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.