Georgia Campers on Mission give Briscoe a face lift
|Grace and Ray Criswell of Mount Vernon, members of Campers on a Mission, paint the rockers from the front porch of Brewton-Parker’s Briscoe Center. This volunteer group of retired campers fixed up the outside of the home of the Baptist Collegiate Ministries in late July. Criswell is a BPC alum and former Director of Campus Life in the mid-80s. (Photo by Beth Griffin)
By Kelley M. Arnold
Interim Director of Marketing
MOUNT VERNON—Brewton-Parker College Briscoe Center, home to the college’s Baptist Collegiate Ministries, received a much-needed “face lift” over the summer break thanks to a group of special volunteers.
The South Georgia chapter of Campers on a Mission, lead by local residents Grace and Ray Criswell, worked one week in late July giving the older building two coats of fresh paint, including the porches and trim work, and painting/restoring the rockers on the front porch. Each of the 10 campers is at least 55 years old and retired.
“We are sanctioned by the North American Mission Board, but we are not funded by them,” said Ray Criswell. “We do a little work for food, and when we come to Brewton-Parker, they feed us well.”
Georgia Campers on a Mission has provided general maintenance at all of the Georgia Baptist Colleges and the conference centers in Toccoa and Norman Park, as well as the children’s homes.
This is not the first time this group of retired campers has lent a hand to Brewton-Parker College, and this college also holds a special place in Ray Criswell’s heart.
Ray was one of the first four-year graduates of the college and served three yeas as the Director of Campus Life in the mid-80s. Members of First Baptist Church of Mount Vernon, Ray and his wife, Grace, owned the R & G Hardware store on the courthouse square in Mount Vernon for 14 and a half years. When they fully retired around 2000, they began serving with Campers on a Mission.
Each year, the group offers their services to the campus. In 2000, they built the BPC RV Park. They also finished the bathrooms in the Phillips Student Center when it was remodeled.
“We always receive a bigger blessing than we give. It’s just like serving the Lord. All that we do is in His name,” added Ray.
Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college in south Georgia. With its main campus located in Mount Vernon, the college also offers bachelor’s and associate’s degrees at its three external sites in Newnan, Norman Park and Liberty County.