Before the turn of the century, Free Methodists were already strong believers in camping. Their early camp meetings were usually ten days or longer, centering on revival meetings held in large tent "tabernacles."
For over 50 years, Free Methodists in the Pacific Northwest enjoyed a variety of rustic campgrounds operated by the Washington Conference, located in sites such as Burlington and Tacoma, as well as Sunnyside and other central Washington locations.
A dream was born to have a modern Christian camp and conference center in the Pacific Northwest to keep pace with the expanding ministry of Christian camping. After a region-wide search, attention focused on three adjacent parcels of land located 20 miles north of Everett, Washington, overlooking Port Susan Bay.
On January 11, 1956, forty people gathered to plod through the 180 acres of land, which was home to a farm, an old saw mill, and acres of thick forest. The committee met later that day at a cafe in Marysville and voted to purchase the land. During the next year a master plan was developed, which called for a main conference grounds and two satellite youth camps.
By the spring of 1957 construction was underway on Cedar Lodge (then called the Dining Hall) and the Olympic View Cabins (now Mountain Cabins and Mini-Lodges). Dozens of volunteer work crews spent weekends and holidays working on these construction projects. The striking fir log beams in Cedar Lodge were painstakingly logged, hand-peeled and oiled as a part of this process.
By the summer of 1959, the first "pioneer" campers arrived at the developing campsite. With parts of Cedar Lodge still in skeleton form, a determined volunteer staff cooked, cleaned and counseled for two Christian Youth Crusader (CYC) youth camps. One year later, the first Free Methodist Family Camp and Annual Conference was held at the new Conference Center.
During the next seven years, extensive construction took place at Warm Beach, and at one point, twenty-seven buildings were under construction at the same time. In more recent years, Olympic View Lodge, Glacier Mini-Lodge, The Pines and Whistler Mini-Lodge have been added.
Today, more than 350 events are held on the grounds each year, with nearly 100,000 people enjoying the beauty and unique setting of Warm Beach Christian Camps and Conference Center.