Dear friends and supporters of Agapé † Kure Beach Ministries,
We thank you for your continued prayers and support, especially since 2020 when the pandemic created new challenges for our camping ministry. After a near two-year shut down, the camp has re-emerged into a world with employment shortages and increased costs.
By now you may have heard that the Board of A†KB Ministries accepted the resignation of Executive Director Chandler Carriker. He will continue to work until October 8th to help us with the staffing transition. In Chandler’s time with us, the ministry has continued to rebound by restoring facilities and services. We had a successful 2023 summer camping season, with an increase in campers from last year. Scheduled retreats and events have kept the camp full of life most weekends, and our environmental program, ACE Education, has been incredibly busy. The Board thanks Chandler for new programming ideas, developing a property management plan, important technology advancements, and working diligently with us on other improvements.
You’re probably asking where is the ministry going from here? The Board has been in conversation with NC Bishop Tim Smith and with Lutheran Outdoor Ministries to identify potential interim staff. While we still employ faithful core staff, we will be seeking leadership-level persons who will provide stability and direction. We have many scheduled fall events at camp, starting with Labor Day Family Camp, and continuing nearly every weekend until the holidays. We will ensure that we extend our customary excellence in hospitality to each guest and visitor.
What about Kure Beach? The sale of the Kure Beach property is now scheduled for mid-September. We will take our time to talk with ministry supporters to ensure that our future presence at Kure Beach reflects the needs of our community, as well as providing a stable financial income source for us. The Board is committed to setting aside the majority of the proceeds for future development.
What about the pool? We have been talking about pool replacement for a long time but have yet to complete it. The costs of pool construction have risen astronomically in the last 5 years, such that bids for our original design are 2.5 times higher than our first cost estimate. Campers continued to have fun in our existing pool this summer, although the aging infrastructure made it unusable for three of the seven weeks of summer camp. The Board recognizes that we need a scaled-down design with a price tag we can afford. This is a top priority.
Timber Harvest Camp Agapé has occasionally harvested timber from some of its more remote 600+ acres. The Board decided to take a longer-range stewardship view of how best to manage our resources. We have contracted with a reputable timber harvester for work to begin in September 2023 and continue into next year. Following the harvesting of timber, the land will lie fallow for 1 year, and then be replanted for future cultivation.
Facility Improvements A dedicated group of volunteers, as well as hired contractors, have completed some impressive projects this year with the financial assistance of some major grants. The Gate House was fully renovated using a generous grant from Augsburg Lutheran Church. It’ll now be available as a place for pastoral retreat. We were able to improve handicap accessibility at our Lodge and Retreat House buildings with dedicated handicap parking spots and automatic doors, thanks to grants from the NC Lutheran Men in Mission, the Home Mission Fund, and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. One of our next projects is to address the roof and chimney of the Retreat House.
River of Hope Event Rescheduled We love gathering with our supporters annually at our River of Hope meal and Open House. We think it’s best to reschedule the event from Sept. 23rd to October 29th, when you can hopefully meet new interim staff, hear positive updates, and have an opportunity to give your own input on the direction of A†KB Ministries. We will be sure to send you an updated invitation.
As we are presented with new challenges, we are confident that the Spirit is with us. We feel God’s loving guidance through you, our friends. We humbly ask for your continued prayers as we move forward.
Charlie Zimmerman, Board President
on behalf of the Board of Directors of Agapé † Kure Beach Ministries
Help us bring 100 kids in need to a week of faith-based residential camp.
Through the “Reach 100” challenge, A†KB hopes to assist campers in financial need as well as provide each child with a positive and lasting impression of their value as a child of God.