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Shocco Springs celebrates 60 years, looks to futurecomment (0)

January 1, 2009

By Brittany N. Howerton

When Rebekah Waller was born, her parents were working at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega. When Waller got older, she spent her summers at Shocco. She met her husband at Shocco and married at Shocco.

And Dec. 13, Waller returned to Shocco with her husband and two children to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the “distinctly Christian environment” that she said forever changed her life.

During the “Christmas at the Springs” celebration Dec. 12–13, similar stories of Shocco’s legacy were heard all around its campus.

“Without this place, I’m not sure where I’d be,” said Cory Horton, Shocco’s recreation coordinator. Horton said the greatest opportunity Shocco has given him is the chance to invest in others — something those who came before him did as he attended camps there beginning in 1988.

After embracing the idea of Christian camps, Alabama Baptists purchased Shocco’s 40 acres in 1948 for $62,500.
Now it is an Alabama Baptist State Convention (ABSC) entity that spans 725 acres and has hosted nearly 1.2 million individuals and seen more than 60,500 decisions made for Christ.

Throughout 2008, there were numerous efforts to highlight Shocco’s 60 years of ministry, including a series featuring historical facts and timelines in The Alabama Baptist, a presentation at the ABSC annual meeting and the release of the book “The Shocco Springs Story: A Celebration of What God Has Done” by former director George Ricker.

The December celebration included staff reunions, a video presentation of Shocco’s history and commendations from the governor’s office and the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission.

In looking forward, Buster Taylor, Shocco’s executive director since 1989, noted three key concepts that must stay in balance for Shocco to thrive: growth in the number of attendees, facilities and staff.

Referencing Luke 9:62, Taylor encouraged those attending the celebration that just as Jesus called believers to put their hand to the plow and not look back so it must be for the ministry at Shocco.

“Ladies and gentlemen, today we have seen — we have seen what God has done and can do through this ministry,” Taylor said. “You may have noticed two decorated plows on the lawn. These were placed there to remind us how we can be involved in the future of Shocco Springs. I invite you to join us by putting your hand to the plow.
We can look ahead as we follow God’s leading to find ways to plow new ground for His Kingdom.”

For more information about Shocco, visit www.shocco.org or call 1-800-280-1105.

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