Weekly News: Elizabeth River District of The United Methodist Church
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Meet New Director for Camp Occohannock!
Rev. Joel N. Coleman has been in full time ministry since 2005 serving Pine Grove UMC in York, Pa. and Knoxville Yoked & Austinburg UMC in Knoxville, Pa. Prior to this, he served a number of congregations as youth pastor, and counseled and directed in a variety of settings with children and youth, including specialized settings like Philhaven hospital (a psychiatric facility for children & youth).

He graduated from Millersville University in Pa. with a Special Education and Elementary Education Degree. He continued his education at Drew Theological School, in New Jersey, where he obtained a Masters of Divinity Degree.  Finally, in 2009 he became a fully ordained Elder in the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church.  In High School, Joel was first called to ministry at Camp Penn, Pa. and throughout his life he has discovered the incredible impact Christ can have through camp and retreat ministry on people’s lives. 

Joel has served at Camp Fontanelle in Nickerson Nebraska full time as Program Director for the last 5 summers.  He is looking forward to starting this new adventure at Occohannock on the Bay in Virginia as the Camp Director.  Joel’s family includes his wife Niki, and his sons Kaiden and Brenden. Joel and his family will move in at the Camp residence around September 15!  Welcome, Joel, Niki, Kaiden and Brenden!

Joel and his family arrived September 15th at Occohannock on the Bay Camp and Retreat Center in Belle Haven.  Click here to view Joel's video located at Occohannock on the Bay's Facebook page:

You can contact Joel at:
Occohannock on the Bay Camp and Retreat Center
9403 Camp Lane, Belle Haven, VA 23306
Phone: 757-442-7836 (office) 8:00 am- 4:00 pm
You will be greatly missed, Camp Director Michael Henry and family
August 13, 2021:  Best wishes Michael to you and your family in your next adventure! We are greatly appreciative for all your gifts and talents you have shared as Camp Director! You have touched so many lives in this outdoor ministry setting. We are sad to see you leave but rejoice that you will be sharing the gifts God has blessed you with in another setting among those in another community. God bless you! (photo: Michael, Alison, Isaiah, Maryam, not pictured is Baby Levi)

From Michael:  What an adventure! For over 20 years I have been a part of Camp Occohannock and for the past 18 years I have been employed as a counselor, summer program coordinator, and these past 8 years as your camp director. But I am sad to report if you haven’t heard yet that my family and I are moving to North Carolina.

We feel God is calling us to use our gifts and talent to help other communities. With your support for the camp we have done so many wonderful things. We have increased in campers, guest groups, and supporters. We have renovated and updated over $200,000.00+ towards our existing building for better usage. We have built more than just a camp we have built a community and family.

I will truly miss everyone of you. I will miss getting to know you and the history you share about our camp. I will miss serving you and helping your groups have successful retreats. I will miss working with you in making our camp stand out a grow against all odds. Those that have supported this camp with me are by far the best and I appreciate each of you.

There is no amount of words I can say to express my love for you all. Thank you all from the smallest camper to the oldest guest group member for becoming part of my family and allowing me to be a part of yours. I will cherish each memory and hold each of you and Camp Occohannock on the Bay close to my heart. You will be in good hands and you have always been in good hands.

With much Love,
The Henry Family
(Michael, Alison, Isaiah, Maryam, and Levi)
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