Deer Run Retreat Center

The information on this page was last updated 4/18/2022. If you see errors or omissions, please email: [email protected]


Encompassing 150 acres of beautiful private scenic wooded property in the rolling hills of middle Tennessee, Deer Run provides summer camps (day, overnight, and family), day camps for school breaks, family weekends, parent-child dates, and year-round customized retreats.

Everything about Deer Run has been designed and planned for you. As you enter the wooded property, you will find yourself exhaling slowly, unwinding, and breathing in the beauty of nature all around you. You'll find us just 10 miles from historic downtown Franklin and less than 40 miles from Nashville.

During June and July, "The Valley" comes alive with summer camps. Campers participate in outdoor adventures, unplug from their electronics, and connect with each other. Day and overnight campers, ages 5 to 16, discover their strengths, forge friendships, complete challenges, and create lifelong memories. Our priority is for camp staff to get to know each camper individually, listen to their heart, encourage them, and provide them with positive role models.

In addition to summer camps, Deer Run has programmed day camps during winter school holidays (January and February) and during spring break. These camps provide another opportunity for kids to enjoy the outdoors, disconnect from technology, and enjoy face-to-face relationships.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Deer Run Retreat Center
3845 Perkins Rd
Thompson's Station, TN 37179


Phone: (615) 235-5588

Email: [email protected]

Organization details

EIN: 621725478

CEO/President: David Gibson

Chairman: Brad Underwood

Board size: 10

Founder: David and Liz Gibson

Ruling year: 2003

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 12/31

Member of ECFA: Yes

Member of ECFA since: 2018


To transform as many lives as possible for Christ through the growth of staff, facilities and programs. The Deer Run Way is to serve the Lord and others with love, integrity, stewardship, excellence, community, and fun.

Mission statement

To provide excellent camps and retreats that inspire a transformational relationship with Jesus Christ and strengthen relationships with family and friends.

Statement of faith

SCRIPTURE: The Bible alone in its entirety - the Old and New Testaments - is God's inspired Word. 2 Timothy 3:16

GOD: God is the Creator of all things. He exists eternally in three persons - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 40:28, Acts 17:24

JESUS CHRIST: Jesus Christ is God incarnate. He is fully God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, and fully man, having been born of the Virgin Mary. He is the only begotten Son of God. Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:18, John 3:16, Colossians 2:9

HOLY SPIRIT: The Holy Spirit is fully God. From the moment of conversion, He indwells and is at work in all who believe and are born again. He seals believers in Christ for eternal life. Isaiah 59:21, Matthew 28:19, John 14:6

MAN: Man is born with a sinful nature, and so is separated from God, under the penalty of death, and unable to save himself. Genesis 2:7, Genesis 3:23, Romans 6:23

THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST: Jesus Christ, who was without sin, voluntarily died on the cross, shedding His blood to pay the penalty for our sin. He was raised bodily from the dead on the third day and ascended bodily to heaven. Isaiah 53, Luke 24:19, John 18:26-20:29, Romans 5:7-9

SALVATION: Salvation, the deliverance from sin and its penalty of death, is a free gift of God's grace, available to all, but effects only to those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him as their Savior. All who are saved are spiritually reborn with a new nature and given eternal life. Psalm 62:1, John 3:16, Romans 3:21-26, Ephesians 2:1-9, 2 Corinthians 5:21

MARRIAGE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY: We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. Genesis 1:26-27

These beliefs concerning marriage, gender and sexuality are based upon utmost, sincere convictions that are central to our faith. The term "marriage" has only one meaning: the unity of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. Genesis 2:18-25

We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. 1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 7:2-5, Hebrews 13:4

We believe that any form of sexual immorality - including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography - is sinful and offensive to God. Matthew 15:18-20, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Acts 3:19-21, Romans 10:9-10, 1 Corinthians 6:11

SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE: We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Therefore every person, from conception to natural death, possesses inherent dignity and immeasurable worth - including preborn children, elderly individuals, those with special needs and others marginalized by society. Christians, then, are called to defend, protect, and value all human life. Psalm 139:13-14a

FINAL AUTHORITY FOR MATTERS OF BELIEF AND CONDUCT: This statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Deer Run's faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our chief operating officer is Deer Run's final interpretive authority on the Bible's application.

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Camps/Conference Centers

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating345 of 10228 of 25
Fund acquisition rating399 of 102510 of 26
Resource allocation rating422 of 10254 of 26
Asset utilization rating442 of 102215 of 25

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$73,247$43,683$62,500$0$0
Short-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$836,232$2,265,041$1,899,481$87,042$4,679
Long-term investments$0$0$0$0$0
Fixed assets$5,574,067$4,096,855$4,153,796$4,240,842$3,953,809
Other long-term assets$0$165,000$0$1,673,003$981,297
Total long-term assets$5,574,067$4,261,855$4,153,796$5,913,845$4,935,106
Total assets$6,410,299$6,526,896$6,053,277$6,000,887$4,939,785
Payables and accrued expenses$27,328$38,488$56,831$34,880$35,302
Other current liabilities$463,927$282,970$295,854$456,407$440,000
Total current liabilities$491,255$321,458$352,685$491,287$475,302
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$0$0$0$0$0
Total long-term liabilities$0$0$4,100$4,000$1,876,903
Total liabilities$491,255$321,458$356,785$495,287$2,352,205
Net assets20202019201820172016
Without donor restrictions$5,465,712$4,752,566$1,864,744$3,831,875$1,604,869
With donor restrictions$453,332$1,452,872$3,831,748$1,673,725$982,711
Net assets$5,919,044$6,205,438$5,696,492$5,505,600$2,587,580
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$1,115,889$523,965$653,078$3,042,886$578,782
Program service revenue$437,505$2,364,963$2,116,347$2,202,076$2,169,143
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$28,001$38,282$20,726$7,118$2,752
Other revenue$8,223$162,608($2,136)$0$0
Total other revenue$473,729$2,565,853$2,134,937$2,209,194$2,171,895
Total revenue$1,589,618$3,089,818$2,788,015$5,252,080$2,750,677
Program services$1,661,250$2,301,263$2,466,751$2,185,508$2,077,300
Management and general$145,538$190,516$206,007$148,552$154,176
Total expenses$1,876,012$2,580,872$2,672,758$2,334,060$2,231,476
Change in net assets20202019201820172016
Surplus (deficit)($286,394)$508,946$115,257$2,918,020$519,201
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($286,394)$508,946$115,257$2,918,020$519,201


David GibsonPresident$107,057
April KuykendallCOO$65,157
Edward WinnController$20,156

Compensation data as of: 12/31/2020

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 4/18/2022. To update the information below, please email: [email protected]


Deer Run Camps & Retreats was founded in 1998 by David and Liz Gibson. After 15 years of marriage - while in their mid-30s - they believed God was calling them to do something more significant with their life. Two years of prayer confirmed that He wanted them to start a retreat center and summer camp ministry. David walked the property on a Sunday morning in June 1996, and God gave him a clear vision about His plan for the property - land sitting dormant for more than 15 years.

When God gave David the vision to start Deer Run Camps & Retreats 25 years ago, he and Liz, along with their three daughters, committed to follow Him with everything they had. With nothing but faith they stepped into their journey, unsure if they could accomplish their calling. About three years into the journey, when it felt like nothing was happening, David prayed hard. David relates the story well: "I was praying and asking God to send money so I could build this camp! Suddenly, He spoke to me very clearly and said, 'What are you doing with what you have?' I responded by telling Him, 'We will do the best we can with what You have already given us, and then trust You for every need.' "

Since that time, God has blessed their efforts and provided for everything He's led them to do. Just 40 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee, Deer Run Camps & Retreats is a God-inspired, nondenominational camp and retreat center lying on 150 scenic acres of rolling Tennessee forest land. Over the years, Deer Run has made continuous facility and program improvements through the faithfulness of its leadership, staff, volunteers, donors, and board members.

For a timeline, visit:

Program accomplishments

Parents have voted Deer Run's summer camps the #1 camp for the past 10 years. We are honored to have this Best of Parenting award sponsored by Nashville Parent magazine. Deer Run has also won the Williamson County Sizzle Award for 7 consecutive years.