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Meet The Staff

Empower Our Mission: Support Our Donor-Supported Staff! 

At Ponderosa Bible Camp, every staff member relies on the generosity of supporters like you. None of our dedicated staff missionaries receive a base salary from the camp; instead, we depend on individuals who appreciate our ministry and share our vision for reaching children and teens.

Your donations towards our support are invaluable, making a meaningful impact on our ability to make a difference.

Thank you for standing with us in this important endeavor!

Gratefully,
Jeff Nelson, Executive Director
Ponderosa Bible Camp

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Jeff & Ann Nelson

Jeff's journey with Ponderosa Bible Camp is marked by a profound connection to our mission. Beginning as one of our inaugural campers in 1976, Jeff's evolution from camper to a vital member of our summer staff during high school and college demonstrates his enduring commitment.

Armed with a Degree in Business Management and an Associates Degree in Landscape/ Horticulture, Jeff's post-college journey took a corporate turn. He and Ann married, and Jeff spent a decade as the Vice President of a multi-million dollar commercial landscape company in Birmingham, AL, showcasing his business acumen and horticultural expertise.

In a pivotal shift, Jeff chose to leave the corporate world after 10 years to embrace full-time ministry at Ponderosa. Since 1998, Jeff and Ann have dedicated themselves wholeheartedly to the camp. In his role as Executive Director, Jeff's visionary leadership propels our camp towards continuous growth and impact. Ann, his wife, contributes significantly as our camp photographer and adeptly manages our website and social media platforms.

Choosing to live and work at camp year-round, the Nelsons have transformed Ponderosa into more than a workplace; it's their home. Their commitment transcends professional roles, shaping the very essence of our camp community.

The Nelson family stands as a testament to deep love and connection, with 11 children, 6 happily married, and 11 proud grandchildren—a vibrant reflection of the values we hold dear.​

Read More about the Nelsons

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Wesley & Sarah Grizzard

Wesley Grizzard, son of Max and Sherrie Grizzard, has a long history with Ponderosa, having attended every summer growing up. Recently completing the 1-year Internship Program with our parent organization, Children's Bible Ministries, Wesley discovered a clear call from God to join our staff as a full-time missionary.

In a delightful twist, Wesley tied the knot with Sarah Smothers, who herself served at Ponderosa for many years during her high school and college days.

Wesley brings his dedication and passion to his role in grounds and building maintenance, working tirelessly to keep our campus beautiful. His commitment is not just seasonal; Wesley and Sarah now live and work at camp year-round.

 Your donations towards their support are greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt.

Thank you for considering supporting Wesley and Sarah Grizzard in their devoted service at Ponderosa Bible Camp. 

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Gracie Ballard

Gracie Ballard has been an invaluable member of the Ponderosa Bible Camp team for the past year. Throughout her time here, she has contributed to various aspects of camp ministry, including office work, assisting in the camp kitchen, supporting summer camp activities, and aiding with Released Time Bible classes.

This summer, Gracie will take on the roles of office assistant and Camp Snack Shack manager, while occasionally lending a hand in the kitchen.

At the end of the summer, Gracie will be moving back to Tennessee to be closer to her family and explore new opportunities. We are deeply grateful for her dedication and the positive impact she has made during her time with us. We wish Gracie all the best in her future endeavors.

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Max & Sherrie Grizzard

Max and Sherrie Grizzard have been instrumental in our ministry since 2002, passionately serving through DeKalb County Released Time Bible Classes and Summer Camp.

Max, our dedicated director, has led DeKalb County Released Time, providing weekly Bible classes in public schools in DeKalb County, Alabama. This vital ministry has impacted lives for nearly two decades under his leadership.

During summer camp, Max and Sherrie take on the crucial role of Kitchen Directors, overseeing menu planning and training and supervising our TEAM Members. Their dedication ensures a smooth and enjoyable dining experience for everyone at camp.

Beyond their roles, Max and Sherrie are parents to 7 children, with all 7 happily married. They are proud grandparents of 6 (and counting). Recently relocating from Gadsden, Alabama, they now call Ponderosa home year-round.

As donor-supported staff members, Max and Sherrie rely on your generosity to continue their impactful roles at Ponderosa Bible Camp. Your donations towards their support are greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt.

Thank you for considering supporting Max and Sherrie Grizzard in their dedicated service at Ponderosa Bible Camp. Your generosity plays a vital role in sustaining our vibrant community and diverse ministries.

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Diane Chavers

Bringing over 30 years of devoted service in children's ministry, Diane Chavers stands as a pillar of experience at Ponderosa Bible Camp. Prior to her time with us, Diane, alongside her late husband Daryl, shared their passion for ministry at The Big Oak Ranch with John Croyle in Gadsden, AL., and later at the Baptist Children's Home in Memphis, TN. 
In 2009, both Daryl and Diane joyfully joined the Ponderosa family, serving side by side until Daryl's passing in 2018. Diane, committed to honoring Daryl's legacy, continues to serve as our Mailbox Club Coordinator and Lesson Grader, contributing significantly to the outreach of our ministry.
Beyond her official roles, Diane extends her warm and compassionate nature by assisting Mrs. Sherrie with grocery shopping and food prep.
As a donor-supported staff member, Diane relies on your generosity to sustain her impactful role at Ponderosa Bible Camp. Your donations towards her support are greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt.
Thank you for considering supporting Diane Chavers in her compassionate service at Ponderosa Bible Camp. Your generosity is fundamental in maintaining our vibrant community and diverse ministries.

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Dawn Hinkle

Director of Crafts

Summer Staff Volunteer!

Ponderosa Bible Camp is blessed to have Dawn Hinkle as a devoted volunteer, contributing her time and passion for nearly two decades. Serving as the Director of Crafts for our summer camp, Dawn's unwavering dedication and love for children are truly remarkable. In the heart of our craft room, she creates a warm and nurturing environment where kids can not only unleash their creativity but also experience the love of Jesus through her caring guidance. Dawn's invaluable commitment has left an indelible mark on Ponderosa Bible Camp, making it a place where faith, creativity, and the joy of sharing Jesus come together in a beautiful harmony.

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Jon David & Sarah Nelson

Jon David, born and raised at Ponderosa as the son of Jeff and Ann Nelson, has a rich history with our camp. In June 2022, he married his college sweetheart, Sarah Welch. Their love story began at Bryan College, where they not only excelled on the track team together but also graduated side by side.

Having served as Camp Counselors during their college years, Jon David and Sarah felt a divine confirmation of their call to become full-time missionaries at Ponderosa. Their journey continues with a commitment to raising support, actively seeking new prayer and financial partners.

Living and working at camp year-round, Jon David and Sarah contribute significantly to our mission. Sarah, currently an Assistant Track & XC Coach at Covenant College, adds her expertise to our vibrant team.

As donor-supported staff members, Jon David and Sarah, like their colleagues, depend on your generosity to continue their impactful roles at Ponderosa Bible Camp. Your donations towards their support are greatly appreciated and will be acknowledged with a tax-deductible receipt.

Thank you for considering supporting Jon David and Sarah Nelson. 

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Donor Supported Missionaries

Empower Our Mission: Support Our Donor-Supported Staff! 

At Ponderosa Bible Camp, every staff member relies on the generosity of supporters like you. None of our dedicated staff missionaries receive a base salary from the camp; instead, we depend on individuals who appreciate our ministry and share our vision for reaching children and teens.

Your donations towards our support are invaluable, making a meaningful impact on our ability to make a difference.

Thank you for standing with us in this important endeavor!

Gratefully,
Jeff Nelson, Executive Director
Ponderosa Bible Camp

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Kristin Nelson Adams

Head Lifeguard

Summer Staff - 10+ years!

From growing up at Ponderosa to becoming a cornerstone of our summer team, Kristin's dedication to keeping our pool sparkling clean and ensuring the safety of all our swimmers is truly commendable.

Her unwavering commitment to Ponderosa, even after getting married and moving across town, speaks volumes about her love for this camp and the community it fosters.

In gratitude for your contribution, you'll receive a tax-deductible receipt. No donation is too small or too big, and every contribution is genuinely appreciated.

To enhance your support, consider setting up an automated recurring monthly donation, allowing you to consistently partner with us in fulfilling our mission.

As the apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:17,

"Not because I desire a gift, but I desire fruit that may abound to your account."

 

Your support bears fruit that extends far beyond the immediate, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of those we serve.

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