Church-Part 12

8 Jan


Judy Wills

I’m going to digress a bit from “church” here – and yet, it is all related.  As I’ve mentioned in previous musings, church was a very real part of my life…ALL my life.  I have vague memories of our church in Dallas, Texas (First Baptist Church),

Credit to Google Search and FBC Dallas website

but just snippets – smells (Pine-Sol), 

Credit Google Search

the checker-board floor tiles (black and white), 

Credit Pixabay

and Miss Bertha, the nursery lady who would take me on her lap and read a story.

Scanned from the front of her book

But since we moved to Albuquerque when I was not quite four years old, my main memories of “church” was our church in Albuquerque (First Baptist Church, on the corner on Broadway and Central Avenue, also known as U.S. Route 66).  I literally “grew up” in that church.  I have fond memories of the friends I made there – some I still am in contact with.

Photo credit First Baptist Church, Albuquerque Google search

But in this particular posting, I would like to tell about a camp that both my brother, Bill, and I attended each summer when we were old enough to attend.  If you remember, my father was the New Mexico Sunday School Secretary for the Southern Baptists – that’s why we were in Albuquerque.  All of the “heads” of different departments of Southern Baptist life in New Mexico were headquartered in an office building in Albuquerque.

The Baptist Building – 1954 – main entrance

The Ministry Heads – 1954 – Daddy is on the left, standing

One of those departments was the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU).  That lady was Miss Eva Inlow.  Miss Inlow’s father had started a camp in the mountains East of Albuquerque, for young people (teenagers) from all over the state, and it was called Inlow Youth Camp.  I remember looking forward to going to Inlow Youth Camp each and every summer when I was old enough.  I don’t remember that Bill and I ever attended at the same time.  I suspect the camps were geared to specific age groups at different weeks.

I googled Inlow Youth Camp and this is what came up:

Credit Google Search and Inlow Baptist Camp website

Inlow Baptist Camp, started in 1941, is nestled in the beautiful Manzano Mountains of central New Mexico. Inlow is a rustic retreat from the distractions of everyday life. The woodsy surroundings offer a beautiful place to worship, fellowship, relax and learn. Summer at Inlow is a pleasant atmosphere for youth camps and family camping. Fall, winter, and spring each have a different flavor for church retreats, youth camps, staff training, picnics and meetings. Inlow is a ministry of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

I’m glad to see that it is still in operation, and has expanded it’s ministry.

We slept in cabins, on bunks.  I’m sure they had showers, but I don’t remember them.  I do remember quite well the latrines – outhouses with four or five “holes”.  A funny memory for sure, and none too pleasant when we had to clean them!  There was a “store” where we could purchase snacks if we had the money for them – we had a “bank account” set up by our parents with whatever cash they wanted us to have.  There was a dining hall.  But my biggest memory was the chapel or church building.  We had church services there every day, and Bible study times there.  We had counselors to lead those times, as well as to be shoulders to cry on, and watch over us in the cabins.

There were all kinds of outdoor activities to be held there, as well.  I remember running a race around the campground – and probably coming in last…I wasn’t a very fast runner!

But it was a wonderful time in my life.  Here is a picture of a group of us sitting by our church, waiting for our ride to camp.  I’m not in this picture, but I loved all these kids.

And here are more pictures of our time at Inlow Youth Camp:

Two of my best friends

That’s me…and my best friend

Some of the boys – not all from our church

Some of the girls and counselors

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson and a great-granddaughter. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

2 Responses to “Church-Part 12”

  1. Bill January 9, 2023 at 5:46 pm #

    Judy, Your blog brought back some long lost memories. Where in the world did you get those photos of Inlow Youth camp?


  2. divoran09 January 8, 2023 at 5:08 pm #



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