Jerry started as a camper in the inaugural year of camp in 1948; he attended every year until he was 18 years old. Jerry was Athletic Director from 1958-9. Many of the systems around camp he has worked on: grounds in building, water and sewer system, the filter system on pool, boiler, lake water pump, recirculating pump, and vacuum pump from 1970-95. His three children attended camp from third grade until high school; all have served on staff in various positions. Jerry started on the board in 1995, serving as the Building & Grounds Chairman from 1995-1996 and also as Chairman of the Board from 1995-1997. He became executive director in 1997 and served through 2008.
Jerry's favorite camp memory came through the Spirit speaking to his heart each summer, many times, in many places.
"Alfred Garr was 31 years older than me... this giant of a man, my earthly hero, my role model, a Hollywood and National Singing Star, a D-Day commander on the shores of Normandy at Omaha Beach, was bigger than life to me. I worked with him in the summer at camp when school was out, when I was 14-18 years old. Many times it was just him and me on the grounds and that was very impactful for me. I was so impressed with His love for Jesus. One day after some 15 hours of work, we went to the Waldorf for the evening. There was no heat, just screens and the sounds of the creation. I was so tired I could not walk; I slept in the back left room and he was in the right bedroom. I went to bed, got up to go to the bathroom, and he was sitting there in a chair reading his Bible. That impression has never left my mind and heart. What a man of passion, dedication, diligence, and passion.
When I was about 10-12 years old, after dinner one night at camp, Alfred announced, 'I want to see Jerry Martin in my office when we dismiss.' I was terrified. I went in the log cabin, where he lived. I went into the right side and sat down beside him, leaned against the wall, and he talked to me for a while. I was so scared that I remember only this, 'Jerry, you are a natural born leader. You will lead and influence people your whole life. You will either lead them TO Jesus or away from Jesus!'
God used that little moment with Alfred as guardrails down through my life to keep me aware of His presence and call on my life. Never did I think, nor did Alfred I’m sure, that when I was 55 years old, the Spirit would move on Alfred to call me to take over the ministry of Camp Lurecrest.
But, the most poignant and the sweetest memory I have is sitting in the “Victory Circle” where we sang our praise and worship songs with Alfred. The song that spoke to my heart was 'Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus.' I shed many tears and accepted Jesus as my Savior a thousand times, never really believing that I would ever go to heaven! When I discovered the gospel in the early ‘70s, I came to the peace that has never left me for a moment. Jesus, and His sweet gospel saved me and settled my heart forever. I am grateful for Jesus and desire to proclaim Him forever."