More than 500 gather for ‘Old Time Camp Meeting’
    May 8 2012 by Mike Creswell, BSC Communications

    More than 500 people took part in an “Old Time Camp Meeting” sponsored by North Carolina Campers on Mission that included Southern Gospel music, train rides and preaching by evangelist Jonathan Lotz, grandson of Billy Graham and son of Anne Graham Lotz. The event was held April 20-21 at Denton Farm Park, a sprawling camping and meeting facility near Denton, which features restored buildings, a church and a full-size steam train. How-to conferences ranging from RV refrigeration to bead craft were offered.
    Despite the “old time” theme, only a few people set up tents. Most campers were in sparkling RVs with satellite TV dishes and other comforts.

    “When I look at the cross of Jesus Christ, I am reminded of His mercy for me, a sinner,” Lotz said in his Friday night message. “Mercy is the exercise of God’s compassion in your life.”

    BSC photo by Mike Creswell

    N.C. Campers on Mission Director Pete Butler, right, greets Evelyn Tipton, left, a member of Sunrise Baptist Church in Asheville, and Judy Gwin and her husband, Ned, both members of Lake Wateree Baptist Church in Ridgeway, S.C. Campers on Mission gathered April 20-21 for an “Old Time Camp Meeting” at Denton Farm Park near Denton.

    Lotz preached on the healing of the blind beggar as recorded in Luke 18 and told how the beggar cried out for mercy from Jesus.  
    “The blind beggar came to the right source for healing,” he said, adding, “When you seek God’s mercy, you’ll receive more than you expect.”
    He told how he personally cried out for mercy when he was 8 years old and accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior, then again when he was 28 years old and was diagnosed with cancer.
    As he and his evangelist mother prayed in his hospital room, Lotz said God promised to carry him through the struggle, though there was no assurance his cancer would not return.
    Although the mostly older crowd of people who regularly attend church did not respond to the evangelistic invitation, dozens lingered after the message to meet Lotz, a popular preacher, and ask for prayer.
    The “Old Time Camp Meeting” event was the first of its kind for Campers on Mission (COM), said Pete Butler, state leader of the organization that includes 300 families across the state. “We want to equip campers to witness and share the gospel,” he said.
    Each year Campers on Mission camp near public events across the state to witness. But their biggest annual project is at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh, where several hundred volunteers prepare food and provide services for fair workers. They also hold worship and music services, and reach out to people attending the fair.

    Evangelist Jonathan Lotz preaches to an “Old Time Camp Meeting.” Lotz is the son of Anne Graham Lotz and grandson of Billy Graham. Several music groups provided music for the two-day meeting.

    More than 20 COM families from South Carolina also attended the Denton event, said Butler, who lives in Rocky Mount.   
    COM was started by the North American Mission Board. Today, chapters relate more to state Baptist conventions, said Larry Davis, who coordinates COM in five southeastern states.  
    Davis came from his home near Monticello, Fla., to see if the Denton event might be good for Campers on Mission in other states to visit.
    He said COM has around 5,000 participants and about 40 chapters nationwide. The organization is comprised mostly of Baptist members, but other evangelicals are also welcome to participate.
    COM maintains close ties to the North American Mission Board, he said, because the campers are interested in missions service and are a good group for the board to enlist for projects.
    “If you will sign up, I’ll personally pay your dues for life,” Davis said with a grin before explaining that COM has no dues.

    Because of the weak economy and high fuel prices, COM participants have been looking for missions opportunities closer to home in recent years, Davis said.
    He told of one volunteer who maintains the electrical systems of 73 churches and another man who worked on a church building addition just four blocks from his home.
    “There are all sorts of missions opportunities if people will just avail themselves of them,” Davis said.
    Jimmy and Peggy Cain of Bladenboro said they have been in COM for 10 years, because they enjoy camping and because COM allows them to share their faith and witness.
    Peggy often sings in COM worship services and provides blood pressure checks in campgrounds as a way to contact other campers and tell them about Jesus.
    Jimmy spends two or three weeks each year serving at the Red Springs Mission Camp in Robeson County, a ministry of N.C. Baptist Men which enabled several thousand volunteers to serve in Robeson and surrounding counties last year. N.C. Baptist Men and Red Springs are funded through the N.C. Mission Offering.
    Groups which sang for the camp meeting included The Hinshaw Family from Bahama, N.C.; Redeemed Resonance from Apex, N.C.; The Methodaires from Cary, N.C.; the Littles from Monroe, N.C.; and the Joyful Sounds from Moravian Falls, N.C.
    Those interested in learning more about mission opportunities through Campers on Mission can contact Pete Butler at (252) 972-7828, by email at, or online at
    5/8/2012 1:26:42 PM by Mike Creswell, BSC Communications | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Campers, Mission, NAMB, NCBM

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