BCH employee, wife, killed in auto accident
    September 23 2008 by BR staff

    Thomas Caverly, 55, a case worker at Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina Kinston campus since August 2007, and his wife Debbie, 51, were killed in a two-car collision Sept. 22.
    “The Baptist Children’s Homes’ family across the state is saddened by this tragic news,” said BCH President Michael C. Blackwell. “Tom, with the support of Debbie, was dedicated to the ministry of helping children and families at BCH. Our hearts and prayers go out to the family.”
    The Caverlys are survived by daughter Michelle, a former BCH child care worker, as well as their son David and his wife and their two children.
    The accident occurred shortly after noon Monday (Sept. 22) when the Caverly’s vehicle collided with another car on U.S. 70 a short distance from Kennedy Home. The Caverlys were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle sustained non-life threatening injuries.
    Funeral arrangements are pending.
    “We ask everyone to be in prayer for the family as well as Baptist Children’s Homes staff members during this difficult time,” Blackwell said.

    9/23/2008 5:59:00 AM by BR staff | with 8 comments

Vonnie Price Wilford
I knew Tom and Debbie many years ago in Orangeburg. They were precious, dedicated people; both
to the Lord and to each other. I look forward to seeing them in heaven. -Vonnie Price Wilford-
9/25/2008 9:04:35 PM

Rod Caverly
Wow, what a week. I am Tom's "little" brother. I am mere 27 days older than Debbie and 4 years younger than Tom. [i]Debbie made sure to remind me that I was soooo much older than her. [/i]Our family loved to play and poke fun at each other. When Tom brought Debbie to the house for the first time, it was Thanksgiving and Debbie got "stuck" between Tom and me. Tom and I passed all the food over her, around her, in front of her...every which way we could to keep her from having food. The entire family laughed and loved to laugh. Never fear that fateful Thursday, Mom made her 2 boys behave and Debbie got fed. Needless to say Debbie quickly joined the family and was well loved by all. Shortly, thereafter Tom and Debbie were married and blessed us with David followed by Michelle. Mom and Dad were so grateful for the additions to their family and extremely proud of their son and daughter. The "in-law" distinction is not fitting of the relationship between Debbie and her family.

Mom and Dad have been gone for several years now after leading good Christian lives. Their entry into God's paradise was more gradual and we had our time to prepare for their reunion with Jesus. That time was sad and very hard to work through, but in no way prepared me for this.

Tom reached out to me many years ago asking, "What will you say to St. Peter when you set foot on the gates of heaven?" He desperately wanted me to prepare for eternal life by walking with Christ now. Tom, I am trying, I listened. We should all listen. That was Debbie and Tom's mission. Get that message out to one and all. It is only God's plan that would have had Tom preach that very message on 9/21/2008, the day before he and Debbie were called home. I don't believe St. Peter "asked" any thing when they arrived. Rather he said a resounding "Well DONE! Welcome home."

Tom and Debbie were not perfect. That distinction is reserved for Jesus. At 16 Tom publicly accepted Christ as he preached to our church in North Augusta. By the time he was 19, there was “one set of footprints in the sand” as Jesus carried Tom through some of the darkest “non-believing” days of his life. He saw no point in church as he simply did not understand that the footprints in the sand that he saw were much deeper because Jesus carried the weight of both he and Tom. Along that journey he met another lost sole named Debbie. Many years later, they found themselves in Orangeburg. There, with the help of others, Tom and Debbie climbed off the back of Jesus and started walking with Jesus. Thanks Todd.

Most recently, Tom served at BCH reaching out to the most forgotten part of our society. Children with great needs, who by no fault of their own, lack the maturity in emotions to handle the bad deck of cards they, were dealt. All children lack that maturity and it is up the adults to lead them, nurture them and care for them. These kids have many situations and all are unique. Tom and Debbie were willing to step up, fill in the voids and lead. They always lead with a “Christ first” message.

Kids, Tom and Debbie loved you and will continue to work miracles in your lives. Remember them. Remember their lessons. Remember their love for you. Stand tall knowing you are loved.

Dr. Pepper and Tea. Have you ever reached for a dark colored glass of tea and taken a big gulp only to find out it is Dr. Pepper or Coke? Well on Monday I was unsuspectingly walking around work and my older sister Judy called my cell phone. Not to belabor her situation too much, but her husband is quite ill and when she announced she had "bad news", I "assumed". I reached for that figurative glass of tea. My mind went to bad news about Judy's husband. Then, I got the shock of my life. She uttered words that were incomprehensible. Tom and Debbie are gone.

That gulp of truth will forever be burned in my mind. It was so much worse than getting Dr. Pepper when you think you are getting something else. Remember Tom and Debbie when you reach for that dark colored drink, remember his favorite message. Are you ready?

This past summer my church provided a wonderful opportunity for all adults to receive a Biblical baptism. They provided hundreds of changes of clothes, make-up remover, toiletries, flip-flops, under garments and personal hygiene products for both men and women including special things for the ladies. They had their pastors ready to baptize one and all who were ready to receive Christ and this very special blessing. It was a total surprise to the congregation. [i]Yes, Mom and Dad had us baptized in the church as infants[/i], but that is not what is described in the Bible. John the Baptist called for adults to be cleansed and blessed by the waters just as he blessed Jesus. It is our calling to receive that blessing in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. My entire family Danielle, Luisa and I (our son David (yes, there are 2 David’s in the family) was not there that day), accepted the call and the opportunity to make that decision, as adults. I was going to share this with my whole family as we are getting together in October as we do every so often. If your church does not offer spontaneous baptism opportunities, make that decision to research your bible and get baptized as your own public profession of accepting Jesus in your life.

Every time you reach for a dark colored drink, think of my brother and sister. Think, "Am I prepared for what I am about to get?" Prepare yourself now, for you never know. “Be ready”, Tom preached on Sunday. Tom, I hear your message and frankly, I will have some explaining to do when I get to the gates of Heaven.

There will be sadness and joy at our family gathering. Tom and Debbie will be there. Mom and Dad will be there. And Jesus will be there.

God’s love to you all…

Sincerely yours in Christ,

9/25/2008 9:35:55 AM

Tom and Debbie were great people! I loved spending time at their house as a teenager. I look forward to seeing them in heaven!
9/25/2008 9:29:35 AM

Thank you Shane for sharing the funeral arrangements. Thank you everyone for sharing your love and appreciation for Tom and Debbie. Even those who had not met them know them now, and we can look forward to seeing them on the other side.
9/24/2008 10:31:08 PM

Wendy Salyer
WE know Tom and Debbie from seminary and also Cornerstone Baptist Church. We were sadden to say the least when we heard of them passing away. We found out late last year that they were in Kinston. And I was able to catch up with them. We have very fond memories of them. Both had a very sweet spirit. We will truly miss them. Greg and Wendy Salyer
9/24/2008 4:36:53 PM

Todd Brady
Tom and Debbie were dear friends of my wife and mine; they surrendered to the ministry at New Hope Baptist Church in Orangeburg, SC where I had the privilege of being their pastor. Tom pursued his education and received his Masters of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. Tom served one church in his ministry, Gardner’s Chapel Baptist Church, before becoming a case worker at BCH in Kinston. I considered Tom and Debbie two of my dearest friends this side of heaven, now they are two of my dearest friends on the other side. We will miss them dearly, but we take comfort on knowing they are together in eternal life just as were here. They loved each other so much I don’t think either one of them could have gone on living without the other. We will all miss them, but we know where they are and we know we’ll see them soon! Our hearts and prayers go out to David and Michelle, as well as Lisa, Hunter and Brianna, they are precious folks and we're asking God to comfort them with His strong arms during this time. Todd and Angela Brady
9/24/2008 12:31:48 PM

Shane Nixon
The following has been communicated through the BCH e-mail system. Since one has asked here, I thought I'd post.

Kennedy Home youth and staff will hold a memorial service for Tom and Debbie Caverly on Wednesday, September 24th at 4:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Home Church. At 7:00 p.m., the family will be present at the church for a community memorial service.

The funeral service will be held Saturday, September 27th, 1:00 p.m. (visitation and service) at Faith Baptist Church, 249 Holden Road, Youngsville NC 27596. This is the home church of Tom and Debbie's son, David and his wife, Lisa.

You may send condolences to their daughter, Michelle, at 2557 Cedar Dell Lane, Kinston NC 28504 and the address for their son is: David and Lisa Caverly, 117 New Castle Court, Youngsville NC 27596.

9/24/2008 11:46:04 AM

Greg Bailey
This is sad in deed. I went to Southeastern with Tom and Debbie. They were great friends and the warmest of Christian Saints. Their daughter Michelle is a fine lady. I am sad I will not see them again on this earth but gratified that I will be with them when we are in God's prescence.
Biblical Recorder staff, please publish the funeral details when possible. Many of us who visit your site live near the Caverly's former home in SC.
IN Christ Alone,
Greg Bailey
9/23/2008 4:44:23 PM

 Security code