Christian camps were held in the Quartz Mountain area from the late 1940’s through the 1950’s using the State Park facilities for housing and food service. Some of the individuals directing and teaching for those camps included W.T. Bryan of Burns Flat, Albert Trent of Sentinel, C.A. Overstreet of Hollis, and Von Crumly of Altus. Christian camps were also being held at Springlake by the Cordell church.
In 1958 during a spring business meeting of the 10th and Broad church in Wichita Falls, a committee was appointed to research ways to improve the youth programs for the congregation. Those appointed were Dubose Pipes, Cliff Roberts, and W.T. Bryan who were living in Wichita Falls at the time. During the summer, Pipes and Bryan were involved in different camps, which may have influenced their thinking. Very soon the committee recommended holding a camp session in the Quartz Mountain area. That winter they sent letters to about 85 churches in north Texas and southwest Oklahoma, inviting them to attend a meeting to organize a joint area-wide camp. Although interest was high, a big snow storm reduced attendance at the meeting.
Some who attended the meeting were C.A. Overstreet, Elton Talley of Altus, Clyde Sloan of Lawton, W.T. Bryan, and Dubose Pipes. The group agreed to hold a camp session together in the summer of 1959.
Early in 1959 Brother Overstreet informed the others that the Lugert School building was for sale, and he wanted the group to buy it, so that next year the camp could be held on our own property. All agreed and the first Board of Directors was formed.
Members of the board included W.T. Bryan, President; Debose Pipes, Secretary-Treasurer; Dr. Carl Davis and “Corkey” Grisham of Wichita Falls, C.A. Overstreet, Clyde Sloan, and Elton Talley. QMCC was then incorporated and the property was purchased. The vision of these men was to have a facility to hold camp sessions from June to August, instead of just a one week session. They used the term “dream camp” when expressing the anticipated development of QMCC.
The first QMCC camp session was held in the State Park group camp June 7-13, 1959. Roy Hannah, an experienced camp director, and preacher at Healdton, Oklahoma, was asked to be the director. Joe Barnett of Levelland, Texas did the preaching and directing the Boy’s Forum. Richard Jones, preacher of Ada, Oklahoma was in charge of music, and was chief boys counselor. There were 96 campers in that first session, and QMCC was off to a great start. One of the campers at the first session was “Big” Don Williams of Cyril, Oklahoma.
It took lots of volunteers and lots of hard work to get the building and grounds ready for the 1960 camp sessions. Other early board members included Paul Fischer of Wichita Falls, Kenneth Hager of Hollis, Marshall Hartman of Sayre, and Gerald Morrison of Clinton. Brother Morrison spent countless hours working at QMCC as he traveled between his two businesses in Clinton and Altus, and he gave liberally to QMCC. Brother and Sister Overstreet of Hollis and their daughter and son in law, Anne and Don Caffee were diligent workers at QMCC. The camp song was written by Sister Overstreet, and has been sung faithfully by campers through the years.
Cordell was invited to bring their support to QMCC, and have been great supporters of the camp through the years. An Associate Board of 63 men was formed to represent the areas served by the camp. Also, an Advisory board of seven members was formed.
In 1960 and 1961 there were three camp sessions, and then there were five for several years, and in 1985 it had increased to 10 weeks. Does this sound like the “dream camp” that had been envisioned many years ago? A few of the outstanding session directors through the years were W.T. Bryan, Albert Trent, Don Hicks and Lyndal Bolen of Sayre, John Greeson of Rule, Texas (30 years), Eddie Beard, (25 years) and James Trent.
A minister’s retreat was held in 1960 and 1961. The speaker in 1960 was E.W. McMillan of Santa Anna, California, and an instructor at George Pepperdine College. Brother McMillan moved to Houston, Texas and spoke at the retreat in 1961, along with James O Baird, President of Oklahoma Christian College, and Fred J Barton of Abilene Christian College.
Some of those who served as camp manager include J. Ray Tolen of Sayre, Jerry Pipes of Wichita Falls, and C. W. Rhodes of Lone Wolf. Brother Rhodes served from the mid 1960’s until September of 1981. During those beginning years, each Friday night of the camp sessions there was a catered barbeque dinner for parents and everyone from the area to come and enjoy. That was a great fund raising event. Paul Brown served for 10 years as camp manager in the eighties and nineties with the beginning of the new dorms from the A frames. Keith Galyon and Paul Brown finished the four dorms in the late 1990’s.
II.The Land and Facilities
After the board of Directors was formed, incorporation proceedings were completed in March of 1959. The Lugert School building, with three acres, was purchased for $2,500 that same month. Then in September 1959 an additional twelve acres was purchased for $2,400. This provided a fifteen acre campus to be developed into a practical and usable “dream camp” for Christian camping.
The school building, known as Lugert Hall was remodeled to provide classrooms and office space upstairs, and a kitchen and cafeteria in the basement.
It was soon agreed that campers housing would be provided with five cabins for girls and five cabins for boys. The 24’ x 16’ feet A-frame structures were designed to house 15 campers and one cabin director each, on canvas cots, stacked in 3 levels on steel pipe frames. The cabins had 3 large shutter type windows on each side to provide ample air conditioning. They were arranged in circle clusters of five, and the boys located on the northwest part of the campus, and the girls on the southeast part. The cabins were built in 1960 for $1,800 each.
Bathhouses were located adjacent to the cabin clusters toward the center of the campus, to allow for a swimming pool to be built between them. This gave convenient access to the pool from either end, and with the surrounding fence, allowed controlled separate swimming times for girls and boys.
The swimming pool was completed in 1967. It was a wonderful addition to the recreation for QMCC and a great attraction to young and old. It also provided a safe and convenient place for baptisms, which previously were done in a farm pond on the north side of the mountain north of the campsite.
These facilities served the camp very well until the attendance had increased from 285 in 1971 to 557 in 1973, with some sessions having more than 100 each. There was a critical need for a larger cafeteria, and meeting area.
In January 1974, the Board voted to build a 50’ x 100’ feed metal building to meet the need for more space. It was constructed in 1974 at a cost of about $27,000 and was first used in 1975. Summer attendance reached 714 in eight weeks of camp in 1975. The new building was dedicated as Rhodes Hall in recognition of the many years of faithful and diligent services of C.W. and Christine Rhodes as camp manager and cook. Brother Rhodes continued as camp manager through 1981.
Lugert hall was then remodeled for staff housing with two sections upstairs, each having new, separate bath facilities. The basement was used as a classroom, and overflow camper housing. Two wood burning stoves were added for use during winter camp. A pole barn was constructed in 1984 to provide storage for material and equipment. It was torn down in 2012.
In 1985 the Board approved construction of an open pavilion for worship services, classes, and other programs. It was completed and equipped for $12,000 and in time for the 1985 summer sessions. It was dedicated as “Fischer Hall” in recognition of the long and faithful service of Paul Fischer, board member from the 10th and Broad church in Wichita Falls.
In August of 1990 the Board agreed to purchase 36 acres across the road and southwest of Lugert Hall, to provide open area for recreation, devotionals, and possible future expansion of facilities. H Ewing Young, board member from Mangum, donated the down payment on the $12,500 purchase price. The property is known as “Young’s Mountain” in honor of Brother and Sister Young’s many years of work and service to QMCC.
In August of 1990 the Board considered a proposal from James Trent, who has served as session director for many years at QMCC to cover, or a “Dome” be built over the basketball/tennis court area. This would provide a shaded area on sunny days, a dry area on rainy days, and a lighted area for night activities. In the proposal, Brother Trent offered to solicit funds from campers and counselors. The board voted to proceed with the project and agreed with Trent’s suggestion that it should be called “Camper Dome” since campers were to donate the funds for construction.
In April 1994, the Board began a very bold plan to upgrade camper housing with four new dormitory style cabins with central heating and air conditioning. Each cabin is constructed in two independent units, each with it’s separate bath facilities. The cabins are furnished to house 52 campers each, 26 in each section. The fourth new cabin was completed in February 1998, in time for use by large retreat groups from Oklahoma City.
These new cabins give greater sanitation, security, and comfort to campers and staff members. The cost was approximately $40,000 each cabin, for a total of $160,000. After many generous donations from churches and individuals, the outstanding debt was $30,000 in September 1998. With use of all four of the new cabins, the 1998 summer camper attendance hit a new record high of 870.
Also in 1998 a much needed expansion of 16 feet on the north side of Rhodes Hall was built. It houses concessions, restrooms for visitors, a storage room for dining needs, and a new pantry. It is very valuable to camp operations.
In 2000 another 16 feet addition to the south side of Rhodes hall was completed adding housing for directors and staff, a nurses station and a sick bay.
In 2003 a new 2000 square foot camp managers home was completed to replace the existing home that was coming apart at the seams. It is a great metal home that will be used for years to come. In March of 2003 there was also a visit from state inspectors on all facilities. An additional $25,000 was spent to update electrical and take fire safety measures.
A 10 element ropes course was added with the help of some forty men, women, and children that have been used as a teaching tool during weeks of camp. The low element course was built under Young’s mountain in the path of the trees.
The old pool had been in existence for 40 years and had not been large enough to hold all the boys or girls who wished to swim and needed repair. The old pool was well used but needed a lot of upkeep and was out of date being a 20’ x 30’ pool. At the ending session during the 2005 session $300 was taken up to begin the pool fund by campers and staff. During the fall and winter a campaign began to raise $100,000 to build a new 30’ x 60’ pool. In 2006 the work began in the spring and continued until the day before the first week of camp. By completion the pool was paid for. The last drop of water filled the pool at 3 am the first day of camp 2006. Although the pool was a little cool, there was much excitement with its completion which included a 360 degree slide.
In 2007 work began to remodel and make available the rock building for additional housing. The upstairs was completed in time for summer giving extra room to weeks of camps and retreats that reached over 250 people including staff. The largest group having over 280 bodies living at camp. The basement was cleaned and the windows all refurbished in 2008 with the help of Sojourners. Sojourners have been helping at QMCC since 2004.
In 2008 an additional multipurpose sports/devotional area was begun with the completion of a 54’ x 100’ metal building with open sides where the old pool and bath houses once were. With groups growing over 200, there is a need for more recreation areas with shade. Jack Whitely who volunteered at camp during the 80’s and 90’s donated money from his estate to build the new facility. Jack would come to camp in the summers and do anything that needed to be done along with mowing the camp. “Jack’s cove” was completed with sports equipment and lighting for a cost of $52,000.
In the Spring of 2009 work began and was completed adding an additional 12’ covered awning to the east end of the cove to provide a worship area large enough for groups exceeding 300 people. Stadium seating was completed in April and the concrete work and metal coverings were completed in May 2009. Groups used this facility for worship and enjoyed great acoustics and a little breeze under this facility. The significance of this new worship/play area is similar to the space Mr. Whitely loved under Young’s mountain that was a natural shaded theatre area. In 2009 sojourners continued to work on the rock building making it ready for future use.
Between 2010 and 2012 additional RV parking was placed on the southeast corner of the campus giving us a total of 12 self sufficient spots.
In 2012 part of the focus of QMCC moved to not only reaching out to children, but reaching families with the gospel. The first 4 day retreat for families was help on the 3rd weekend of October with 53 families (194 people) taking part. RV’s, tent camping, dorms, and local hotels were used to house families. In December 2012 work began on the rock building to make the basement a place for families to be able to stay as a unit. Nine rooms were made to make the space usable by families. Additional Bathrooms will begin in 2013 at the back of the rock building and the old pool houses for additional restroom facilities.
II.Attendance and Accomplishments
The number of campers attending QMCC each summer increased steadily to more than 400 during the 1960’s, then exceeded 700 in the 1970’s, and passed 800 in the 1980’s before a leveling period during the 1990’s with between 700-800 each summer. The new century has seen a new rise in numbers and involvement from different groups and directors. The largest summer so far was reached in 2010 with 1119 campers. The facilities are being used year round by more groups and QMCC continues to be a great tool for Christian camping. In 2012 there were 979 campers and over 900 at retreats during the fall.