History of Royal Rangers

Since its inception in 1962, the Royal Rangers ministry has influenced the lives of over 2 million men and boys in the United States and around the world. Today, many former Royal Rangers serve their families, churches, and communities as businessmen, pastors, church leaders, missionaries, teachers, soldiers, police officers, and in many other roles. The following provides a brief overview of the history of the program. 

Royal Rangers History Timeline

  • 1962—Royal Rangers started under the direction of Rev. Johnnie Barnes, district youth director from North Texas, as a ministry designed to disciple young men and keep them in our churches.
  • 1963—The Leadership Training Course (LTC) is created to train leaders to disciple future men.
  • 1964—The first district-wide summer camps were held. The Gold Medal of Achievement and Medal of Valor awards are first offered.
  • 1966—Royal Rangers ministries are established in Latin America and Asia. The Frontiersmen Camping Fellowship (FCF) is formed.
  • 1968—The first National Training Camps (NTC) are held.
  • 1972—The first national event, a National FCF Rendezvous, was held near Springfield, Missouri.
  • 1974—The first National Camporama was held at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 1978—The second National Camporama was held in Farragut, Idaho.
  • 1982—The third National Camporama was held in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • 1986—The National Royal Rangers Center, also known as Camp Eagle Rock, near Eagle Rock, Missouri, was dedicated. The fourth National Camporama is held there.
  • 1989—Johnnie Barnes, who led Royal Rangers from its inception, passes away. He led Royal Rangers for twenty-seven years, leaving an extensive legacy and thousands of men and boys who are serving Jesus Christ. Rev. Ken Hunt becomes the second national Royal Rangers commander.
  • 1990—The fifth National Camporama is held at Camp Eagle Rock.
  • 1994—The sixth National Camporama takes place at Camp Eagle Rock.
  • 1998—The seventh National Camporama is held at Camp Eagle Rock.
  • 1999—Rev. Richard Mariott becomes the third national Royal Rangers commander.
  • 2002—Royal Rangers International (RRI) is formed to help coordinate the efforts and needs of the approximately forty-fi ve countries using Royal Rangers at the time. The eighth National Camporama takes place at Camp Eagle Rock.
  • 2006—The ninth National Camporama is held at Camp Eagle Rock.
  • 2007—Rev. Doug Marsh becomes the fourth national Royal Rangers commander.
  • 2012—The tenth National Camporama and fiftieth anniversary celebration takes place at Camp Eagle Rock.
  • 2014—Rev. Karl Fleig becomes the fifth national Royal Rangers commander.
  • 2016—The eleventh National Camporama is held at Camp Eagle Rock.

For More Information

A more complete examination of our history can be found in the following resources: