Statement of Faith

Great Oaks is a multi-purpose facility sitting on the bluffs above the Illinois River valley. Since 1972, Great Oaks has been serving the urban youth of Peoria, Illinois. Over the past three decades, we have provided a free week of camp to thousands of low-income youth. Great Oaks’ staff seeks to create a safe, rural atmosphere to demonstrate the love of God to children who are surrounded by drugs, gangs, and domestic violence in their everyday lives.

In addition to our work with youth-at-risk, our camp and retreat center serves hundreds of guests each year, from week-long camps to one-day teambuilding events. Churches, schools, and corporate groups are a regular part of our yearly calendar. Whatever the time of year, whatever the event, Great Oaks is ready to serve your needs.


To glorify the Lord Jesus Christ Great Oaks seeks to:

  • Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people, primarily kids from economically disadvantaged environments, and to encourage them through camp experiences.
  • Partner with local churches to evangelize and disciple economically disadvantaged youth through a year-round, Christ-centered camping and follow up ministry.
  • Offer camping and retreat facilities and Christian programming to families, youth, and retreat groups designed to bring people toward a stronger, more personal relationship with Jesus Christ and with other believers.

Great Oaks Doctrinal Statement

  1. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
  2. We believe the Bible to be the inspired, infallible, inerrant and authoritative Word of God.
  3. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
  4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful men, regeneration by the Holy Sprit is absolutely essential.
  5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in Christ.