Over fifty years ago, just as the church structures were being challenged by the turbulence and change of the Fifties and Sixties, a group of South Jersey pastors sensed a need for evangelistic action for teenagers. They organized what is now known as the Midwinter Advance - don't call it a retreat because we're moving forward! Although the organizers were Methodist pastors, the retreat is not a denominational phenomenon: Its purpose is that teenagers hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, accept the atoning work of Christ crucified, and commit to a new life in the resurrected Christ as Savior and Lord.
Over the years, the Advance has been located at a variety of camps from the Poconos to the Pine Barrens, from the beach to the mountains. We look to provide teens with accommodations that offer plenty of activity and comforts along with seclusion and quiet.
The evangelistic work of the Advance is done through teams of students from numerous Christian Organizations and Colleges as a part of their recruiting, training, or missions efforts. The teams, usually ranging from six to ten in number, engage the teens in fellowship singing, sports and games, and a combination of skits, scripture, messages, and testimony. They offer themselves as a living testimony to the Christian lifestyle. The weekend messages focus on commitment to Christ. There is an invitation to the altar so that everyone has the opportunity to dedicate his or her life to Christ.