Richard and Doris Roberson, longtime managers of Truett Camp and Conference Center in Hayesville, N.C., have received the 2019 Heritage Award from the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC).
The award is one of the highest forms of recognition among North Carolina Baptists, presented to people who have made unique and noteworthy contributions to Baptist life and ministry.
Milton A. Hollifield Jr., executive director-treasurer of the convention, presented the award to the couple during the 19th Annual North Carolina Baptist Heritage Award Luncheon, held Tuesday, April 9 at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro. The event is jointly sponsored by the convention and the North Carolina Baptist Foundation.
The award to the Robersons was one of 11 given during the luncheon by North Carolina Baptist agencies and institutions.
Truett Camp is one of three conference centers owned and operated by the BSCNC. It was named for George Truett, longtime pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, who also held many positions of leadership with the Southern Baptist Convention. The camp is situated on the farm where Truett was born and spent his early years.
The Robersons managed Truett Camp from 1985 until they retired in 2005. Each of their two sons, Tim and Kevin, worked at the camp when they were young and each served as camp director after Richard retired. “It was a family affair,” Hollifield said in his opening remarks.
Richard served as director but also oversaw a number of construction projects which greatly expanded the camp’s ministry and impact. Those projects included guest barracks, a dining hall, swimming pool, education building, director’s home, pavilion and an auditorium named in the Robersons honor in 1993.
He helped secure materials and donations from local companies to help with many of those projects. He also continually served as pastor of Baptist churches in North Carolina and Georgia over the years and currently serves as pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Murphy, the town where the Roberson now live.
“This couple created an environment which saw hundreds — thousands — come to faith in Christ over the course of their leadership at Truett.”
Doris wore many hats over the years, which included registrations, bookkeeping, fundraising, marketing and volunteer enlistment.
“This couple created an environment which saw hundreds — thousands — come to faith in Christ over the course of their leadership at Truett,” Hollifield told the assembly. “They loved the camp and they loved seeing the difference it made in children’s lives.”
For many, those changes made a lasting impact.
“Today a number of former Truett campers are in full-time Christian service as pastors, music ministers, church staff members and international missionaries,” Hollifield said.
“That’s what camp was all about — trying to win people to Christ,” Richard said earlier. People from North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee have come for camps, conferences and other gatherings at the camp.
Hollifield quoted John Butler, the convention’s executive leader for business services that includes the conference centers: “The camp would not be what it is today without the investment of Richard and Doris Roberson pouring their lives into the camp.”
Butler and Brian K. Davis, associate executive director-treasurer for the convention, were present at the luncheon to assist with the presentations.
“By the grace of God this couple has made Truett Camp the successful and beautiful place of ministry that it is today,” Hollifield said. “The Robersons have left a legacy that will allow future generations of campers to have a fun, recreational experience while they learn about God’s love and God’s plan for their lives.”