About PRBC

Park River Bible Camp is a camp and retreat ministry for all ages that encourages a faith relationship with Jesus Christ through Bible study, worship, music, and fellowship.

We Are a Christ-Centered, Lutheran Ministry

Being a Christ-centered camp, we desire for our campers to have a living faith in Jesus Christ. Being Lutheran, we hold to the confessional Lutheran understandings of faith, salvation, grace, sin, the Church, and the sacraments.

We Are a Diverse Ministry

We offer many different programs for different age groups: Camping and retreating for youth throughout the entire year; a Vacation Bible School program throughout the summer; quilting and scrapbooking/stamping retreats for adults; and fall and spring gatherings each for senior citizens and for citizens with disabilities.

We Have Excellent Grounds, Facilities, and Program Structures

We are located on about 120 acres of property 6 miles west of Park River, ND (about an hour northwest of Grand Forks, ND.) Among our facilities we have a large, newly renovated Chapel and Fireside Room; a year-round Retreat Center with cabins, a gym, a fellowship room, restrooms, and a kitchen; and a Dining Hall. We can currently house about 200 people in our 12 rustic cabins, 5 winterized cabins, and 5 Retreat Center rooms. We also have a batting cage, a low adventure course, a high ropes course, and a climbing tower and paintball.

Meet our Team

Rebecca Kjelland

Rebecca Kjelland

Director of Ministries

Rebecca, her husband Aaron, Sander (9), Jonas (9), Torfinn (7) and Brune (5) reside in rural Park River, ND, where they farm.  Rebecca was not raised in a Christian home, but came to know the Lord at a Bible camp near Seattle, WA when she was 13 years old.  It was then, that she fell in love with Jesus, and it was the first time she felt loved and worthy of love.  Rebecca has a great testimony and is using it to connect with people from all walks of life.

Jerry McIllwan

On-Site Director

Jerry grew up in Monroe, Louisiana. At the age of 22 he joined the army and moved to New York where he spent four years. After his time as Heavy Equipment Operator for the Army ended, he went into construction. He currently has 40+ years of construction experience. He also ran his own business in Washington where he focused on siding, windows, and roofing. In 2008, he settled down in North Dakota near one of his daughters and her family. In addition to being a wonderful grandfather to his 14 grandchildren (12 boys and 2 girls), he has also played many roles in the ministry of Park River Bible Camp. From cooking for retreats to assisting in fixing leaks, installing floors and general maintenance he has done a little bit of everything. In 2017 he officially started as our On-Site Director.
Adam Joraske

Adam Joraske

Program Director

Adam comes from Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania where he grew up with his mother, Nancy, his father, Bill, and his three brothers, Billy, Eric, and Austin. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Religion from Bucknell University and a master’s degree in Theological Studies from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Adam grew up in the ELCA Lutheran church attending Grace Lutheran in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. Adam spent nine summers as a camper in Pennsylvania at Camp Mount Luther, before spending six summers as a staff member. He then spent one summer as a staff member at Camp Henry, a Presbyterian camp in Newaygo, Michigan, before eventually accepting the Program Director position here at Park River Lutheran Bible camp in January of 2017.

Jessica Hanson

Jessica Hanson

Day Camp Program Director

Jessica is a Concordia graduate with her BA in Spanish and Studio Art. Growing up only 45 minutes away in Alvarado, MN, her walk with the Lord began as many do, going to church, sunday school, VBS, and confirmation. Her journey with Park River Bible Camp and true understanding of God’s love began in 2009 when she first attended as a camper. Since then, she has served the camp for six summers beginning in 2013. In this time she has grown in her faith, found a heart for the Lord, and seeks to share God’s love by showing it to all she encounters. Jessica is excited to continue her journey with Park River Bible Camp and hopes that every camper who experiences our ministry feels God’s love through all camp has to offer.

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