History

In 1979, Hank and Ruth Scheltema, aviation missionaries in the Amazon, Brazil, began to develop the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) International Airbase. They scrimped and saved to buy the sixty-six acres of pine tree harvested land. On this land, Hank and volunteers built the ABWE hangar and a home in Concord, GA.

From a swamp surrounded by wild woodland, Hank developed a 7-acre lake to use as a float plane base to train missionary pilots. Many pilots and mechanics have served the Lord from this airbase, and their ministry has been influential throughout the world. You can read more about this life-changing ministry in Ruth’s book, In the Air For Him.

After retirement, Hank envisioned a camp ministry for children, young people and families on the 25 acres across the lake from his home. But Hank was never able to see his vision completed. Hank died unexpectedly in 2003 while temporarily replacing a missionary pilot in the Amazon. He was buried in the jungle town where he served 25 years of the 45 years he spent in missionary aviation.

The Lord burdened Ruth to help Hank’s vision come to fruition by donating the camp grounds to her local church, Berean Baptist. It is now Woodlands Baptist Camp.