The first Jeremiah Project work camp, based in Winchester, Virginia, was held in the summer of 1998 with nine churches participating. The two work weeks were, in a word, INCREDIBLE! As we prepared for our second summer of mission work in 1999, we were overwhelmed with the response from churches wanting to bring their junior high students. JP opened a second ministry site in Romney, WV in the summer of 2003, and a third ministry site in Richmond, VA in 2011. The Richmond location provides an urban mission experience and is offered every other year.
In 2001, we added a spiritual growth weekend called Fan the Flame. Over the years, that weekend grew and morphed into what is now known as our JOURNEY junior high weekend. Each March, 400+ students gather at Rockbridge Alum Springs for an amazing weekend of fellowship, teaching, worship, and a ton of fun!
Although JP began as a junior high only ministry, in 2014 we felt God leading us in a new direction and stepped out in faith by creating a new leadership development experience for high school freshmen called, LEAD Four:Twelve. This one-year experience begins in the spring of their freshmen year and concludes in the spring of their sophomore year. Our first LEAD cohort launched in 2015.
After the success of our high school ministry, LEAD For:Twelve, we began praying and discerning about whether we should offer a work camp experience for high school students. In the fall of 2016, the answer became clear and we committed to offering our first high school work camps for the summer of 2018. Those camps will take place in Baton Rouge, La.
As JP develops this commitment to senior high work camps, we recognize the importance of not spreading ourselves too thin and compromising our ministry to junior high students. To that end, we hired a Sr. High Ministry Consultant to develop our senior high work camps and to oversee our LEAD Four:Twelve ministry. This will allow the Executive Director, Todd Freneaux, to continue to oversee the JP ministry while keeping his focus specifically on junior high work camps and the JOURNEY junior high weekend.