The mission of Wood Lake Camp & Retreat Center is to see lives transformed by the power of Jesus Christ, through intentional relationships, creative fun, and staff who use the Word of God to encourage courageous living.
Wood Lake Baptist Camp was begun in 1933 by Phillip Carlson as a denominational retreat center and “Bible School and Young People’s Commission”. In 1937, they acquired the 235 acres we have today and held their first camp on site in August of 1938.
For 80 years Wood Lake experienced rich ministry to youth and families, but as operating camps became more difficult, the board closed its doors in February 2018 (their last event was a men’s retreat in January 2018).
In 2019, Wood Lake was purchased by a couple in the city who had a heart to restore it to Christian camping. They restored much of the property before ultimately passing ownership over to Forest Springs Ministries in July of 2021.
Our Final Authority
We believe in the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments as verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writing, and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and conduct (Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11; Luke 24:27, 44; John 5:39; Acts 1:16; 17:2–3; 18:28; 26:22–23; 28:23; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 2:13; 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21).
The Triune God
Sinfulness of Man
We believe that man was created in the image of God; that man sinned, and thereby incurred, not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; that, as a result of this sin first committed by Adam, all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and are accountable as sinners in thought, word, and deed (Rom. 3:23, 6:23).
Jesus Christ as Sacrifice
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood (John 1:29; Rom. 3:25–26; 2 Cor. 5:14; Heb. 10:5–14; 1 Pet. 3:18).
Jesus Christ as Resurrected Lord
The Return of Jesus Christ
The Salvation of the Children of God
We believe that all who receive by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit, and only thereby become children of God (John 1:12). We further believe that the Christian life is exemplary of the teachings found in the New Testament as the Holy Spirit reproduces the life of Jesus Christ in and through each obedient believer (John 14:16–17; 16:7–15).
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; I Cor. 6:9-11).
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Wood Lake.
Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God (Gen. 1:26-27). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of God’s choice of gender for that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated by Scripture (Gen. 2:18-25). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (I Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, pedophilia, bestiality, incest, cohabitation, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; I Cor. 6:9-10).
The Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life (Psalm 139).
The Eternal Souls of All Men
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, the everlasting blessedness of the saved, and the everlasting punishment of the lost (Luke 16:19–26; 23:42; 2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:23; 2 Thess. 1:7–9; Jude 6–7; Rev. 20:11–15).
Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of the Wood Lake Camp & Retreat Center’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Board of Directors is Wood Lake’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Wood Lake Camp & Retreat Center as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical model to the Wood Lake staff and community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Wood Lake agree to and abide by this Statement of Faith.
('76, revised '89, ’12, ’16 and ‘21)
Wood Lake Camp & Retreat Center in western Wisconsin is under the direction of the Forest Springs Ministries Board of Directors.
Forest Springs Ministries is a family of Christian camping and retreat facilities in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. You can learn more about the individual facilities as well as the overall mission of Forest Springs here.