It’s the first thing you ask when you meet someone new – “What’s your name?” Names are important. Whether we like our name or not, we want people to know it and remember it. All through the Bible God proclaims names for important places and people. Obviously names are important to God too. He is called by many names all throughout scripture. Many times these names describe His character.
“And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
“I am the way, the truth and the life.”
So where did we get the name Tejas? What does it say about our character? Well, to be honest, we didn’t get to pick this name exactly, we inherited it. Back in 1981, when Tejas was purchased to be used as a Christian camp and retreat center, it was already called Camp Tejas. It had been owned by the Powell family who was operating it as a girls’ horse camp. We kept the name and changed the mission a bit.
There are several legends about the meaning of the word Tejas. Most agree that the name originally came from the Hasinais Caddo Indians who lived around what is now the Nacogdoches area. Taysha was their word for “friend” or “ally”. This group was actually made up of several tribes who worked and lived together. This word seems rather important in a setting like that. To be surrounded by friends would surely be a good thing.
When the Spanish explorers discovered this group of Indians, they mistakenly believed Tejas (the Spanish spelling of taysha) to be the name of their tribe. In the 17th century the Spanish knew these westernmost Caddo peoples as “the great kingdom of Tejas” and the name lived on to become the name of the 28th state of the United States – Texas.
We truly hope that Tejas fits the character of this place. We hope our guests will view us as a friend or ally who is walking with them in their journey to pursue Christ and glorify Him. We want our guests to feel comfortable and relaxed, just as though they are visiting a good friend who has excitedly prepared for their arrival – a good friend who definitely remembers their name.
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”
“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.”
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”