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Retired SNEC Pastor Makes the 19-hour Trip Back for Camp Meeting

David Berthiaume, retired SNEC pastor (left), is pleased to catch up with Ardonyx Day, a member of one of Berthiaume's former churches, the Danbury-Bethel SDA church.

Reconnecting with friends might be one of the sweetest, most looked forward to experiences at camp meeting.

David Berthiaume, a 79-year-old retired pastor who served for 23 years in many districts across the Southern New England Conference (SNEC), drove all the way from Michigan to attend the second weekend of United Camp Meeting.

His wife, Kathyann, couldn’t join him on the 19-hour road trip, but he stayed with friends along the way. “That’s the reason I make these trips,” Berthiaume said.  It’s all about connecting with friends. 

Returning to a place you once lived to connect with friends seems to be in Berthiaume’s blood.  Before pastoring he taught in Adventist schools for 17 years.  After he started pastoring, he actually went back to pastor three churches associated with three of the schools where he had taught.

“You want to hear a story?” Berthiaume asked.  He’s known for his funny and heart-warming stories, so the answer is yes. 

“When we taught at Eastern Shore, I had a seventh grader named Mary whose time in my classroom was the only religious training she ever had,” Berthiaume began.  “When we left it was traumatic for her. She was crying and wishing she could see us again.  Forty-five years later I returned to Eastern Shore.  I was thrilled. As soon as I had a free day, I went looking for her.  It took me all day because they had cut the highway in half, and things weren’t where they used to be.   At sunset I finally found her house. I wasn't sure they would let me in because it had been 45 years. I knocked on the door and this man comes to the door. I say, ‘Is Mary here?” And he says, ‘Mary, it’s Mr. B!” I didn’t tell him who I was and he had never met me.  How did he know? She had been looking for us for 45 years.  They had prayed the night before, ‘Lord, how can we find the B’s,’ and I show up the next day.”

“These are the things that keep you going,” Berthiaume concluded. “We’re not alone!”

Berthiaume would agree--it’s worth coming back to find old friends.  If we’re willing to go, God keeps us Together in Mission!   

Plan now to attend Camp Meeting 2025 and connect with friends, new and old!

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