Sacramento Camp and Conference Center has a rich history. In 1931, The New Mexico Conference of The United Methodist Church accepted 229 acres of land in the Sacramento Mountains to serve as an "assembly" location for youth...and Sacramento Methodist Assembly was born. Located 30 miles southeast of Cloudcroft, New Mexico, Sacramento is nestled in the beautiful Lincoln National Forest. The land is a part of the homestead claim of Andre McDonald, filed July 1890, and purchased by Roy Calkins in 1928.
There was so much water underneath the surface of the campus area that it was not suitable for farming. Mr. Calkins sold the Assembly part of the holding to the Chamber of Commerce of the cities of Southeastern New Mexico, who in turn offered the land to the New Mexico Conference. Lots were sold for $25 to various churches within The New Mexico Conference, and buildings were constructed. The idea of churches building cabins and owning them was in time abandoned and all the churches were requested to turn their property over to the assembly.
In the beginning, gasoline lanterns were used for lighting. Then in 1935, an electric generator, which had been used in the Carlsbad Caverns was installed. It required a man on duty constantly each night to keep it running, and the lights would go out at frequent intervals. In 1949, a road was built up the canyon and on top of the mountain in preparation for a water storage tank. During the winter of 1950, the first restrooms were built. From 1952 to 1954, the water tank was finally erected and water line was laid to service the camp with fresh water.
In May, 1951, fire broke out in Hay Canyon and burned over 50,000 acres, but sparing the camp. Fire also broke out in 1956, started by a lightning storm 5 miles west of the camp, but stopping on the hill behind the chapel. Another, more recent and more devastating fire was that of April, 1974. As a result of mans' carelessness several miles west of Sacramento, high winds brought flames to the west side of camp where they jumped to the east side and continued their destructive path toward Weed, NM, again sparing the camp. The most recent fire was that of Spring 2000, where once again, the camp was spared from fire, but suffered destruction afterward from mud slides as a result of the loss of vegetation and above average summer rains.
On average, Sacramento now welcomes to the mountain about 7000 people per year and 40,000 meals are served annually.
Over the years Sacramento Camp and Conference Center has experienced years of prosperity as well as years of decline, but has always served as a place of fun, faith, and fellowship for all who choose to visit its mountaintop setting.