Meet The Staff
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Jeff  & Ann Nelson

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Executive Director

Jeff grew up attending Ponderosa as a child and was one of our first campers when we opened at this location in 1976.  Jeff was part of our summer staff while he was in high school and college. 
Jeff and Ann have been serving full-time since 1998.  Jeff serves as Executive Director.  Ann serves as our camp photographer and website/social media manager.  

Jeff and Ann live and work at camp year-round.

Jeff & Ann are the parents

of 11 children (4 are married)

and grandparents to 10 (so far)!
Each of our staff members is faith-supported.  Any donations towards their support will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt. 

Chris & Gina Dorough

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Hospitality, Landscaping,

Office Manager
Chris and Jeff formerly worked together in the commercial landscaping industry in Birmingham.  Gina is a former Elementary School Principal.  After being called into full-time ministry, Chris & Gina joined our full-time staff. Chris takes care of grounds maintenance and helps with building maintenance, hospitality, and videography.  Gina serves as our Bookkeeper, office manager, and video producer.

Chris & Gina live and work at camp year-round.
Each of our staff members is faith-supported.  Any donations towards their support will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt. 

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Max & Sherrie Grizzard

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DeKalb Co Released Time Bible Classes & Summer Camp
Since 2002, Max has been the director of our ministry called DeKalb County Released Time, which offers weekly Bible classes in public schools in DeKalb County, AL.

Max and Sherrie serve as Kitchen Directors during summer camp, which includes menu planning and TEAM Member training and supervision. 

Max & Sherrie are the parents of 7 children (5 are married) and grandparents of 6 (so far)!

Max & Sherrie recently moved from Gadsden, AL, and now live at camp year-round.
Each of our staff members is faith-supported.  Any donations towards their support will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt. 

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Caroline Freeman

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Caroline is a full-time staff missionary! 

Caroline has grown up attending Ponderosa as a camper, Team Member, Salt Member, and Camp Counselor.

Caroline grew up in Vestavia Hills, AL, attending VHHS and Mountain Brook Community Church.

Caroline is married to Shane Freeman of Fort Payne, AL.

Caroline will be serving in all areas of camp ministry including working in the camp office, helping with Released Time Bible Classes, and mentoring our teen volunteers.

Each of our staff members is faith-supported.  Any donations towards their support will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt. 

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Wesley  & Sarah Grizzard

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Wesley Grizzard is the son of Max & Sherrie Grizzard and grew up attending Ponderosa every summer.

Wesley recently completed the 1-year Internship Program of our parent organization, Children's Bible Ministries. During this time, God confirmed His call on Wesley's life to join our staff as a full-time missionary.  

Wesley recently married Sarah Smothers who served at Ponderosa for many years while she was in high school and college.

Wesley serves in the area of grounds and building maintenance.  

Wesley & Sarah live and work at camp year-round.

Each of our staff members is faith-supported.  Any donations towards their support will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt. 

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Jon David Nelson & Sarah Welch

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Jon David is the son of Jeff and Ann Nelson and was born and raised at Ponderosa. 

Jon David recently got engaged to Sarah Welch from Bryan College. They will get married on June 5, 2022, before joining our staff full-time.  Jon David and Sarah are seniors at Bryan College, where they are on the track team together.  

They have served as Camp Counselors at Ponderosa for the past 4 years. During this time, God confirmed His call on their life to join our staff as full-time missionaries.  

Jon David & Sarah have recently begun their support-raising journey and are actively seeking new prayer and financial partners.

Jon David & Sarah will live and work at camp year-round.

Each of our staff members is faith-supported.  Any donations towards their support will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt. 

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Diane Chavers

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Mailbox Club Coordinator
Diane has been in children's ministry for over 25 years. Formerly serving at the Baptist Children's Home in Memphis, and at The Big Oak Ranch with John Croyle. Diane serves as our Mailbox Club Coordinator

& Lesson Grader.
Each of our staff members is faith-supported.  Any donations towards their support will be greatly appreciated and acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt.

Summer Staff

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Dawn Hinkle

Dawn Hinkle from Trussville, AL has been our Summer Camp Craft Director for almost 15 years! 

We are grateful for Dawn and her heart for Ponderosa!