Our History

With a rich legacy behind us, we can hope to build on what was and make it into something extraordinary today. 
Camping was in the blood of the Evangelical Church and the Missionary Church long before they merged to form the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada, also known as the EMCC, in 1993.

The Missionary Church camp meetings had country roots, often being held in tents that were put up in farmer's fields and on church properties. The first recorded camp meeting was held in 1905, on five acres of land in the center of Didsbury. This annual summer meeting continued for over 60 years. In the early 1960s, Missionary Church leaders began to look for a campsite to attract their youth. A 20-acre piece of land became available and James River Bible Camp was born! 

In 1939, Elkton Valley Camp was established as the Evangelical Church camp in Alberta. Over the years, powerful messages from bishops, evangelists and missionaries made Elkton Valley Camp dear to the hearts of many Albertans. 

Then, in 1993, when the churches joined forces and became the EMCC, the decision was made to sell both Elkton Valley and James River in order to join their programs and operate one large camp- adequate enough to accommodate hundreds. So, the search was on. They were led to the site where Roy & Jean Luyendyk formerly ran the Cremona Valley Children's Home and Spruceview Koinonia Christian School. The Luyendyks had closed the home in 1996 and felt the Lord leading them to offer the property to the Evangelical Missionary Church for their new camp site. In January of 1998, Rivers Edge Camping Association was formed and the two camp ministries were amalgamated into one.

Since that time, many changes have been made and much growth has occurred. We've seen the development of new buildings, new staff, new equipment, new guest groups and new programs, but the most important thing of all is how we have seen God's involvement in creating each of those new experiences and more! 

If you would like to understand more about how we came to be RECA,  click here to download our "extended history" PDF.