with the Boy Scouts at that time, plans were made to open a boy’s camp in 1929. Mr. Frank E. Burkhalter served as director during the inaugural summer. The camp was programmed for one two-week trial session. The results were so rewarding that planning for the 1930 season was begun immediately.

Van Ness knew the key to success was to have a highly regarded, qualified director. He selected Charles W. Burts, a young student at Yale, who had five years of experience a counselor and assistant director in other private camps. Charles worked with Van Ness to enlarge the 1930 season. Based on the success of the first two-week session, they planned for eight weeks of camp. Burts served as director each summer through 1938.

Attendance was small during the first years. Burts later estimated that between 40 and 50 boys attended each session. The program offered a variety of activities, and a strong Christian emphasis permeated every aspect of camp life. A worship service was held early each morning and each evening.

The Native American motif that traditionally been the camp trademark began in the 1930 season. Campers and staff have continued to meet for Council Rings through the years. This was designed to help boys grow strong of heart and body, while the Christian emphasis led them closer to their Savior.

One historic feature of Camp Ridgecrest for Boys is the large log building in the center of the campus. It was completed in 1942 and houses the kitchen, two dining hall wings, and a gym. The gym area has a huge fireplace at one end that allows for meetings to take place on cool mountain evenings. The building is the largest, oldest, vertical log structure east of the Mississippi River.

Camp Ridgecrest usually operated for one six-week session. Burts cut the season back from eight to six weeks after the 1930 season. In 1950, Perry Morgan felt the time had come to enlarge the camp and enlist a full-time director.

Through the years, the strength of the staff has been a major factor in the camp’s success. Listing the multitude of persons who have given of themselves to camp is not practical. However, listed below are the directors and their years of service.

Frank E. Burkhalter:1929
Charles W. Burts:1930-1938
John W. Hughston, Jr.: 1939-1940
J.D. (Red) Franks, Jr.: 1941
Darrell C. Richardson: 1942
Richard C. Burts, Jr.: 1943
J.W. Hill: 1944
Perry Morgan, Manager and Director: 1945
Chaplain Nat H. Brittain: 1946-1947
James R. Howlett: 1948-1949
George W. Pickering: 1950-1955
Harry McCall, Jr.: 1956-1958
Wayne Chastain: 1959-1963
Ken Bryant: 1964-1965
Darrell Richardson: 1966-1968
Monroe Ashley: 1969-1973
Rick Johnson: 1974-1984
Ron Springs: 1985-Present

(Source: Camp Ridgecrest for Boys website).

This was the Manager's House, located behind and to the right of the Auditorium Annex Building:
September 16, 1954:
Two popular hiking trails for the staff were Kitsuma and Rattlesnake Mts.  Here are pictures of Kitsuma:
Rattlesnake Mt on left; Copperhead
on right, in next picture:
Information about Rattlesnake Mt:
Two articles from "The State" Magazine of North Carolina about Ridgecrest:
An article appeared in the "New York Times," July 1970:
The Staff celebrated "Christmas in July" on a selected day when no guests needed to be served.  It was a team-building event, as we knew we would probably not see each other over the Christmas holidays.
Dad Weeks speaking at weekly
Staff Meeting:
Mrs. Weeks in audience listening to her husband; Joe Hughes is sitting directly behind her:
Information about Hubert B. Smothers, who spoke at the RBA Staff Meeting, August 17, 1966:
Dad Weeks always announced the start of each meal in the Dining Hall, sometimes including announcements, and closed with a Blessing: