Learn how A Christian Ministry in the National Parks continues to make a difference after 61 years and is still going strong.
A Christian Ministry in the National Parks originated in 1951 when founder Warren Ost, a Princeton Seminary student, worked in Yellowstone for the summer and noticed the various faith-based needs of park visitors, residents, and his own co-workers. One Sunday, he led an interdenominational service of worship in the bar area of the Old Faithful Inn, and thus ACMNP was born. We like to say we were doing bar ministry long before it was in style!
Over the Years
Rev. Ost continued to rally seminarians and college students to the parks as the Executive Director of ACMNP for 45 years. While originally guided and supported by the National Council of Churches, ACMNP was formally recognized as an independent, interdenominational movement and a registered 501(c)(3) organization in 1971. In 1996, the Rev. Dr. Richard P. Camp became the second Executive Director after a distinguished career as chaplain of the United States Military Academy. Rev. Spencer Lundgaard joined ACMNP in 2008 as its third Executive Director.
ACMNP values and appreciates the breadth and diversity of the Catholic and Protestant church. Our National Board represents a variety of denominations and consists of people from diverse walks of life including the National Park Service, park concession companies, alumni, denominational representatives, and seminary and undergraduate leaders along with other interested friends. Learn more about ACMNP’s National Board of Directors and Trustees.
Where We Are Now
Every Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day (in addition to several winter assignments), ministry team members offer approximately 150 worship services at 75 sites across the country in 25 different national parks.
- Over 1,400 Sunday services are offered each summer… with over 30,000 people attending!
- Our volunteers come from over 100 college campuses and 30 seminaries, in 35 states, representing more than 30 Christian denominations.
- 25-35% of seasonal park employees are internationals, so our teams also minister to the larger global community.
- We are raising up new generations of leaders to impact the world for Christ!
Where We’re Going
A Christian Ministry in the National Parks is committed to live into God’s preferred future for the ministry, and exciting plans are brewing! Find out more about our vision for the future.