Selected in 1906 by the Texas Baptist convention as the site for a permanent encampment grounds, this coastal area was the scene of many inspirational camp meetings typical of Texas and the entire south in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
In those days thousands of families would come by wagon, surrey, buggy, but primarily by train to spend weeks or longer at the grounds. Religious activities and the opportunity for relaxation and social life made the days pass pleasantly. The campers enjoyed fishing, swimming, and boat rides on the bay. On opening day of the first camp meeting here (held July 3-12, 1906) gate keepers had to use buckets to collect the $1 admission fees -- typically paid in silver dollars. Campers stayed in the varied quarters provided and cooked their meals out of doors.
Over the years, many outstanding baptist ministers spoke at the meetings. Among these were John L. Hill and George W. Truett. Prominent leaders included J. F. Barnett, R. H. Coleman, T. C. Gardner, and Bob Jolly. The first permanent auditorium was moved from La Porte (site of earlier encampments). It was replaced by a memorial auditorium, 1923. The present building was erected after the hurricane of 1942.