Don and Mary Ann Warren want to honor their parents and
provide a place of respite for North Carolina’s ministers. As chairman of
Caraway’s New Beginnings Capital Campaign, Don took note that the master plan
included a “mountain retreat” for pastors who need a place to get away.
Although the retreat house was not scheduled until the
latter part of the campaign, Warren believes it is needed now. So he and his
wife gave a gift in honor of their parents so the house would be built
immediately. Construction began July 15 and was completed Sept. 26. The
facility was dedicated Sept. 27.
A plaque on the Powell/Warren Mountain House reads, “The
purpose for the mountain house is to provide a clean, comfortable respite for
North Carolina ministers to use for prayer, bible study, sermon preparation and
“Today is a new beginning at Caraway,” said Director Jimmy
Huffman at the dedication service. “We are at a point in our history of almost 50
years where we are starting to revisit who we are and our purpose and what we
mean to North Carolina Baptists. One of the visions that we have always had is
to have a place where N.C. Baptist ministers can get away and be refreshed.
Today that is a reality.”
The house rests atop a mountain, overlooking much of
Caraway’s 1,100-acres of serene landscape. Steve Garner, Caraway’s operations
manager, was both architect and builder for the project. Other Caraway staff,
Tommy Thompson and Charles Bullard, assisted in the construction.
Warren told about his wife’s parents, Bluford and Madie
Powell of Tallassee, Ala. Bluford, a worker at the Yates Power Company, died in
an auto accident when Mary Ann was 13. Her mother owned a florist, and
struggled to survive after Bluford’s death.
Don’s parents are Curtis and Grace Warren. “Curtis Warren
had to drop out of school in ninth grade because his labor was needed on the
farm,” he explained. “Later he joined the Navy, then worked for Tallassee Mills
in Alabama as a weaver, supervisor and later a department manager.”
Grace Warren was a weaver for 26 years. “Mother was an
unusually talented piano player. She was the only pianist and organist that
East Tallassee Baptist Church ever knew for 66 years,” Don said. “Daddy was a
deacon and treasurer for the same period of time.”
“Mother played for the silent movies as a girl. When she
received the film canister at the show house, she opened it and took out the
sheet music. At certain scenes, she played the appropriate music for the silent
Don Warren wants N.C. Baptists to know that, “60,000 boys
have come on this property to the boys camp; 7,000 of those boys have made a
profession of faith. That – I submit to you – is a good investment.”
Warren and Huffman recognize that pastors are very busy and
carry many responsibilities. They need times to be refreshed. One pastor asked
Warren how to get his name on the list to stay in the new retreat home saying,
“I have not had one day off in over a year, and I would like to have a place to
Warren strongly encourages N.C. Baptists to give generously
to the campaign. Individuals and churches have an opportunity to honor special
people and to provide facilities where lives will be changed for generations.
Executive Director-Treasurer Milton Hollifield led the
prayer of dedication saying, “This facility will be used to bring great honor
and glory to God.”
Pastors who are interested in using the “mountain retreat”
can call Caraway Conference Center at (336) 629-2374 or email [email protected].
You must be a N.C. Baptist minister. Your spouse may stay with you, but
children may not come. The first three nights of your stay are free, and meals
are free in the cafeteria when the cafeteria is serving. A pastor may stay two
additional nights for $50 each night, with a total of five nights maximum stay.
Reservations may be made up to one year in advance.
New Beginnings Capital Campaign
Various opportunies are available for individuals and groups
to give to the Caraway Conference Center New Beginnings Capital Campaign.
Call (336) 629-2374 or send donations to P.O. Box 36, Asheboro, NC 27204.
Gifts of stocks, bonds, real estate or other items of value
can be contributed through the N.C. Baptist Foundation, 205 Convention Dr.,
Cary, NC 27511. Call (800) 521-7334 for more information.