El Rancho serves some 16,000 guests annually including numerous families and over 250 different groups both regionally and nationally. The main services offered include accommodation, catering, conferencing, ministry programmes and activities. El Rancho’s guests span all ages and demographics; we serve individuals, families, schools, corporate, churches and community groups. Generations of people have been touched by El Rancho’s generous hospitality creating life-changing stories.
El Rancho exists to share the good news of Jesus Christ, and serve people of all ages through conferences, conventions, camps, and holiday activities.
“In the late 1950s, John Campion, Bill Crighton and others had a dream, inspired by the Christian Convention at Ngauruwahia, to provide a similar Christian convention in the Wellington area. Together with others the decision was prayerfully made to purchase a piece of land from the Weggery estate on the banks of the Waikanae River. On 11 December 1961, the 50 acres of land that would become Waikanae Christian Holiday Park was purchased for $5,000. Waikanae Christian Holiday Park was established as an incorporated society soon after on 8 April 1963. It was to be a place where people with Christian desires or interests could gather in peace to develop in their faith, build relationships in community and engage in promoting the life-giving good news of Jesus Christ.
The setting was a peaceful holiday park where families could come to relax and refresh. The first camps were held in tents and caravans. By the end of the sixties, “El Rancho” was the name given to the children’s holiday camps held every school holiday. After many years and undoubtedly due to the tens of thousands of people whose lives were changed at an El Rancho camp, the average person acquainted with the park began to simply refer to the place as “El Rancho.”
Our founders had incredible wisdom and insight from God when they wrote a constitution that was broad enough to allow future generations to align the organisation’s goals and objectives to present and future needs. It was also specific enough to ensure the original intentions and commitments of the founders could be identified and upheld. Our constitution protects the unity of the Spirit between all believers by requiring we are non-denominational.
The constitution focuses our task on all people regardless of age while also giving special consideration to young people and their development. Our founders were future oriented and left us with a nearly timeless constitution. El Rancho is bound to fulfill its constitutional objects and these provide the boundaries of our ministry. The primary statement in our constitution is the seed that has grown into the ministry we steward today. It wisely reads…
The objects of the Society are: To engage and assist in the proclamation and publication of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in Christian ministry among all people both young and old on a non-denominational basis by all means howsoever and for that purpose to:
Convene Christian conferences centred on the Scriptures.
Hold youth camps for the purpose of leading young people to faith in Jesus Christ and developing them in a normal Christian life.
Enable families or groups to spend a holiday in an atmosphere of Christian fellowship.