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Baptists On Mission

Outdoor Weekend 2014

On May 16-17, 122 men from 18 NC churches gathered at Camp Caraway for the sixth annual Men's Ministry Outdoor Weekend. Sponsored by NC Baptist Men, the purpose of the event was to encourage churches to reach out to men utilizing a well-rounded ministry approach that encompasses outreach, spiritual growth, and missions involvement. Church leaders were also encouraged to investigate and consider establishment of an outdoor ministry. The theme for the weekend was "In Pursuit of the Prize", taken from Philippians 3:14. Doug Gilmer, program director for Liberrty Univerisity's Adventure Leadership and Outdoor Ministry, was keynote speaker for the weekend. Doug oversees the publication, "The Call - When Faith Goes Afield", and is a contributor to publications such as Bowhunting World and Whitetail Journal. 

Mark your calendar for next year's event - May 15-16, 2015!

Here are a Few Highlights from the Weekend:

Tomahawk Throw
New this year was an event that many have never tried. Tim Ross, and his son Alex, members of Trindale NC, came in "frontier" dress, complete with encampment, to demonstrate the finer points of tomahawk and knife-throwing. Tim is a member of the Frontier Christian Fellowship (FCF), an organization that provides boys and men opportunities to develop specialized outdoor skills based on the lore and traditions of the early American frontiersman. The event was a big hit!

Rifle Shoot

Tony Abernathy of Mount Zion Baptist in Cherryville once again served as range master for our .22 rifle competition. Gene Kirby of FBC Drexel, and Mel Cornillaud of Beach Road Baptist in Southport, assisted. These men serve on NCBM's State Men's Ministry Team. The competition was won this year by Craig Hamrick of Shelby, in a close competition.


Archers for Christ founder and president, Daryl Hazelwood (right) returned with his father Mike, to be with us this year. They led sessions on bow safety and technique in the morning, and in a 3-D target shooting competition in the afternoon. Participants, both experienced and novice, enjoyed the experience. Bart Nourse of Apex (standard bow) and John Matthews of Wade (own equipment) won the archery competition. Archers for Christ is located in Siloam, NC.


Joe Eaker (right, pointing) and brother Wayne Eaker of Mount Zion Church in Cherryville, led the skeet demonstration and competition. NCBM Outdoor Ministry Team member Ted McKinney of Angier assisted. Each participant got five initial shots. Those who shot 5 for 5 then continued until a winner was determined. This year's winner was David Williams of Maiden.


Pistol Shoot
Brad Helms (left, orange shirt) and son Adam, of Anthony Grove Baptist in Crouse led the demonstration on pistol safety and shooting technique in the morning. Brad served as range master for the afternoon competition.


In the afternoon, many enjoyed a peaceful time around the lake and tried their hand at landing the "big one". Ron Springs of Monroe won the competition for largest fish caught, while Dennis Jones of Waxhaw and David West of Troy tied for most fish caught.

More Fun

Music for Friday night's worship rally was provided by Wes Sluder, Wesley Sluder, and Johnny Hicks of the Sluder Family Band, out of Sawmills, NC. Keynote speaker Doug Gilmer brought a spiritual challenge to the men during Friday night's worship rally. On Saturday morning he shared thoughts on having an outdoor ministry in the local church. Doug also led a demonstration on how to take effective outdoor photographs, including those of huting and fishing trophies. On Saturday morning, Jeremy Harrill, a NC Wildlife Officer and NCBM Outdoor Ministry Team member, led in a comprehensive class on ideas for reaching men through outdoor ministry. As usual, the men at well at Caraway! After lunch, participants also had the opportunity to take on the Camp Caraway zip line, a high-ropes apparatus twenty-five feet in the air. Finally, this year's "Top Shot" award, given to the marksman with the highest overall scores in rifle, skeet, archery, and pistol combined, went to Cooper Bumgarner, of Maiden. Way to go Cooper!

The weekend is sponsored each year by the Men's Ministry and Outdoor Ministry Teams of North Carolina Baptist Men. Many thanks to Tony Abernathy, Steve Couch, and others, who spend many hours in preparation for this event. Thanks also to Mark Moore of the Caraway staff who does an excellent job of assisting us.