Crystal 100 Anniversary

Crystal 100 Anniversary

100 Years of Memories and Life Formation on the Shores of Crystal Lake
Experience the memories, absorb the grandeur, relive the life-forming friendships

Crystal 100 Anniversary Thanks

After much planning, preparation, discussion, and the hard work on the part of many people, the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Crystal Conference Center has come and gone, but the experience shared by those who were present created memories that will last them a lifetime. It was indeed a momentous and memorable occasion, worthy of the rich history and legacy of “Crystal.”

The success of any endeavor occurs, in large measure, as a result of the persons involved working together, fulfilling their responsibilities, and remaining focused on the desired outcome. Another key element is skilled, committed leadership. We are blessed that Tim Murtaugh provided this type of leadership from the very beginning. There are also key role players that were critical to the success of the Celebration.

Jennifer Murtaugh worked faithfully by Tim’s side every step of the way, giving her support and sharing ideas.

Neil Topliffe gave his usual scrutiny to details and his insight into overcoming obstacles and taking advantage of opportunities.

Beverly Peeler worked especially hard to respond to the needs and requests she received as she handled camp “stuff”, the transition of our financials to Treasury Services in Indianapolis, and the day to day concerns that come into the Regional office.

Brenda Murphy, her hard-working husband Dick, and her staff brought the Crystal Conference Center into picture perfect condition.

Pastor Jill Forton, shared her ideas and information, prepared pictorial displays, and with Cascade Christian’s support, printed the anniversary history booklet and provided needed transportation assets that were so very helpful.

Sarah Beth Simonds worked diligently to create a meaningful closing worship experience for Sunday morning.

God blessed us with perfect weather.

There were many others who performed many important tasks that I will not attempt to name to avoid the peril of leaving someone out. Please understand that the 100th Anniversary Celebration was a great success because of each of them. We are grateful for the tremendous effort put forth by everyone, including those who volunteered at the last minute when called upon step in where needed.

The 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Crystal Conference Center is an excellent example of what is possible when everyone works together on one accord with a laser focus on the goal.

The presence of the Holy Spirit was evident, particularly during Sunday worship. Dr. Richard Lowery’s message was powerful and inspiring, the music was uplifting, and communion was uniquely meaningful. To God be the glory.

Eugene James, Regional Minister
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Michigan Region


Here's what we did over the weekend. What's not reflected in the schedule is all the clusters of friends congregating in small groups to reminisce and catch up with one another. Check back in 25 years - on Sunday morning the kids went off and wrote notes, drew pictures that went into a time capsule, to be opened at the 125th anniversary of Crystal. We were a group of 200 folks gathered for a weekend of fun and reminiscing - and that we did!


4:00-7:00 pm – Registration, Welcome, and Settling In
7:00 pm – Welcome, get acquainted, large group activities
9:00 pm – Camp Fire - sharing songs and stories with Closing Circle


7:00-9:00 am - Drop off of previously registered Silent Auction items - Fellowship Hall
8:00 - Breakfast (for onsite lodging residents only) - Dining Hall
9:00 - 11:00 - Sign up for Saturday afternoon Rock Wall climbing
9:00 - History of the Crystal Conference Center with Russ Fuller - Chapel
         - Crafts and other activities for children and youth
9:45 - Coffee Break
10:00 - Remembrances of the College of Missions with Pat Sheafor and Jane Heaton- Chapel
11:00 - Question and Answer session regarding new camp managers, UCCR - Chapel
12:00 - Picnic Lunch - included with indivdual registration
12:00 – 5:00 – Silent Auction in Fellowship Hall

1:00 - Free Time. (Hiking, Volleyball, Gaga Pit, Canoeing, shopping, wine tasting, relaxation).
1:00 - Volunteer Sunday Choir Rehearsal - sign up when you check in
12:30 - 2:00 -Rock Climbing wall Session 1 - you must sign up with Eric in the morning.
2:00 - 3:30 - Rock Climbing wall Session 2
2:30 - 4:00 Swimming
4:00 – “When God Goes to Camp” – Reflections on Rev 21:1-7 by Rick Lowery, President of Disciples of Christ Historical Society
5:00 - Silent Auction Closes

5:00 - Pig Roast on the grounds - included in individual registration
7:00 – Silent Auction Results Announced
          - Vespers Service - led by children and youth
8:00 - Dancing in Fellowship Hall
9:00 - Camp Fire and Closing Circle


8:00 am - Breakfast (for onsite lodging residents only) - Dining Hall
9:00 am - Choir Rehearsal - Chapel
9:00 - Bible Study with Rev. Rick Boyd - Fellowship Hall
10:00 - Worship Service in the Chapel - Disciples Women & Delphia Ann Coleman - Keyboardist
              Sermon: “Water Table” Rick Lowery, preaching
11:00 - Farewell

Swimming Buddies

Swimming Buddies

Who was your swimming buddy at camp?
Boat House

Boat House

Yes, at one time there was a boat house on that concrete in the lake!
Ropes Coarse

Ropes Coarse

Sure, it looks easy until you try it.
Heavenly Sunsets

Heavenly Sunsets

Have you ever seen more beautiful sunsets?
Old Dining Hall

Old Dining Hall

Many memories surround the original dining hall. Do you know where it was located?
Crystal Beach Assembly Pennat

Crystal Beach Assembly Pennat

Who remembers this gem from the past - about 1923.
College of Missions

College of Missions

100s of Disciples church missionaries prepared for overseas assignments here at Crystal
Inside the Boat House

Inside the Boat House

College of Missions missionary training took place in the boathouse.
Old Chapel

Old Chapel

Lots of youth commited their lives to follow Christ in the old chapel. Do you know where it was located?
Elementary Morning worship

Elementary Morning worship

100 years later, youth still gather for worship and spiritual nurture
Deep Dock

Deep Dock

... when they aren't having fun.