Archived Sections, Lutherans in Minnesota

Staying faithful to the original inspiration

An Inspiration Point counselor spends time with a camper. Photos provided by Inspiration Point

One never knows just what impact a contribution might make. Well, almost never anyway.
Joan Watson actually has tangible evidence.
During the late 1950s, a group of Church of the Lutheran Brethren (CLB) members that had been meeting regularly decided it was time for them to purchase land for a church camp. They even knew which land they wanted; a little peninsula near Clitherall, Minnesota. The group voted 89 to 1 to purchase the land.
There was one problem: The land cost $6,000, and the group only had $1,000.
That’s when Watson spoke up. A widow with two small children, her husband had died in the service overseas. She had received a benefits check for $10,000, but had vowed to give half of it to church service. She would add her $5,000 to the group’s contribution; the peninsula could be bought.
Watson now reflects that the land, which was just a cow pasture back in the 1960s, has become a vehicle for God’s activity in the lives of many young people able to hear the gospel at Inspiration Point, a Bible camp of the CLB.
Today, the camp chapel is named the Watson Memorial Chapel, after Joan’s husband.

Is it enough?

Joan Watson, the major benefactor in the establishment of Inspiration Point, speaks at the 50th anniversary of the camp.

The legacy continues to unfold for Inspiration Point. The camp was looking to expand last year — to purchase 10 nearby acres that included three small structures. Inspiration Point’s executive director Greg Anderson was visiting with a person he thought might be interested in contributing to the capital campaign.
The gentleman replied, “When there was a vote [taken regarding] buying this property, one person voted against it. That was my dad. He didn’t think the [original] 23 acres would be enough.”
Inspiration will use its new space to launch a leadership training program called CheckPoint. Young people will be asked to live on site for one year, learning skills in food service, marketing, and witnessing. “This is an effort to train the next generation of church leaders,” explained Seth Kinrade, marketing manager.
So, the inspiration continues.

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