Berkey to manage California camp ministry

The Rev. David Berkey has been appointed as general manager of Camping Ministry and Operations of the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church, effective Jan. 1, 2012.

Rev. David Berkey

Berkey has served as executive director of the Florida United Methodist Camps and Retreat Ministries since March 2005. Key accomplishments during his tenure include the completion of a four-site master plan and a five-year strategic growth plan; the merging of ministry and management at each site; increased revenue and elimination of budget deficits; completion of the new Lockmiller Center at Riverside Retreat; the launch of a complete renovation of the Barnett Lodge at Warren Willis Camp; acquisition of Centenary Camp; and sale of the Lake Asbury Retreat Center.

“This move comes with some sadness over leaving the wonderful camping staff and ministry partners here in Florida,” Berkey said. “At the same time, I can say that this decision has come with a great deal of thought and prayer, and is experienced as a response to a call to do a new thing in a new place and share my gifts with the churches and camps in Southern California.”

The Florida United Methodist Camps and Retreat Ministries includes year-round programs and facilities at Centenary Camp, the Life Enrichment Center, Riverside Retreat and the Warren W. Willis Camp.  The Board of Camps and Retreat Ministries within the Office of Connectional Ministries oversees the ministry, which has an annual budget of more than $4 million; more than 4,000 summer campers at four sites; and 35 year-round and 140 seasonal staff.

“I look forward to the work we will continue to do together here in Florida over the next four months, including the Together with Kids and Camps Campaign to raise needed capital funds for Barnett Lodge at Warren Willis and other needed facilities,” Berkey said. “I greatly appreciate the commitment and service of our board and staff and how far we have come together over the past six and a half years.  I will continue to work and pray for the fulfillment of the strategic vision we have laid out for growth in the next five years in our mission to provide set apart sacred places, genuine Christian hospitality and life-changing experiences that call and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Prior to joining the Florida Conference, Berkey served as Executive Director of Camps and Retreat Ministries of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference from 1995-2005, and as a pastor in the New York Conference from 1980-1995.   He is chair of the Outdoor Ministries Committee of the National Council of Churches, a member of the National United Methodist Camp and Retreat Committee and a national board member of the American Camp Association.

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