Caraway builds on ‘New Beginnings’ for campaign
    February 1 2011 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

    Most people who grew up in North Carolina in a Baptist church have a Caraway story.

    A salvation experience. A call to ministry. A refreshing time of healing.

    Caraway Conference Center and Camp near Asheboro has played a part in many N.C. Baptist’s lives. Now leaders of the $7.5-million capital campaign are praying those “New Beginnings” will spur its three-phase building plan. Feb. 27 is being recognized as an offering day for Caraway.

    “I think our message is that Caraway desires to make a difference in the lives of adults and children,” said Jimmy Huffman, director for the last four years. “(Caraway) creates an opportunity to touch lives.”

    Churches are encouraged to highlight the ministry of Caraway and its capital campaign. Huffman hopes people remember a new beginning in Christ or a new beginning in ministry. And surrounded by 1,000 acres of forest, Huffman said visitors can witness new beginnings each season.

    Part of Caraway Conference Center and Camp’s capital campaign is to build a new hotel. There are three phases to the $7.5-million campaign. See video.

    It was in college when Caraway first touched Huffman’s life. He served on staff at Camp Caraway. Since then he has also worked with the North Carolina Baptist Men and the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) in various capacities. A master plan was developed with 20 years of suggestions from staff, individuals, churches and other groups. It identifies 25 projects to be completed over three phases of building. The capital campaign, which was introduced at the Baptist State Convention annual meeting in November 2010, will conclude in 2013 with Caraway’s 50th anniversary.

    “We’ve lost some of our larger groups because they’ve outgrown us,” Huffman said.

    Most of the events held at Caraway are “maxing out” the facilities, especially on weekends.

    Huffman estimated 47 percent of guests last year were Baptist. Some are non-profit organizations or other religious denominations seeking retreat or training space. The variety of guests shows Caraway remains a vital tool for N.C. Baptists and its ministries.

    Huffman said $30,000 had been collected, but he hopes once more churches have a special offering or highlight the campaign that donations will begin to arrive. The phases are not connected so if enough money comes in, Huffman said construction could begin quickly.

    Caraway has no debt and hopes to be able to utilize volunteers for some of the projects, Huffman said.

    There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers at Caraway now and in the future building projects.

    Huffman said Caraway finished in the red in 2010. Operating within its current budget, there is no money for expansion or major improvements, Huffman said. That’s why leaders felt the need for a capital campaign. The last new building was the Rye building which was completed in 2007. It was the first new building in 20 years on the property.

    Find out more at or The web site will have the ability for online donations soon.  

    Three phases
    • Phase 1 — Expansion of the Conference Center. This expansion would include a 20-bedroom hotel, a 225-seat dining room, and additional conference space. Estimated cost: $3.8M.
    • Phase 2 — Building of an indoor multi-purpose recreational building, a 50-bed youth lodge with meeting space, new outpost camping area and bathhouse at the youth camp. Estimated cost: $850,000.
    • Phase 3 — Building a 250-seat auditorium, 30-bed mini lodge that is self-contained for dining, lodging and meeting, and a minister’s retreat cabin. Estimated cost: $2.85M.
    Estimated Individual Project cost: Hotel — $1.5M; Auditorium — $2M; Youth Lodge — $500,000; Dining Room — $750,000; Recreation Center — $300,000; Mini Lodge — $750,000; Minister’s Retreat Cabin — $100,000.

    Naming opportunities exist for all major projects based on a 50 percent contribution of the estimated building cost. Individual bedrooms in the new hotel may be named in a person’s honor for a donation of $15,000.

    Under the Canopy of Caring there are a variety of levels of giving: White Oak — $100,000+; Red Oak — $75,000; Poplar — $50,000; Beech — $25,000; Hickory — $10,000; Loblolly — $5,000; Dogwood — $1,000 pledge for three years ($3,000); Maple — $100 pledge for three years ($300); Seedling — any one-time gift up to $300.

    Gifts of stocks, bonds, real estate or other items of value can also be contributed through the N.C. Baptist Foundation (NCBF) designated for “Caraway — New Beginnings.” Contact Caraway at (336) 629-2374 or P.O. Box 36, Asheboro, NC 27204. Contact NCBF at (800) 521-7334 or 205 Convention Drive, Cary, NC 27511.

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    2/1/2011 6:24:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

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