Who is Forest Springs?

Our Mission

Forest Springs' mission is to provide programs and facilities in a camping environment with a trained service-oriented staff who use the Word of God to help initiate faith and cultivate maturity in Jesus Christ.

Forest Springs Ministries

Forest Springs Camp & Conference Center in northcentral 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 below.


History of Forest Springs

Since 1958

For over sixty years, people have been discovering an incredible place tucked away in beautiful, northcentral Wisconsin. Thousands of young people, families, and singles of all ages have come to Forest Springs to soak up the wonders of creation and be instructed in God's Word.

Forest Springs' mission is to provide programs and facilities in a camping environment with a trained service-oriented staff who use the Word of God to help initiate faith and cultivate maturity in Jesus Christ.

We invite you to discover a place where you can come away with a renewed sense of God's presence, where you can develop friendships that could last a lifetime, where spiritual values are nurtured, and where lifelong memories begin.

Founded and Growing by Faith Since 1958

There are many great men of faith, men who desire to know and serve God, who will never be well known. Most go unnoticed, though their work has tremendous eternal impact.

Richard W. Neale, founder of Camp Forest Springs and Youth Gospel Crusade, was such a man. He traveled extensively using object lessons, adventure films, and blacklight paintings to teach others about the Savior he knew and loved. He wanted to begin a camping ministry as well. He began to pray.

When Reverend Neale saw the James Lake property, recommended to him by a group of men from Ogema, Wisconsin, he asked himself, "Could this property be the answer to my prayers?" An unexpected gift of $1,119 was given to help purchase 80 acres along the lake. It was God's confirmation that this was the right location for the camp.

In early 1957, a group of volunteers began transforming the wilderness area into a camp. The hill where Neale Lodge now stands was leveled and used to convert a swampy area into the present waterfront. By fall, the main lodge (Neale Lodge) was built. It housed the dining hall, chapel, shower rooms, game room, and maintenance shop. Camp Forest Springs was born. Since then it has grown to its current 570 acres, providing ample room for a varied program.

Camp Forest Springs and Youth Gospel Crusade became two separate ministries in 1976. Reverend Neale continued as president of Youth Gospel Crusade. Dick Angelo became camp's director.

In 1979 a long-range plan was developed to expand and improve the facilities at Camp Forest Springs. The goal was to serve more people more completely. The ambitious plan looked impossible, but God has miraculously provided the resources for us to continue.

Forest Springs was born out of the faith and vision God gave to this man. The work he began is still growing. Children and families continue to hear God's Word. Camp staff continue to seek God, carrying on the heritage of faith begun many years ago.

Statement of Faith

What We Believe

Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God provides a way to be rescued from sin and death. He invites us into a restored relationship with Him as sons and daughters.  Forgiveness of sin and new life are available for all who trust in Him. Christ invites us to spend eternity with Him in glory. 

1 We believe God’s ultimate goal in the world (his glory) and our deepest desire (to be happy) are one and the same, because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. Not only is God the supreme source of satisfaction for the human soul, but God himself is glorified by our being satisfied in him. Therefore, our pursuit of joy in him is essential.

The Christian life should be the pursuit of maximum joy in God — joy both in quality and quantity. Fullness of joy and joy forevermore (Psalm 16:11) are found only in him. We wholeheartedly believe that all scripture and our beliefs below ultimately lead to one's joy and satisfaction.

1 https://www.desiringgod.org/topics/christian-hedonism#

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

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:18–19; Mark 12:29; John 1:14; Acts 5:3–4; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:1–3; Rev. 1:4–6).

Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and is true God and true man (Luke 1:30–35; John 1:18; 3:16; Heb. 4:15). Luke 2:40; John 1:1–2; Phil. 2:5–8).

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

We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His ascension into Heaven, and in His present life there for us, as High Priest and Advocate. (John 20:20; Phil. 3:20).

The Return of Jesus Christ

We believe in "that blessed hope", the personal and imminent return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (John 14:1–3; 1 Cor. 15:51–52; 1 Thess. 4:13–18; Titus 2:11–14).

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 Forest Springs.


  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). Transgenderism promotes a new identity and body but misses the role of sin and Christ.  Jesus addresses our need to be born again - a spiritual new body (John 3:5-7). Paul addresses the transition needed of becoming a new creation in Christ, and rejecting the old self (2 Corinthians 5:17). We believe the problem of gender identity and gender dysphoria are rooted in being trapped in bondage by our sin nature not our gender. We believe an identity in Christ provides the freedom our trapped bodies cry out for (Romans 6:6). Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of God’s unique plan and design for that person and misplaces their deeper need for Christ.

Marriage and Sexuality

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, cohabitation, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matt. 15:18-20; I Cor. 6:9-10). Sexual immorality exchanges the truth about God for a lie. It switches our worship and service away from God the Creator and onto his creation (Rom. 1:24-27). 

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 Forest Springs Camp and Conference Center’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Board of Directors is Forest Springs’ final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.


We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of each Forest Springs Ministries site as a community of like-minded believers and to provide a biblical model to the Forest Springs staff and community, it is imperative that all persons employed by each ministry site agree to and abide by this Statement of Faith

('76, revised '89, ’12, ’16, ’21, and 6/1/24)