The Lake Nixon Outdoor Center is a 200+ acre recreational facility with a 35-acre lake in Little Rock. Lake Nixon was purchased by Second Baptist Church in Downtown Little Rock in late 1968 from Mr. and Mrs. Euell Paul, who had barred African Americans from accessing the facility. In June 1966, two African American women were denied access to Lake Nixon and the two women would later sue in a Little Rock Court alleging that negroes were being excluded in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The case would eventually be heard by the United States Supreme Court.
Second Baptist purchased the property to develop a summer day camp program to provide working families a place for their children to thrive in the summer months. Second Baptist supported the Supreme Court ruling:
“On June 02, 1969, the Supreme Court issued a 7-1 decision stating that the case of Daniel Et Al. v. Paul (docket no. 488) should be reversed and upholding the law in question [Civil Rights Act Of 1964 (Title II)] as constitutional. The judgment rested on the Court’s authority over statutory construction.
The Court undertook review of the case via cert and heard the case on March 24, 1969. The case originated in the Arkansas Eastern U.S. District Court and was reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit before reaching the U.S. Supreme Court.”
Lake Nixon has offered an integrated Summer Day Camp program since 1969 and seeks to be a pristine, sacred space where God’s presence may be sensed through worship, education, recreation, and sanctuary. The Lake Nixon Outdoor Center welcomes students of all ages to engage in conversations around civil rights history, contemporary race relations, homelessness, and poverty.
Contact Jeremy Spann for more information on how the Lake Nixon Outdoor Center can partner with your group to provide meaningful and transformative programming.