NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. – Through the Epworth Forest* Project of the Indiana United Methodist Conference, camp leaders believe an additional 10,000 youth will experience the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ each year. The goal of raising $10 million and building six new cottages is about more than bricks and mortar; it is about “doing everything it takes to reach the next generation for Jesus Christ,” according to project leaders.

Tribute opportunities are an important part of this campaign. Donors will have the opportunity for their gift to be an ongoing encouragement to their friends and church family through the years. The tribute also allows the honoring or remembering of a special event or person in the donor’s life. It is an important way for donors to share their excitement, history and vision for Epworth Forest.

Donors have two paths of making a gift to the project, in conjunction with their local church or outside the local church. Many local churches have made one overall church pledge and some people will simply make a pledge or gift through their church as part of that pledge. Other donors will make the decision to contribute a gift to the project outside the local church. Whether part of a church pledge or an individual contribution, these tribute opportunities are available to all donors.

Donors who have pledged to a church campaign will need to make their contributions directly through their church. This is to ensure the funds are properly credited to the local church’s pledge. The local church will also need to track and verify that a donor has met the financial gift requirements for the intended tribute level. For example, if the Smith family would like to make a pledge or gift commitment to place a Bronze Leaf on the Memory Tree, the local church will need to verify the full payment of that gift and forward those funds to the camp ministry in order for the tribute leaf to be printed. Local church personnel will need to complete a form that will include the tribute information for each intended leaf. Gifts made directly to the project will not be counted toward the local church pledge. If an individual chooses to make a gift outside the local church, the development staff will work with the donor directly.

The Memory Tree will be placed in Freeland House lobby temporarily, and then it will be moved to the lobby of the new Conference Center upon its completion. Donors to the Epworth Forest Project will have the opportunity to place a leaf on the Memory Tree in honor of or in memory of a special person, family or group. The Path of Faith is a special path of bricks, which will eventually surround the Jesus Statue when it is moved to its new location. Until then, the path of bricks will be laid just outside the current auditorium.

The tribute opportunities include:


$500 per brick


$1,000 gift – Bronze Leaf

$5,000 gift – Silver Leaf

$10,000 – Gold Leaf

Note: The leaves and bricks will allow for 30 characters, including spaces.

Each congregation is being asked to track the gifts, verify they are paid in full and forward those funds along with the tribute information sheet to the Indiana Conference Camp Ministry. Please note that the leaf cannot be ordered until the funds have been received and the form completed and returned.

For more information or to contribute to the Epworth Forest Project, contact the Rev. Jean Brindle at 317-815-0083 or by e-mail at

*The Epworth Forest Camp and Conference Center is owned and operated by the Indiana Conference and one of seven sites used by the conference camping and retreat ministry. It is located on Lake Webster in North Webster, Ind.

“Doing everything it takes to reach the next generation for Jesus Christ…”