Sam Junkin, now 90 years old and retired from ministry, was the pastor of the Presbyterian church in San Marcos when the presbytery was looking for a camp property in the early 1960s. He recalls being invited to join the search committee for a 'walkabout' on a potential property 20 miles west of San Marcos on the Blanco River. The property also featured a gorgeous spring fed swimming hole. That property became the camp and retreat ministry of John Knox Ranch.
Today, the Junkin family boasts four generations of JKR campers. His son, David, is on the JKR oversight committee, his grandkids, Sarah, Emma, and Zach grew up at camp and then Sarah and Emma supervised the day camp for many years. Now, his great-grandchildren are campers in the summer. For years, Sam and his wife Adele made it their practice every spring to clean and re-stain the chapel on the hill at JKR until it became physically impossible. At Christmas, their family's practice is not to give personal gifts among themselves, but to make gifts to institutions like John Knox Ranch that make a difference in the world. It is no surprise then, that Sam and Adele have chosen to include JKR in their will. "David Stitt, former president of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, taught me once how scripture teaches us that 'Givers are happier than keepers.' I have found that to be true in my life. It gives us deep joy to support a place that has been such a blessing for my family."