The Experience Fall 2019_WEB

word of life Florida 30 th ANniversary


Word of Life Florida opened in 1990 on a 450-acre parcel donated by Jack and Marcia Lyon. Their son, Michael, died at age 20 but made some very significant spiritual decisions at youth camp. Jack and Marcia sought out a ministry that would begin a youth camp on the property that had been reserved for him. After offering the property to several different organizations with no success, a friend recommended they contact Word of Life. Jack Wyrtzen and Harry Bollback traveled to Florida to see the prop- erty. After looking around, Jack said to Harry, “Well, I don’t think we should take the property; it is just a big jungle”. To which Harry replied, “Jack, we have built camps in the jungle all over South America, why not in Florida?” The property was donated to Word of Life in 1985, and an aggressive construction program began to build a Conference Center and Youth Camp. The Conference Center opened in January of 1990. The first meeting and concert featured Chuck Colson and The Gaither Vocal Band. The Gospel was shared and Jack Lyon’s brother was one of those who responded. The Youth Camp began that summer, and the campers stayed in the upstairs guest rooms in the Conference Center. They had their meetings on the stage of the Harry Bollback Performing Arts Center. There were 400 campers during the eight weeks of camp. The following summer the first Youth Camp cabins were completed, and over 800 campers attended camp. Summer camp enrollment has increased each summer to over 3,200 campers in 2019. SINCE THE YOUTH CAMP OPENED, OVER 53,000 CAMPERS HAVE ATTENDED WITH THOUSANDS ACCEPTING CHRIST AS SAVIOR!


Rich Andrews

Rich Andrews serves as the Director of Word of Life Florida. He leads the Bible Institute, as well as the Florida Youth Camp and RV Park. He is a dedicated servant-leader, and a gifted speaker. Rich has a passion to connect with teens and young adults, and to encourage them to reach their generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


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