Char and Tim met while attending the Word of Life Bible Institute and working at Word of Life's summer camp in upstate New York. Tim had the opportunity to attend this camp as an eight-year-old along with several other Christian camps before he reached the age of 13. It was while Tim was at camp, as a young teen, that he dedicated his life to the Lord, and Christian camping had a strong influence on his life. Wanting to be more involved in Camp, Tim then applied for summer staff at the age of 14 and began working at the Word of Life Ranch in the kitchen as an assistant baker. Each summer Tim came back to work at camp and was given additional responsibility until by the age of 18 he held the position of director of summer staff at the Word of Life Ranch. It was during these summers at camp, surrounded by great Bible teaching and Christian fellowship, that Tim attributes to his spiritual growth during those high school years.
Tim and Char were married after graduating from the Bible Institute and settled on the Jersey shore with hopes of starting a business and raising a family. But God had other plans for them. In 1976, Wes Walton and His wife Karen (also graduates of the Word of Life Bible Institute) felt led of the Lord to head west and start a Bible Camp in Wyoming in an old west setting. Two years later Wes challenged Tim and Char to consider praying about joining them in this new ministry. After several months of soul searching and prayer, Tim and Char decided to sell everything they had (except their car) and move out west to join this new ministry. Here was the opportunity to invest in a ministry that had so impacted Tim’s life. Living on faith and trusting God for literally everything was something new to Tim and Char and very challenging in those early years. As the camp in Wyoming grew, the board felt strongly about taking the Lone Tree Camp concept and starting another camp in another area of need. Through a series of events and contacts, the Lord led them to a beautiful location in southeastern New Mexico, outside the small town of Capitan, NM.
In Tim’s own words
“The early years of starting a new camp in New Mexico from scratch, were years of hard work, sacrifice and living with very little. But they were the foundation years of our faith being tested and strengthened. We were seeing God provide literally every need we had, often in miraculous ways and with incredible timing. Although we had just moved to the new site in August of 1980, we actually hosted our first summer camp the next year in 1981. Seeing God at work in the lives of the young people coming to camp confirmed we were where God wanted us, and made the struggles of those early years well worth it. Now, over 30 years later, it is easy to look back and see God’s hand and provision every step along the way”
Tim and Char continue to be actively involved in the daily running of Lone Tree Camps, overseeing four different programs and properties.