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MBA History







An Account of How the Adventist Church Obtained MBA
Lawrence Downing,  MBA '59


The following is an account told to me by my uncle, Emmett Downing on January 1, 1994.

Capt. Carol Schepplar, M. D.  was living in a trailer at Emmett's house located at 35 Wilkey Ave. in Watsonville. My uncle was at that time working for Pep Creamery.(I assume this is the George C. Schepplar listed in the Loma Linda University Alumni Directory. He died in 1958. He is the only Schepplar listed.) 

Dr. Schepplar come to my uncle one noon time and announced that Camp McQuaid had just been put on the Surplus List and was to be sold. "What shall we do?" Dr. Scheplllar asked my uncle. 

Emmett replied that he thought they should contact Leal Grunky, procurement officer for the Central California Conference, and let him know about this development.

Dr. Schepoplar notified Mr. Grunky who immediately contacted Army officials in Washington, D. C, including a General Officer who was favorable toward the Adventist Church.  The general used his influence to facilitate the transfer of Camp McQuaid to the Adventist church.  The church had to guarantee a certain amount of money would go into improvements over a specific time period.

Northern California Conference agreed to participate in funding the property improvements. However, at the last moment No. Cal. pulled out of the agreement and left the burden of funding the school with Central California.

Shortly after learning that the property had been put on the Surplus List, the Catholic Churched sent four men back to Washington, D. C. in an attempt to halt the disposal of the property to the Adventists. They did not succeed. However, they did get permission to have the Roman Catholic chapel transferred to the Catholic Church. The chapel was moved off the property to another location.

As an aside, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, my great grandfather, Jerome Downing, in partnership with Dr. Charles Ford, who founded Ford's Department Store in Watsonville, operated/owned Camp Goodall, a resort on or near the MBA property. My Uncle Emmett and my dad, his twin brother, spent many days as kids running over the vacant land that would later become Camp McQuaid and then MBA.






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April 29, 2012