Silver Heights Camp
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A Heritage of Hope

Dale Hawthorn

Silver Heights Camp was originally envisioned and established by James H. Conner. His vision of a holiness camp near New Albany, IN, came to fruition in the year 1888. He dreamed of a place where people of faith could gather to worship together and experience the peacefulness and serenity of the surrounding countryside.

Silver Heights is located on 22 wooded acres in the beautiful hills of Southern Indiana. It is the longest running camp in the state and has hosted thousands of men, women and children.

The first camp was held under the shade and welcome of a large canvas tent. The horse and buggies tied to available trees and posts surrounded this and other tents that provided shelter and offered food. The camps popularity increased by word of mouth and by 1892, a large wooden Tabernacle had been built to seat 2,500 attendees.

Silver Heights thrived, as people traveled from both near and far to join in the annual camps. In 1909, an estimated 10,000 people attended the camp. Cabins were built to accommodate campers as was a two-story summer hotel that featured 21 rooms. Eventually 31 family cabins, a grocery and a dining hall were added. Later, a five-room army barrack was sent from Camp Taylor, Kentucky. In 1954, the preacher’s cabin was completed. In 1961 and 1963, new boys’ and girls’ dormitories were added. In 2002, fire destroyed most of the cabins, grocery and dining hall, and the old barracks. Today, the Tabernacle, constructed in 1892, still stands solid and majestic, along with the preacher’s cottage and one of the dormitories.

A new, dedicated team of leadership volunteers is committed to preserving the camp for future generations. Their first step was the demolition of the old dilapidated buildings and the construction of the new Parnell Conference Center.

New cabins have been constructed, old Post Office renovated into a Prayer Chaple and an existing building is being renovated into a meeting space.

Planning for the future:

Through strategic planning, a three phase reconstruction plan has been developed.
Phase one was the completion of the Parnell Center, allowing the camp to remain open all year round.

Phase Two involves the restoration of the Tabernacle, which needs minor upgrades and improvements.

Phase Three involves the addition of new access roads, parking lot expansion to ease congestion, and hiking trails. Plus, a low ropes course will be added that will give more flexibility to the camp.

HOW CAN I BE A PART OF THE RESTORATION OF SHC?

  • Financial donations (Levels of HOPE)
  • Volunteering to help build, maintain facilities
  • Encourage your church to use the facility