The Camp Richardson Recreation and Retreat Center is a multi-purpose “state of the art” facility located in the Southwest section of Leon County, Tallahassee, Florida. It is managed by Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and designed to host various events, ranging from summer camps, workshops, church picnics, luncheons, receptions, repasts and other moments of fellowship for both churches, individuals, families and community organizations.
During the 1930s, the property was originally owned by Mr. and Mrs. Frank and Sallie Wilson and used primarily for farming and cattle grazing. However, black churches would occasionally use the lake for baptismal purposes. After the acquisition of the property by Dr. and Mrs. Alpha Omega Campbell, the lake and property were developed for recreational purposes. In 1964, the property was purchased by Woodmen of the World from the Bok Company who owned it until it was purchased in July 1993 by Bethel A. M.E. Church of Tallahassee, Florida, Reverend Doctor Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr., Pastor. It was his vision to move Bethel A.M.E. Church beyond its walls. During the 1993 Florida Annual Conference, the property was dedicated by Bishops McKinley Young and Zedekiah L. Grady with Bishop Frank C. Cummings presiding, as the Bethel-by-the-Lake Campsite Retreat.*
Many events were held over the years, however, recent vandalism and arson left the site in shambles. With the vision from a new leader, Reverend Doctor Julius McAllister, Jr., and a newly formed Board of Directors for the campsite, an appeal to renovate the site was initiated. Mrs. Dorothy P. Williams became the spokesman to rally the congregation in support of the site. She shared her vision that the Book of Nehemiah would add both scriptural and spiritual context for the restoration. The newly renovated lodge and grounds was rededicated and renamed The Camp Richardson Recreation and Retreat Center, Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015 with Bishops McKinley Young and Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr. presiding.
Named for the 115th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishop Adam Jefferson Richardson, Jr., the site offers a large capacity swimming pool, basketball court, volleyball area, picnic grounds and beautifully decorated 2520 square foot lodge fit to host events from picnics to receptions.
The facility is available for rental. We invite site visitation by appointment and look forward to hosting your events. Please call (850) 576-7501 to secure an application. Remember, The Work is All Divine!
Coverage of the Re-dedication of Camp Richardson: