Gilmont Camp & Conference Center

Our Story


A Treasure in East Texas

In a sprawling and often chaotic world, Gilmont invites us to gather ourselves in the timeless and uncomplicated beauty of the forest. Gilmont is a place for people to rest, rejuvenate, and recreate. For over 80 years, campers of all ages have connected and reflected in the midst of the healing and nurturing power of creation. They have hiked Gilmont’s trails, fished in the pond, and stargazed at the night sky. They have felt centered.

Before Gilmont

For thousands of years, people have held an intimate connection with the land, the sky, and each other in the piney woods Gilmont now calls home. Gilmont acknowledges, with respect, that we now gather on the traditional land of the Caddo and Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo) people. They were the first to gather here, listen to the stories of creation, trade, and find healing among the pines. Following treaties in the early 1800s, the Caddo and Kiikaapoi people were dispossessed of their ancestral homelands by the United States government and forcibly removed. In recognition of the first people to call this place home, Gilmont has named the place where campers express themselves through arts and crafts, “Caddo Hall.” We honor the land itself and the people who have tended it and been formed by it throughout generations.

By the early 20th century, the place we now call Gilmont was a sawmill. Near the entrance of the camp, an old saw blade has been upcycled to include Gilmont’s logo and offers a scenic spot for a picture. A little down the road, a pond sits. In memory of the days when sawmill workers would set their equipment in the pond to cool it off, we call this body of water the “Mill Pond.”

Gilmont’s Early Years

In 1940, a small group of East Texas Presbyterian church leaders transformed the abandoned sawmill into the 400 acres of holy ground we know as Gilmont. Rooted in the Reformed Faith and an extension of the local church, Gilmont provided a place for church picnics, leadership retreats, and summer camps. For its first fifty years, Gilmont was owned and managed by the regional Presbytery. Beyond those members, Gilmont was an intentionally well-kept secret.

Growing as an Organization

In the early 1990s, Gilmont took on a new identity as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. No longer owned by Grace Presbytery, the newly formed association of Member Churches and Gilmont’s Board began to welcome new conversations, new ministry partners, and new opportunities to grow into a “Camp and Conference Center.”

New Friends

Gilmont’s branches broadened to better meet the needs of the community. Circle of Friends Camps were begun to celebrate and assist families of children with special needs. Outdoor School programs were introduced to connect students with the natural world. Adult retreats for faith formation were started, creating space for sharing spiritual practices with a wide array of Christians. Gilmont began hosting its own summer camps and partnered with other entities to bring in new specialty camps. The Great Gluten Escape was such a camp. It provided a safe space and community for campers with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Gilmont also began to partner more with other denominations and nonprofits to help them meet their goals while spending time in Gilmont’s beautiful surroundings. These camps and endeavors have continued and grown as new camps and opportunities have developed.

Current Chapter of Transformation

Rooted in the love and grace of a nurturing God, made evident in the beauty of creation, Gilmont is now stepping into an exciting chapter of transformation! A covenant with Grace Presbytery was re-established and strengthened as Jennifer and Rev. Kenny Rigoulot were called as Co-Executive Directors in 2021. Gilmont’s Mission, Vision, and Values were developed after Gilmont’s leaders listened to constituents in early 2023. This has led to an exciting Strategic Plan and Gilmont’s “Strengthening Roots, Stretching Branches” Capital Campaign.

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