Mountain T.O.P.

Mountain T.O.P.
Mountain T.O.P.
(Tennessee Outreach Project)
Founder(s) George Bass & Blakemore United Methodist Church
Type Interdenominational, non-profit Christian Mission
Founded June 20, 1975 (1975-06-20) (age 36)
Location Altamont, TN 37301
Area served Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee
Focus Mountain T.O.P. seeks to serve the community of Appalachia and the Cumberland Mountains, the campers experiencing the mountain, and the staff which helps to make the camps happen.
Mission To help meet the physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs of the Tennessee Cumberland Mountain people.
Endowment $1,069,230[1]
Employees 8 Full Time
Numerous Seasonal Staff

Mountain T.O.P. (Tennessee Outreach Project), is a Christian ministry program that serves families in the Cumberland Mountains of middle Tennessee. It is run as a summer camp from the beginning of June to the Beginning of August, that sends campers from all over the United States and other countries to the homes of the residents to do minor construction, yard work, painting projects, etc. It operates entirely on donations and is associated with the United Methodist Church, though campers that attend are often from different denominations. In 2007, the program reopened their Day Camp program. The Day Camp program uses volunteers from the camp to run a day camp for children who live on the mountain.[2]



After serving together at the Hinton Rural Life Center in North Carolina during the summer of 1974, several youth from Blakemore United Methodist Church in Nashville wanted to take their experience into their own "backyard." After much prayer and planning, the Mountain T.O.P. dream was born. The backyard turned out to be the Cumberland Mountain counties east of Nashville. In the summer of 1975, the first Mountain T.O.P. camp was held at Beersheba Springs Methodist Assembly in Grundy County. Over 200 participants, representing 12 church families, were a part of this first camp. Since its foundation in 1975, it has grown to include over 250 churches and 1,800 families every year in its service.

Camp Baker Mountain

Camp Baker Mountain, located in Van Buren County, TN, was opened in the summer of 2000. This camp was built through the love and efforts of many A.I.M. participants and others. This was the first camp ever built specifically for Mountain T.O.P., and it stands as a hallmark achievement for the organization.

Ministry Odjectives

Foundation Objectives Mountain T.O.P. is people helping, caring, sharing, learning, and growing spiritually. A Mountain T.O.P. camp is a unique setting that brings participants away from their everyday world. Camp becomes one of the most positive environments for teaching and learning values and skills, witnessing and effecting change in individual's lives.

Mountain T.O.P. has three foundational objectives. The ministry strives to promote each objective equally in all programs. No one objective is more important than the other. Our energies are evenly distributed between all three objectives seeking to enhance each one as we serve God in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee.[3]

Objective One:

  • To help meet the physical, spiritual, social, and emotional needs of the Tennessee Cumberland Mountain people

The ministry strives to meet all of the four needs identified above for the families and individuals with whom they work. Mountain T.O.P. service projects provide the people of the Cumberland Mountains with the opportunity to have home repair and renovation needs met. Mountain T.O.P. day camps provide a place for children, ages 6 – 17, to experience a Christian community. Names of those who may have needs are given to the Mountain T.O.P. staff by community service workers, Human Resource Agencies, Referral Services, Ministers, community leaders, teachers, family, friends etc.[3]

Objective Two:

  • To actively encourage the Christian growth of the participants and staff who come to work with Mountain T.O.P.

The community forming programs in the evenings at camp are a chance for campers to share their daily experiences. This is where the community begins to base its thoughts, feelings, values, and beliefs on an experience grounded in Christian faith put into action.[3]

Object Three:

  • To develop the leadership skills of participants and staff members

Staff members gain invaluable skills in making decisions, leading groups, working with a variety of people from different backgrounds and cultures, broadening their perspectives about life and people, and in communicating their faith. It is a chance for people to learn more about themselves and their capabilities.

Participants are given the opportunity to develop leadership skills while they are working with their teams and at camp with the whole community. Participants may help lead singing, recreation, community prayers, or even parts of the worship services. Participants learn how to work with other youth and adults from different backgrounds and cultures. They increase their self-confidence and enhance their abilities while at Mountain T.O.P.[3]

Ongoing Programs

Summer Ministries

Fish Camp is a ministry for rising 6th graders though rising 8th graders.

Youth Summer Ministry (YSM) is a ministry which focuses on youth ages 13 though 18.

The Following Programs are run by YSM:

Day Camp (DC): is for children, 6-11 years old, participating in activities that take them on a journey throughout the county, learning about such things as the environment, community service, and local entrepreneurship.

Service Project (SP): consists of Minor Home Repair projects such as building porches, wheelchair ramps, sheds, painting houses, doing yard-work, or fulfilling any other expressed need.

Adults In Ministry (AIM) is a ministry focused on adults ages 19 and up.

The Following Ministries fall under AIM:

Major Home Repair: is a program to take on and complete vital structural repairs and renovations of local homes that would not be possible otherwise for the local residents of Grundy County.

Kaleidoscope: is visual and performing arts camp for under-served, special needs children in Grundy County, Tennessee.

Summer Plus: is a ministry that strives to provide a place where 12-17 year olds of Grundy County, Tennessee can be a part of an adventure that just might change the course of their life through a number of classes in the form of five day workshops.

Quest: is an adventure style camp for teenagers who live in Grundy County, Tennessee.

Fall/Winter Ministries

Friends Weekend is a weekend wear volunteers who have meet each other throughout the years come together to work on in-camp renovations and ground-up projects.

Family Weekend is a weekend were families work in the local community that Mountain T.O.P. serves. Projects are based on the skills of family members and the expressed needs of the families we work with.

Spring Ministries

Spring Breakout (SBO) is a week long program for any church or organization looking for an alternative Spring Break mission experience.

Baker Work Weekend is a weekend dedicated to preparing Mountain T.O.P.'s Baker Mountain Camp for its operation during the summer months. There is also a weekend right after the summer seasion ends at Mounation T.O.P. dedicated to closeing down Camp Baker Mountain for the winter.

External links


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