The History of Delta Lake
Over the years the annual convention was held in five locations: Round Lake (1890-1892); Keuka Lake (1893-1896); Syracuse (1901); Binghamton (1898-1900, 1912-1923). These experiences were marked by evangelistic fervor, missionary challenges and a moving of God's Spirit on the participants.
On July 9, 1923, the day after the close of the Annual New York State Convention of the Eastern District of The Christian and Missionary Alliance held in Highland Park, Binghamton, New York, the pastors were called together by the District Superintendent, Rev. G. Verner Brown. They considered the advisability of purchasing property centrally located in New York State for a permanent site for conducting the convention. A committee was appointed and after careful consideration, they recommended the purchase of a site owned by Frank and William Wager. This site consisted of 26 acres bordering on Lake Delta with a grove of trees on the east, an open meadow in the center, and a grove of trees on the west.
The owners told the group that their father had walked over the property with them shortly before his death years before and expressed the desire that it might be one day used for a religious purpose. Although they had been offered much larger sums of money, they agreed to a price of $10,000. The property was purchased, a Board of Directors appointed and the first convention was held at Delta Lake in 1924. That first year all lived in tents, ate in tents, cooked in tents and worshiped in a four-pole tent!
The annual convention pattern continued until the 1940's, when summer youth conferences were added to the Delta Lake ministry. From 1924-1934, a three-story dormitory, a tabernacle, and various cottages were built, while two large dining tents were purchased. From 1933-1943, a speakers cottage, a main tabernacle, a cooking kitchen and various smaller buildings and private cottages were added.
When the youth camps began, many additional facilities were added to enhance the program. Throughout the years there has been a movement of God's Spirit upon individual lives through evangelistic preaching, missionary challenges and individual counselling. Thousands of people participate each summer and hundreds of lives are transformed by the Holy Spirit. New buildings have been added for worship, for lodging, and for residency. Delta Lake as an experience is a highlight of a particular year and of a total lifetime.
In the 1970's thoughts turned toward a year-round, four-season use of this God-given facility. A pavilion was erected and a modern lodge was constructed. In the late 70's the beginnings of four-season experiences emerged. In the early 1980's, this aspect grew to be a third major dimension of the Delta Lake ministry. Nearly fifty evangelical denominations, fellowships, or institutions use the Delta Lake facilities during a typical year. As in the early New York State convention, many evangelical friends of kindred spirit experience the fresh moving of God's Spirit during their visits to Delta Lake. This has continued to the present day, and the addition of the Delta Center, opened for use in 1992, has contributed to this vital ministry.
In 2002, 13 more acres were added to the facilities with the purchase of Faith Chapel. Faith Chapel is used for ministry centered events and is available for your ministry.