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Caraway begins Jacumin Retreat Lodge construction

September 30 2013 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

Caraway Conference Center and Camp broke ground Sept. 24 on the Jim and Nancy Jacumin Retreat Lodge.
The construction totals 7,000-square-feet and will accommodate 80 guests in two dormitory-style lodges with two classrooms in each building. It will serve as the centerpiece for a retreat village that will include a multi-purpose building and a large stand-alone classroom. The facility is expected to be completed Spring 2014.
“This is going to be a tremendous asset to Caraway,” said Jimmy Huffman, Caraway’s director. “We already have three church groups on the waiting list, ready to use this building as soon as the key is turned. We knew it would be a very popular building for our churches.”
Last year Caraway celebrated 50 years of service at their 1,100 acres of oak forests near Asheboro. The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina owns the facility, but groups other than Baptists regularly reserve the facilities for retreats, conferences and seminars.

BR photo by K. Allan Blume
Don Warren, from left, chairman of Caraway’s New Beginnings Capital Campaign, Jimmy Huffman, Caraway’s director, Jim Jacumin and John Butler, executive leader for business services at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, prepare to break ground Sept. 24 for the new Jim and Nancy Jacumin Retreat Lodge at Caraway.

More than 13,000 guests visit Caraway Conference Center each year for meetings and conferences. Another 8,000 annually participate in the youth camps at Caraway.
The Jacumin Lodge is part of a capital campaign with a goal of raising $7.5 million for expansion and improvements. Steve Garner, the operations manager for Caraway, will serve as the general contractor for the building.
“We’re so tickled to be part of this because, [of] how many folks will make the decision to be pastors or missionaries here,” Jim Jacumin told the crowd at the groundbreaking.
Jacumin is founder of Waldensian Trail of Faith in Valdese, the retired president of Jacumin Engineering and Machine, and a former North Carolina senator. The Jacumins live in Icard.
Don Warren, chairman of Caraway’s New Beginnings Capital Campaign, described Jacumin as one of the most successful Christian men he has known.
“God has honored Jim Jacumin’s commitment to Christian causes,” he said. “His is the largest single gift to the Caraway campaign.”
During the groundbreaking, Jacumin called for Christians to recognize the price many have paid for the freedoms and blessings Americans enjoy. He said this new lodge will help further the teaching of Christian truth, and shared a story from his Waldensian family history.
“We’re seeing times in our history today that is trying all of us, and we had better stand,” Jacumin said.
His 17th century ancestors who lived in the Alps near Switzerland and France were given a number of edicts. Jacumin explained how the authorities said, “If you will turn all of your weapons in, we’ll let you live here in peace. They turned in their weapons.
“The authorities turned on them and killed 2,500 of them and imprisoned another 8,000. The treatment in prison was so horrendous that in six months 4,000 had died. Some European leaders got concerned and tried to put pressure on that king to ease up on us. Finally, he agreed and let those 4,000 folks out of prison. The king asked them one question, ‘Will you abjure your faith? If you will, we will let you live in peace in the valleys.’”
About 1,000 people took the deal. The king concluded that if they would deny their faith they would not be good citizens, so he sold those 1,000 into slavery. Jacumin continued, “The other 3,000 were exiled and my family was part of those people.” 
Those Waldenisans eventually found freedom in the foothills of North Carolina.
For more information visit www.caraway.org.
9/30/2013 6:18:16 PM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 0 comments

Believers learn to tell 'The Story'

August 26 2013 by Buddy Overman, BSC Communications

Nearly a decade ago Jerry McCorkle attended a Christian conference and heard something that altered the course of his ministry. 
“I heard Tim Keller say that the way we share the gospel is going to have to change because the culture has changed,” he said.
McCorkle, executive director of Spread Truth Ministries, heard Keller speak of America as a post-Christian society. McCorkle spoke Aug. 16-17 during “The Story: A Witness Training Conference,” held near Asheboro at Caraway Conference Center.

A generation ago, the majority of Americans had a working knowledge of the biblical story and broad themes such as the fall of man, sin and redemption. In that generation, McCorkle explained, the propositional truths of the gospel could be shared with the lost and be effective.
“People knew the basic story line of the Bible and you could share the gospel with them and they could connect the dots,” McCorkle said.
Yet, today’s America is fundamentally different, which means evangelism methods must change. In response, McCorkle created what eventually became known as The Story – an evangelism tool that helps believers share the gospel through the overarching biblical story of creation, fall, rescue and restoration.

“The gospel was not delivered to us in bullet points. It was delivered to us in a beautiful narrative that runs from Genesis to Revelation,” McCorkle said. “Believers must understand how to communicate that story to the culture.”

BSC photo provided by Buddy Overman
Jerry McCorkle shares about The Story, an evangelism tool that helps believers share the overarching story of creation, fall, rescue and restoration. 

The two-day conference at Caraway that focused on The Story featured plenary sessions led by McCorkle and Alvin Reid, associate dean of proclamation studies and evangelism professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The Story is a conversational approach to witnessing that encourages believers to build relationships with unbelievers through everyday conversations that naturally point to the overarching biblical story as the answer to life’s most pressing questions.
“This generation is searching. They know something is wrong in the world, but they can’t quite put their finger on it,” McCorkle said. “This is the only story that gives hope in life. It’s the only story that explains all of life.”

Build a Foundation

Witnessing through The Story begins with the story of creation, which resembles Paul’s approach to evangelism in Acts 17. This approach builds a foundation from which unchurched people can better understand the gospel.
“The largest number of people in America today are like people Paul met in Acts 17,” Reid said. “Paul started with creation. That’s where we must start.”
A key element in relaying the creation story is the image of God in man. McCorkle and Reid urged participants to begin their witness by affirming the image of God in everyone. This sets a positive tone for witnessing and helps create compassion for the lost.  
“What we’ve done sometimes in our witnessing is forget the beauty of the image of God in man,” McCorkle said. “There is a God who is loving and kind who has placed His image on people.”
Reid agreed, noting that traditional forms of evangelism can appear condescending when themes such as sin are approached in today’s culture, especially when people are unfamiliar with the concept. “Point people to the image of God in man by pointing out the creativity and special abilities of humans,” he said.
This approach builds common ground, allowing believers to share the rest of the biblical story.
Sam Cerniglia, lay leader for outreach and evangelism at West Burnsville Baptist Church, said the way McCorkle and Reid explained the image of God resonated with him.
“We can lose focus of the fact that we are all created in God’s image. That hit me hard, and it gave me a deeper passion for affirming the value of all human beings,” he said.
Prior to the conference Cerniglia was unfamiliar with The Story, but was impressed with the approach and said it’s a simple way for believers to witness to the lost.   
“The Story is a great way for all people in the church to share the gospel, especially those who are not gifted evangelists,” he said. “This is a simple way to integrate God’s story into our daily stories to show the world the truth. Anybody can do it.” 
Carlyle Hall, pastor of Castalia Baptist Church, was also unfamiliar with The Story prior to the conference. He said the training will change his approach to evangelism. “The Story makes you sit down with somebody and listen to their story,” he said. “I think when you do that they are more likely to listen to your story and that allows you to share God’s story.”
Hall said The Story is effective because it provides answers that many people in today’s culture are looking for. 
“This shows how the world became what it is today,” he said. “And it shows that God has done something to bring us back; that God is chasing us. It’s an excellent approach.”
For more information about The Story, visit www.viewthestory.com. North Carolina Baptists can also learn more about The Story during a breakout session at this year’s Annual Meeting in November. For more information, visit www.ncannualmeeting.org.
8/26/2013 11:22:36 AM by Buddy Overman, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

Evangelists encouraged to embrace the call, seek vision

January 22 2013 by Buddy Overman, BSC Communications

Nations and individuals experience irrecoverable moments, or times when decisions lead to eternal consequences, Frank Page told those gathered in January for the annual North Carolina Vocational Evangelists Conference at Caraway Conference Center in Sophia.
“I believe our nation is at that moment now. God help us,” said Page, president and chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. “I believe that men and women, boys and girls, come to irrecoverable moments. None of us can guarantee that we’ll have another chance to get it right.”
The evangelization department with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) sponsored the two-day conference Jan. 10-11. Page encouraged attendees to be attentive to opportunities to witness to those around them because no one is guaranteed to live another day. 

Dr. Alvin Reid at the Vocational Evangelists Conference

“As an evangelist, as a pastor, as a preacher, as ministers of the gospel, it is incumbent upon us to preach the gospel and to share the gospel because none of us know when we are sharing with someone who desperately needs that word at that moment for that reason to make a decision at that time,” he said.
The event also featured plenary sessions, comedy routines, and times of prayer and worship. In addition to Page, plenary speakers included Michael Sowers, BSC senior consultant for Great Commission Partnerships; Alvin Reid, associate dean of proclamation studies and evangelism professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Alex McFarland, director of the Center for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at North Greenville University; and Albert Long, evangelist and motivational speaker.
Vocational evangelists must recognize that their calling to share the gospel is a divine calling, Page said. And when life is difficult, only the true call of God will sustain and encourage them to remain in ministry. He reminded evangelists to be faithful to what God has called them to do because much is at stake. 
“If God called you where you are, then you better rest in that,” Page said. “You better have clarity of call. You need to understand when God called you and what God called you to do. The call must not go unheeded. We are in desperate days.”
Long encouraged those in attendance to live intentionally, with a focus on the gospel, and to lean on God’s power every day. He added “Religion without reality breeds rebellion.” McFarland, author of The 10 Most Common Objections to Christianity, said followers of Christ should live their life with the belief that “you and Jesus will sit down and hit the playback button.”

Fresh Vision

Reid challenged evangelists to stay true to their calling and to be initiators of revival among God’s people. Revival in its purest form always begins with God’s people and not with the lost.
“Revival is something God does to the church that overflows in the harvest of souls. It is the people of God coming alive to God for the mission of God,” he said. “You don’t seek revival for what God will do; you seek revival for a fresh vision from God.”
Instead of seeking a fresh vision from God, Reid said believers often desire a return to the norms and practices of previous decades. He encouraged the audience to seek a fresh vision from God that will impact lostness in this generation.
“Thank God for the past, remember the past and the work of God, but move forward,” he said. “I believe Christianity is advancing a movement of God and not maintaining the institution of God.

“If you go back and read the sermons of the great awakenings they did not preach three steps to revival. They preached the gospel,” Reid said. “Don’t preach a cross-less gospel. Don’t preach a gospel without substitutionary atonement. In the middle of our faith is a bloody cross and a beautiful glorious resurrection.”
Reid said another characteristic common among the great revivals of the past is that young people were always the catalyst. Despite growing numbers of young people leaving the church in recent decades, Reid is encouraged by the hunger of today’s younger generation for spiritual truth.
“If they are learning trigonometry in high school they can learn theology in church. They want it,” he said.
Reid told the audience that the key to reaching the younger generation is to teach them the depths of God’s Word. Be honest and truthful with them, love them unconditionally and give them grace to live out their faith. 
“When you are in churches be very careful not to just criticize teenagers but also encourage them,” he said. “Young people need encouragement, they need a vision and they need permission to live for God.”
Elected officers at this year’s event include: Royce Williams, president; Keith Kimball, vice president; Cindy Johnson, secretary/treasurer; and Randall Floyd, website/management.
Visit ncevangelists.org.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – The N.C. Vocational Evangelist’s Fellowship and Biblical Recorder staff contributed to this story.)
1/22/2013 12:14:39 PM by Buddy Overman, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

Caraway celebrates 50 years

July 31 2012 by BR staff

Former Camp Caraway staff members brought their families to a special event July 21 at Caraway Conference Center and Camp near Asheboro. Directors, counselors and others gathered to reminisce and celebrate 50 years of Camp Caraway.
Located on nearly 1,100 acres, the camp began as a ministry for RAs (Royal Ambassadors) in 1963.
“There were staff members from the very first summer up to this summer,” said Jeremy Jackson, Caraway’s associate director, who estimated about 130 people attended the event. About half of the people were former staff members. Some chose to stay overnight in cabins to extend their time together.
During the program several speakers shared their Caraway experiences. They also dedicated the Clyde Davis Sr. dining hall and showcased the stones commemorating past Camp Caraway directors that will be placed near the flagpole.

Camp Caraway photo

Former and current Camp Caraway staff members gathered recently with their families for a special time of remembrance.

Many who are familiar with Caraway’s history know of Bill Jackson’s involvement in getting Caraway started, but Director Jimmy Huffman also highlighted Davis’ involvement in finding a location and “in making Caraway a reality,” Jeremy Jackson recalled. “Both men were heavily involved in making Caraway a reality.”
A slide presentation shared photos and information about Caraway over the years. During the program the Bill Jackson historical wall also was recognized.
“It was just a neat experience,” said Jackson, who described a camp ritual of eating moon pies and drinking grape soda. And like other camp experiences, participants swapped stories sitting around the campfire.
Caraway is in the process of raising support for a $7.5-million campaign to build a new three-story facility that will be used to accommodate more guests. In September 2011, Caraway dedicated the Powell/Warren Mountain House that serves as a minister’s retreat.
Jackson said the most common story shared during the event involved boys who began a faith walk with Jesus or made other decisions for Christ at the camp. On the Caraway website, Kendell Cameron, pastor of First Baptist Church of Mount Holly who directed the camp from 1990-1993, said “My favorite moment each week was the commitment service at the chapel on the lake. I loved watching 200 campers converge on that beautiful, holy spot. Ultimately, what made that spot holy for me was not the beautiful vista, but the view of watching boys make commitments for Christ.”
For more information about Camp Caraway, visit campcaraway.org.
7/31/2012 2:55:57 PM by BR staff | with 1 comments

Camp celebrates 50 years, challenges churches to ‘Send 1 for Him’

April 11 2012 by BR & Caraway staff

Walking the trails and hills around Camp Caraway in Sophia, N.C., isn’t as easy as it once was 40 years ago for C.J. Bordeaux.
“When did you all move Mountain View so far back up in the woods?” Bordeaux joked during a more recent visit to the camp.
Those trails bring back a flood of memories from when he led young boys as a camp counselor. It’s Bordeaux’s experiences at the camp that he believes helped fuel his calling to the ministry.
“Many of those [counselors] … now serve in the pulpits and positions of leadership in our N.C. State Baptist Convention,” said Bordeaux, who now is pastor of Gorman Baptist Church in Durham and first vice president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. “I am proud to say that I am one of them.”
This summer the camp program, which is led by N.C. Baptist Men, will celebrate 50 years of ministry among boys ages 9 to 17. Caraway will celebrate this milestone through various events from June of 2012 until June of 2013.

BR file photo by Dianna L. Cagle

Counselors at Camp Caraway work hard to ensure boys have fun at camp while also teaching them God’s Word. This year Camp Caraway celebrates 50 years. Through the years, about 7,000 campers have made a decision to follow Christ.

Located on nearly 1,100 acres, Camp Caraway began as a camping ministry for RAs (Royal Ambassadors) in the summer of 1963. Since then, more than 67,000 boys have spent a week at the summer camp. About 7,000 of the campers made a decision to follow Christ.
Though the camp has helped change lives through the years, the number of boys who attend has slowly dwindled over time. Some speculate the economy is a factor to a lower turn out.
This summer, in conjunction with the 50-year celebration, Caraway and N.C. Baptist Men are sponsoring a special emphasis entitled “Send 1 for Him.” 
The emphasis focuses on challenging every Baptist church in the state to send at least one boy to camp.
Bordeaux said he hopes churches will respond to the challenge and find at least one boy in their congregation who could go.
“I know the economy is tough, but pastors, parents and churches … will get more bang for [their] buck at Camp Caraway than any place I know in this state,” he said. “[They] will not find a better place to send your boys this summer.”
On July 21, Caraway will host a reunion of summer camp staff and also a ceremony commemorating the anniversary.
A commemorative wall will be dedicated in honor of all the summer camp directors who have served through the years. This summer the camp dining hall will be named after Clyde L. Davis Sr., who died in 2003. Davis was known for his help with founding the camp and his involvement in Southern Baptist life.

Each year, Caraway Conference Center and Camp hosts more than 8,000 guests through camps, retreats and environmental education programs.
Caraway is in the middle of raising support for a $7.5 million campaign to build a new three-story facility in its conference center area that will be used to accommodate more guests.
In September of 2011, Caraway also dedicated the Powell/Warren Mountain House that serves as a minister’s retreat.
 “[Caraway] is becoming even more of a place where we need to invest our dollars and in the lives of those who will lead this great convention and our churches of tomorrow,” Bordeaux said.
“[Camp Caraway] is where they will get camping skills, swimming, fun and games, but more than that they will hear that Jesus Christ loves them.”
 To register or for more information go to campcaraway.org.
Contact N.C. Baptist Men at (800) 395-5102, or call Mark Moore at Caraway at (336) 629-2374.
4/11/2012 1:41:39 PM by BR & Caraway staff | with 1 comments

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