Cragmont Assembly

The Reverend John Williams, Director
1233 North Fork Road
Black Mountain, NC 28711
United States

Cragmont has its share of wildlife stories. They include roaming, howling coyotes, food eating raccoons, road-crossing deer, and garbage hunting bears. Bears seem to enjoy finding their early morning snack in our dumpster. We really wouldn’t object too much if the bears chose to dine inside the trash container but they want to drag the bags of kitchen trash out into the yard where they can tear them open and spread out their feast on the ground. Needless to say, bears are not the neatest eaters. We were finally able to get the side doors of the dumpster secured.

Goodbye Summer Campers

Ministerial Association of OFWB
(June 2–5, 2013) Stephen Prescott
7605 Newton Grove Highway • Dunn, NC 28334 • (910) 567-5347

Dayspring Conference
(June 5–8, 2013) Joan Little
7063 Stantonburg Road • Farmville, NC 27828 • (252) 753-3217

According to my calendar, summer begins on June 21, but, “SUMMER” begins at Cragmont on June 10 when the first of the summer youth camp weeks start. Probably nothing defines Cragmont in the hearts and minds of young people better than their week of camp spent on this mountain. To many of these campers who have come year after year this place has become “holy ground” because of the spiritual renewal experienced here.

Over time our Sunday mornings may become a required weekly job or an obligation Christians must fulfill. The participants in the 2013 Pastor-Deacon Retreat at Cragmont in March moved a giant step beyond the rote of worship to a dynamic “WHY” in worship. All the “how’s” attached to worship are merely mechanics unless the “why” of worship is engrained in the deepest recesses of our souls and hearts. Our retreat leader, The Rev. Dr.

This message from Cragmont is being written during the last week of March. It has been one of those very unique days from God. The calendar said spring began a few days ago but winter is hanging on with great determination. The buttercups are braving the winter blast and snowflakes are dancing in the sunshine. In fact, it has been snowing all day. The ground has been covered with snow and that thin blanket of white has vanished with the sun peeping around a cloud, but still the flakes have continued to fall.

During the beginning months of 2013 Cragmont had the pleasure of serving two women’s retreats. The Cinderella Sisters went to the beach while in the mountains and the Stoney Creek Ladies spent a weekend in the “Mountain Lodge.” The chapel became the beach complete with a little sand, lots of shells, and all the supplies needed for a beach trip. Our lodge was richly decorated with pinecones, log circles, and tables gathered around the fireplace. At both events the ladies found a place of Christian renewal and discovery at Cragmont.

Each summer Cragmont finds itself filled with young people and their counselors during seven weeks of summer youth camps. We, of course, need financial support to pay for lights, air conditioning, water, and food (lots of food). Money is needed for gas to cut the grass and keep the mowers speeding over the grounds. We are always in need of yet another baseball, volleyball, softball, etc.

One of the wonderful things about North Carolina is its diversity. We enjoy four beautiful seasons and at Cragmont we embrace them in a way that is eye dazzling. Sometimes the weather may get slightly out of kilter and we will have spring warm in the midst of winter cold or even summer heat in November but still the vistas of the seasons spread out before us on this mountainside. We gaze from the front porch to distant horizons and see the grandeur of the Creator in ice-encased trees that turn lush reen as the seasons come and go.

If you have attended this retreat in the past you already know how these few days in the mountains can help you refocus your life as a servant of the Kingdom of God. If you find your excitement in your calling diminishing we know that this retreat can be a time of refueling. If your call is a new one this might be an event to help jump-start your engines for service. Gather your fellow deacons and grab your pastor, pack up the church van or commandeer one and head west for a weekend that will enrich your commitment.