Victory Bible Camp had its beginning more than 70 years ago in the Talkeetna Mountain wilderness…
In 1941, several Alaskan missionaries met together and discussed the benefit of gathering yearly for a time of spiritual refreshment. One of these missionaries, John Gillespie along with his wife Nadine, had developed a desire for beginning a Christian camp with the the purpose of “seeing people come to Christ and others dedicating their lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.” An extensive prayer list pinpointed the requirements for a camp and conference site, including such priorities as a lake surrounded by high ground, good water supply, and accessibility to a main road. Each item was found in a site on Index Lake.
Alaska was then a territory, so it was necessary for bills to be introduced in the U.S. Congress to make the purchase of the first 80 acres possible. Finally founded in 1947, Victory Bible Camp began its legacy of being a place where young and old could come and experience God in a beautiful, mountainous setting.
Located 95 miles northeast of Anchorage, Victory has grown from the original 80 acres to over 400 in this beautiful valley between the Talkeetna and Chugach mountain ranges. The campus has also grown over the years to include facilities that can accommodate as many as 300 people. With the dedication of Miracle Lodge in 2003, Victory now has a central dining and office facility located at the heart of its campus.
Youth camps have also expanded and now include four programs that run simultaneously in the summer: Alpine, Adventure, Ranch and the high school S.A.L.T. discipleship program. Summertime at Victory also sees many work teams from all over the US coming to assist with projects and operations at camp. The Doulos program, begun in 2013, opened up opportunities for youth groups to come and serve and experience Alaska as well. Outpost, a 9-month gap year program, along with internships throughout the year provide educational spiritual development.
The legacy of ministry at Victory can be felt in John’s words recorded over 3 decades ago in his account of the history of Victory:
“More important than the physical facilities is the work of Grace wrought in the hearts and lives of literally hundreds of people. Not only have boys and girls been reached with the Word of God, but hundreds of young people who have served as counselors and older ones who have helped in various ways have seen missions first hand and lives and goals have been changed for eternity.”