HERTFORD — A Baptist
association in North Carolina has hired an interim replacement for a camp
director arrested last summer on molestation charges.
Chowan Baptist Association
has employed Matt Thomas, pastor of Riverside Baptist Church in Elizabeth City,
as interim director of Cale Retreat
& Conference Center. The job begins Feb. 1 and is scheduled to
last through August.
The camp’s permanent
director, Steve Carter, is on administrative leave since his arrest July 1 on charges
of taking indecent liberties with a child and first-degree sex offense
involving a child. A grand jury later added four more felony
Thomas earned the
bachelor’s, master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Campbell
University Divinity School.
“I believe that God has
brought Matt to us for this time in the ministry of Cale,” Associational
Missionary Rob Roberts wrote in the association’s February 2010 newsletter.
“We look forward to what the Lord has in store for the Cale ministry as we seek
to touch the lives of children, youth, and adults for Christ.”
Roberts asked Baptists in
the association to pray both for Thomas and for Carter and his family. Carter
was quoted in media denying the allegations against him. If convicted of the
most serious offenses, he could receive up to life in prison.
Roberts said in
an e-mail to Associated Baptist Press that no trial date has been set.
Before taking over as
director of the Christian camp operated by Chowan Baptist Association in 2002,
Carter served as a Southern Baptist missionary in Belize from 1997 to 2001
through a short-term mission program called International Service Corps.