Fundraising effort begins to rebuild Lamar Lighhouse Tabernacle

By WILLIAM J. HARGENRADER

For The Express

LAMAR– It is the end of an era, but the beginning of a new one for the Lamar Lighthouse Camp, 4746 Nittany Valley Dr., Rt. 64, , Mill Hall.

The board of directors has voted to replace the Tabernacle with a new facility and is seeking help to raise the between $160,000 and $175,000 to begin the construction immediately.

The tabernacle at Lamar Lighthouse Camp has been a vital part of Centre, Clinton and Lycoming counties for a number of years. For many years this building stood at what is now Indian Park in Montoursville. In the late 1930’s/early 1940’s, the “Tabernacle” was one of the first buildings (gift shop) at Starr Island Amusement Park, Montoursville, where Indian Park is now. After the amusement park closed, Bill Young used the building for revival meetings.

The tabernacle has resided at the Lamar Lighthouse Camp along Route 64 in Lamar for the last 70 or so years. In 1947, the tabernacle was disassembled piece-by-piece by men from the Lamar Lighthouse Camp and transported to its existing location personal trucks. It was re-assembled and looks identical to how it looked at Starr Island Amusement Park.

The last 70 years of weather has taken its toll on the building. After the winter of 2017 there were noticeable structural deficiencies detected. The board of directors called in several architectural engineers who thoroughly examined the construction of the building. They all recommended that the building was no longer safe for occupancy. They also agreed that the building was beyond repair and would need to be replaced.

This was very disheartening to the board of directors of the Lamar Lighthouse Camp. Some of the members of the board have been involved in the camp since they were children and others for most of their adult life. There are a lot of memories in that building and it holds lasting sentimental value to them and others related to the camp.

In recent years the camp has continued to hold its annual week long Family Camp in July, where it ministers to adults, youth and children.

The Sunday Evening Summer Concert Series has been a great blessing to the community. The attendance has soared over the years to over 200 as an average attendance. The camp has definitely had an impact on many lives over the years.

The members of the camp and community have worked very hard at improving the buildings and grounds of the camp to make it more family friendly and appealing to the community and its campers. This has included:

– Remodeling of the youth dormitory.

– Remodeling of the family dormitory located over the dining hall, which included men’s and women’s showers and bathrooms.

– Renovations in the dining hall with new windows, painting and a recently partial drop ceiling.

– The addition of a handicap bathroom.

New bathrooms were built in the present Tabernacle along with an updated nursery. The bathrooms and nursery have been salvaged to be included in the new building.

The electrical system was also updated in the tabernacle and has also been removed to use in the new building. Recently a new blacktop driveway was put in at the front of the campgrounds leading to the Tabernacle. This has been very helpful in providing a safe entryway to the tabernacle for the elderly and handicapped. A new stage was built at the front of the tabernacle. We recently found out from the contractor that the stage is intact and will be able to be used again.

The board of directors has spent much time in thought, discussion and prayer concerning the future of the new tabernacle.

In saying that, the Lamar Lighthouse Camp board has voted to rebuild and has taken a step of faith in signing a contract with Sugar Valley Builders in Loganton for the demolition of the present facility and the building of a 70- by 110- by 18-foot all purpose, wood framed structure with metal sides for approximately $136,000.

This does not include seating, internal decorating, finishing, or electrical work.

At present approximately $30,000 has been raised, which is enough to pay for the demolition and the removal of the building. That work has begun.

It is the belief of the building team that between $160,000 and $175, 000 will be needed to complete the building.

This building will be able to be used by community groups for recreation, concerts and church services. The camp is not financially supported by any specific denomination or organization.

We are calling upon the local churches and the people of Centre, Clinton, and Lycoming counties to help us in raising the funds to make this happen. It is our desire to continue the ministry of Lamar Lighthouse Camp for many years to come. Donations are welcomed and appreciated. Make checks payable to and send to: Lamar Lighthouse Camp, c/o Bruce Trick, Treasurer, 121 West Hills Drive, Williamsport, PA 17701.

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William J. Hargenrader is chairman of the Lamar Lighthouse board of directors.

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