Can you give me some basics?
The Okoboji Bible Conference is probably different from other conferences you’ve attended. We are not about wrist-bands and registration fees. We are about providing ministries for all ages in an unforgettable retreat setting.
We are located in the heart of a small town in northwest Iowa, in the middle of a bustling resort area surrounded by beautiful lakes. Hundreds of thousands vacation here every summer. The annual Bible Conference is a great excuse to visit and most love the experience enough to return again and again.
Must I stay the entire time?
You can come for all or part of the event. Many come all week. Many come for a couple days and some come only as their schedule allows. You choose. You’ll be welcome every time you participate! Structured teaching/learning gatherings for people of all ages occur on a Monday-Friday schedule, every morning. These sessions build on each other. All other sessions stand alone.
What is the cost of attending the Conference?
No registration fee is charged, costs are covered by free-will donations. You may participate as much or as little as you like. Each year, nearly 1000 households sacrificially support OBCM. Though many of these gifts are given during the conference, more than half of the annual budget is received throughout the year. Provisions for online giving and automatic bank withdrawals make that easier. Assistance is also provided upon request for those wanting to sustain the conference through planned and non-cash giving. OBCM is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. Donations are tax-deductible and promptly and gratefully receipted.
Is everything by donation?
Almost! The only event not by free-will donation the annual Women’s Luncheon. This is a ticketed event with a limited capacity. Tickets go on sale in early July. Contact the office with any questions.
Does the Conference provide housing and/or meals?
There is no on-campus lodging for attendees. Food trucks are available on campus all week for you to purchase meals or you can visit one of the many local restaurants. Your primary expense to attend is your own housing and meals. Because we are located in a resort area, motels, cabins, condos, and campgrounds abound. Early booking is encouraged if you know you are attending the conference, as rentals fill up fast. See our lodging page for ideas of places to stay. The area provides many options from camping to upscale hotels and condos.
How many people participate?
Over the course of the week, we anticipate 4-5,000 people will participate in at least one event. On a given night at Conference there might be 800-1000 in attendance, with concert nights reaching near 2,000.
Why do the annual dates of Conference seem to be a little different every year?
The week is defined as the 31st rental week for international condominium rental and trading purposes. Conference dates are planned for many years to come.
Are you affiliated with any one church or church denomination?
In a word, no. The Conference is governed by a board of directors representing several different churches and is incorporated as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit. We delight to work with Christian churches of many styles and traditions. The Conference had its beginnings in the earliest days of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, at that time more a mission agency than a church. The Alliance has since become a denomination. We continue to enjoy a strong relationship with the Alliance, but no formal affiliation.
How are guest artists and presenters chosen?
The leadership team of the Conference prayerfully discerns the Conference theme and participants for every year, often working several years in advance. Suggestions are received as to gifted Bible teachers, pastors, missionaries and leaders whose ministry would enrich future gatherings. Each year, an attempt is made to have concert events with current Christian artists with an appeal to the various generations who participate at the Conference.