Jerry and Arlene Hitchman met at Mount Hermon in 1957 and both worked on summer staff. They are just two out of thousands of individuals who have served here; in the last hundred plus years. Staff alumni are part of a unique group; they love to share “their story” and how their lives were impacted and transformed as a result of their time on staff.
Here’s a snippet of Jerry and Arlene’s story—
Jerry writes, “My first Mount Hermon experience was at the Pre–Easter Camp in 1951. I was 15 years old. My college-age counselor took an interest in me and we spent most of the second afternoon talking about ‘a relationship with Jesus.’ My counselor encouraged me to ‘commit my whole life to Jesus.’ The last night of camp I stood up in the ‘old’ Victory Circle and said that I wanted to ‘commit my whole life to Jesus and anything I did in sports I’d do to honor Him.’ Sports were my life and giving that to Jesus was huge for me to do. I’ve now been coaching football for over 55 years and I’m often reminded of that commitment as I regularly work with young athletes.”
Arlene’s first visit to Mount Hermon was also in 1951. She came with her parents and a girlfriend for a fun summer vacation. Her life–changing experience was yet to come, six years later when she worked on summer staff and was the manager of the “Salad Corner” in dining.
They met at a providential moment during dinner prep. Jerry, who was a visiting counselor for the week, jumped in to help put the salads on the table and locked eyes with Arlene. Their ministry responsibilities allowed little time to talk to each other that short week, but Jerry was smitten and, after returning home to his summer cannery job, found himself driving over the hill the following Tuesday to invite Arlene for a snack after the regular staff meeting. Just 22 days later they were engaged! One year later, on June 21, they were married.
The Hitchmans have many deep and long-lasting friendships as a result of their involvement with Mount Hermon. Their commitment to this ministry has kept them attending various camps, conferences, concerts and donor events over these many years.
They have been long-time members of our Associates family. When asked why they support the ministry, Jerry said, “The many life–transforming experiences we’ve had at Mount Hermon almost ‘demand’ that much of our investing in God’s Kingdom goes there.” They appreciate the fact Mount Hermon is so geographically close to them. It gives them the opportunity to drive over and see first-hand what is happening and maintain close fellowship with those who have shared life with the Hitchmans through the years.