News + Events

Amber Buckley Lyons Memorialized with Bell Tower at MSYC

Henderson, Tenn. - Jun 28, 2016

Former Mid-South Youth Camp camper and counselor Amber Buckley Lyons was honored Sunday, June 5, at MSYC when a bell tower built in her memory was dedicated. Her father, Dale Buckley, and her husband, Bill Lyons, funded the construction of the stone tower built to house the bell that calls campers to meals, chapel, devotionals and classes.

Lyons began attending MSYC when she was only 7 years old, and her love for the camp continued throughout her life. After a long battle with cancer, she died in November 2015.

“I have no doubt that it was Amber’s experiences here that shaped her interest and love for youth ministry,” Lyons said.

The bell has long been a part of the history of camp. Generations have answered its call to assemble. It will now toll from its new home in the Amber Buckley Lyons Memorial Bell Tower.

“As I listen to this bell today, I’ll not only simply hear its ringing sound, I will hear a new sound,” her father said. “It will be as if Amber were calling campers to the various activities of the day, and at sunset, it will be her gentle voice calling out young people to worship the Lord.”

“Mid-South Youth Camp was a special place to Amber, and it made a significant impact on her life,” Lyons said. “It gives me joy to see this bell tower that will stand for Amber’s memory.”

In addition to remarks from family and friends, the dedication program also included singing two of Amber’s favorite hymns, the doxology, “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow,” and “Mansion Over the Hilltop,” as well as a balloon release.

The family has also established a memorial fund, or campership, to assist children who want to come to camp but are financially unable to do so. They hope to provide 25 camperships this summer. Contributions to the fund may be made at give.fhu.edu/amberlyons.

The camp, located near Henderson, Tennessee, opened the 2016 season Sunday.

It was the first week under the leadership of new director Brad Montague. “Camp is a powerful place where change is possible,” he said. “It changed my life.”

Camp for those ages 9-18 continues for the next eight weeks. In addition, a junior day camp is offered for younger children. Information about both is available at fhu.edu/msyc.