William M. Kerr, (1941-2019), of Ephrata, went home to be with Jesus on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 after an extended illness. We would like to take this opportunity to honor his significant contribution to the ministry of Streamside.
Bill and Eileen met at a Youth for Christ rally in Columbus, OH. Focused on his relationship with God, desiring to serve the Lord and confident of his provision, Bill left a good job and moved his young family to Upper Darby, PA so he could attend Philadelphia College of the Bible where he served as a janitor. A speaker at PCB inspired Bill to initiate a lifetime of camping ministry. He served as maintenance director for several camps in Pennsylvania including Streamside, as well as one in Tennessee. The Kerrs served at Streamside from 1979-1994. Bill returned on weekdays between 2005-2007 while residing in Ephrata.
While at Streamside, in addition to regular maintenance, Bill mobilized volunteer groups to cut wood and complete large projects, drove the bus to pick kids up in Philadelphia, served a summer in charge of food service, delivered cookies by haywagon to neighbors at Christmas and attended a local trade school to improve his skills. Eileen pitched in by helping in housekeeping, snack shop and gift shop while raising her 4 children at camp. Bill’s fingerprints are on many of the buildings and projects still critical for our usage today. These include…
- Traber Chapel and Carwheel Lounge
- Dining Hall Porch
- Pool Decking and Benches
- Snow Tubing Hill
- Log Cabin
- Sand Mounds
- Driveway and Path Paving
- Farm House Remodeling
- Heritage House
- Shop Bus Bay
- Carriage House
Beyond physical buildings, Bill’s legacy is also seen in people. Bill enjoyed mentoring young people in maintenance at the camps. In addition to teaching skills, he emphasized the importance of serving, saving money and “measuring twice to cut once.” He did not shy away from challenges, was gentle with tough kids and often took along the young men on hardware store trips so he could counsel and teach about Jesus.
His most enduring investment in the ministry might have been the discipleship and training of Matt Brown, who married one of Bill’s daughters. Cindi, who has lived at Streamside for 40 years, just retired as our primary housekeeper. Matt continues in his role as Associate Director of Operations and all 3 of Matt & Cindi’s children (Daniel, Sarah and Samuel) have served in various roles at Streamside.
Bill was faithful in prayer and always sought God’s guidance through many transitions. Bill lived by the motto that as long as he was serving God, there would be peace and provision for his family.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”Psalm 32:8 NASB
In lieu of flowers, donations are being made in his honor to Streamside Camp & Conference Center (Streamside on-line giving), for Camperships.