The express purpose of Mississippi Baptists' conference ministries program has always been to provide a setting in which God can lead His people to make life-changing spiritual decisions including professions of faith, rededications, and commitments to Christian vocations. Over the years, thousands of such decisions have been made in the conference ministry settings.Camp GaraywaMississippi Baptists began their conference ministries program in 1947 when Mississippi Woman's Missionary Union opened Camp Garaywa (named for Girls in Action, Royal Ambassadors, Young Women's Association) on 50 acres in Clinton. Garaywa developed a comprehensive summer program for children and youth. With the recent addition of Patterson Place, a multi-purpose facility with hotel type accommodations and assembly rooms for adults, the camp currently operates the entire year.Gulfshore Baptist AssemblyThe former U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, on the Bay of St. Louis' Henderson Point just west of Kittiwake along Highway 90, was purchased from the federal government in 1959 and renamed Gulfshore Baptist Assembly. The 23-acre assembly was heavily damaged by Hurricane Betsy and was completely destroyed by Hurricane Camille. The convention board rebuilt the assembly and expanded
the campgrounds in the early 1970s. Gulfshore Assembly was destroyed once again by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and later sold to private interests.Central Hills Baptist RetreatAfter the destruction of Kittiwake, Royal Ambassador camps were held at Mississippi state parks until Central Hills Baptist Retreat opened in 1979. Situated on 540 acres of woods and lakes in Attala County outside Kosciusko, Central Hills provides a natural setting for the summer camping program. The camp is managed by the Men's Ministry Department of the convention board and it's also used by churches and convention groups for retreats, conferences and activity settings during the off season.Kittiwake Baptist AssemblyKittiwake Baptist Assembly in Pass Christian was purchased in 1955 by the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. Kittiwake, which served primarily as the state's Royal Ambassadors camp, consisted of 16 acres and was fronted by the Gulf of Mexico beach just across U.S. Highway 90. Kittiwake was damaged by Hurricane Camille in 1969, and later sold to private interests.