Celebrating 75 years
Look Back with Us
Over the Past 75 years
A ministry is born
World War II was ending. The spirit of America was one of optimism—brutal regimes had been overthrown; freedom had won. Yet in the heart and mind of Hamilton Robb French, alarm bells were ringing. The church in America that once had held firm to the truth of God’s Word seemed to be weakening. The spiritual gains made by many denominations, particularly holiness denominations, during the great revivals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries seemed to be under attack. Revival was the answer, and the pursuit of revival became the hallmark of H. Robb French’s anointed ministry.
Bro. Robb French began looking for property in South Florida where he could start a winter camp meeting, offer housing for returned missionaries, and provide a place for religious instruction. On January 28, 1947, a down payment was made to purchase thirty acres on a dirt street in Hobe Sound called Gomez. The deposit was $480. Two months later the remaining balance was paid for a total purchase price of $4,800 ($160 per acre).
There was much work to do. The property would have to be drained and cleared to be suitable for a camp meeting. But God was on their side. With the end of the war, army bases throughout the country were closing and selling many of their assets. After three roads were cleared on the property, buildings were moved from nearby Camp Murphy. Before long there were cottages in which to live and larger buildings in which to hold services and prepare meals. It was primitive, but by February 1948 they were ready for the first camp.
A Dream for Training Becomes a Reality
In the seventy-five years since that first meeting, Sea Breeze Camp has been held each year for ten days beginning the first Thursday of February. Not a year has been missed. As the camp grew, so did the facilities. Bro. French called the ministry “Florida Evangelistic Association.” This was later shortened to FEA Ministries.
In the late 1950s a young preacher from Alabama, Rev. Steve Herron, began attending the annual camp. He also had a passion—it was Christian education. He was concerned with the lack of theologically-sound Bible schools where holiness pastors, missionaries, and educators could be trained.
These two great men combined their visions, and in 1960 Hobe Sound Bible Institute was begun. It would grow to become an accredited four-year Bible college. As many families moved to the area to join the ministries, an academy was added, and the facilities and property continued to be expanded.
With a passion for revival and sound theological education, evangelistic zeal will follow. In 1961 students from Hobe Sound Bible Institute began going on mission trips to the Bahamas, just off the Florida East Coast. Soon churches were started there, and long-term missionaries were sent. These mission endeavors spread south to the Turks and Caicos Islands, Haiti, and finally to Taiwan and around the world. These humble origins were the beginning of what today is called Hope International Missions.
With many people now living in Hobe Sound year-round, church services were begun. Eventually a fulltime pastor was called and an official church organized. This annual camp meeting with such primitive roots had been blessed by God—it had given birth to a college, a church, and a mission
Second Sea Breeze Camp Tabernacle
One of FEA’s Founders, James Zuch, by Original Cabin
Phil & Betty Newton HIM’s First Missionaries
Sea Breeze Camp 1983
The Vision Continues
As was the case seventy-five years ago, the church today is under attack. Many churches and minis-tries have become spiritually weak and ineffective. Revival is our cry! The message of holiness and the Christian’s ability to live a victorious life must be proclaimed in these days. Christians marked by purity, power, and passion must be a reality now. It is the only hope for our world!
During Sea Breeze Camp 2022 FEA Ministries will be celebrating our 75th camp. Many exciting ways of celebrating this milestone are being planned, and we invite you to join us February 3-13, 2022, for this important milestone of our ministry.
You Can Be a Part
Late last year as I was praying and planning for our 75th anniversary, I felt impressed to start a 75th Anniversary Campaign. The goal is to raise $10,000 for each year of our history. This $750,000 fund will be used to help with major infrastructure needs on our shared campus. Projects will include roofs and sewer line repairs among other upgrades needed by our aging buildings.
During the closing service of our 74th annual camp this past February I presented this vision. In fifteen short minutes nearly $290,000 was raised. That is almost 40 percent of the $750,000 goal. But we need your help. We would like to raise an additional $270,000 by the end of this year. This will bring us to 75 percent of our goal. We will work to raise the remaining 25 percent during our 75th camp in February.
Will you help us? From this campus, pastors and other Spirit-filled Christian workers are being trained, missionaries are being sent, and holiness is being proclaimed. Our children, our churches, our world need us! Revival is still our cry! You can be a part.