Rev. Winfield F. Ruelke
December 18, 1908 - Sepember 10, 1993
Children’s Bible Fellowship of New York, Inc. (originally known as Lakeside Bible Conference) was officially founded in June of 1943 by Rev. Winfield F. Ruelke (also know as Uncle Win) and his family when God called him into a faith ministry to share (by all means) the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Originally Uncle Win was the Assosiate Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan. From an early age, his passion was to share the Gospel with the youth. This would later lead to the development of Camp Joy. This was thanks to a man named Mr. Hoefle; whom Uncle Win is recorded saying,
"His encouragement through those early years brought me to the commitment of my life to Christ. Little was I then aware that the way of service would lead to reaching thousands of children for Christ."
His passion to share the Gospel did not stop with the youth, however.
At the time, people with special needs were often left in hospitals. Seeing this, Uncle Win was compelled to minister to those who were physically and mentally challenged. After hearing a parent say, “You’ve all done so much for my son – therapy, education, etc., and I’m so grateful, but does anyone know that my child has a soul?” Uncle Win's heart was moved and he then decided to start a camp for people with special needs. This was the beginning of what we know today as Camp Hope.
Uncle Win's philosophy was, that if we ask great things of God, for His glory; He we would faithfully supply. This mindset led Uncle Win to be in continual prayer. He would remind the staff regularly in his letters saying,
"Prayer is a mighty weapon, supported by two legs 'faith and labor'. God wonderfully goes before us in opening doors and supplying needs. Prayer must be a continuing fellowhship."
After many years of mission work, Uncle Win retired in 1988. When looking back over his lifetime of service he wrote,
" More could not be asked of the Lord than the blessing of the enrichment of a life in His matchless service...The amazing provisions, through prayer which C. B. F. has had as a heritage and foundation by the Holy Spirit, are precious - 'That in all things He may have the preeminence!"
Children’s Bible Fellowship of New York, Inc. began in New York City. At the time, many youths roamed the streets for lack of space to play anywhere else. This lead to the developement of multiple campaigns and clubs such as:
G. O. A. T Club (Give Out A Tract)
D.V.B.S (One week school program)
Good News Club
And many more
Today CBF continues to run programs that help teach youth about the word of God.
The Salt program was launched in 2015 to teach future leaders of this generation how to "make disciples". It is based on a holistic ministry model that balances each students growth in their knowledge of God and the practical uses of it. We are praying that through this program, leaders of this generation will be equipped to make disciples and teach the Gospel.
Camp Joy was named such because the prayer of the staff was that each child would find Jesus as their Savior and know real JOY. The verse that was attached to the name was Ephesians 2:8-9,
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast."
Ever since the 1940s Camp Joy has ministered to inner city youth through the Gospel.
Camp Hope was named after the verses Psalm 39:7,62:5 which say,
"And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you...For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him."
After hearing a parent say, “You’ve all done so much for my son – therapy, education, etc., and I’m so grateful, but does anyone know that my child has a soul?”, Uncle Win's heart was moved and he then decided to start a camp for people with special needs. This was the begining of what we know today as Camp Hope.