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Overnight stop at Glorieta turns into week-long ministry for Texas man

GLORIETA, N.M. (BP)–Anyone who thinks retirement is all about fishing and golf hasn’t met J.D. McCambridge.
Since his retirement two years ago, he’s been everywhere from Canada to Colorado helping build churches and seminary housing. Active with the Texas Baptist Men Camp Builders, he and his wife, Sue, drive their 37-foot recreational vehicle across the country, helping out where they’re needed and enjoying the scenery along the way.
While J.D. is using his carpentry skills, Sue sews clothes for the needy or helps with quilt-making for the homeless.
On July 17, the couple stopped by Glorieta, a LifeWay Conference Center, “just for the night.”
“I didn’t know what conference week it would be, but I knew I would hear some good preaching here,” J.D. said with a smile. “I wasn’t disappointed.”
While on site, McCambridge decided to see if his 48 years as a plasterer could be of any use around the Glorieta, N.M., campus. Not long after meeting with Don Olsen, coordinator of the Glorieta volunteer workforce, he was hard at work repairing the stucco on Aspen Lodge. His overnight stay turned into a week-long ministry.
“I’ve done the tourist thing,” J.D. said. “I’d rather be doing something productive. It’s a lot more satisfying.”
Billie Koller, senior manager of administration and support at Glorieta, said approximately 85 people will volunteer their services at Glorieta during 1999. Already this year, volunteers have logged more than 10,000 hours of service, doing everything from grounds and maintenance work to punching meal tickets at the cafeteria and staffing the First Aid station.
“Most of them stay about four to eight weeks,” Koller said. “But some of them stay all summer. We really count on them.”
Glorieta Conference Center director Larry Haslam agreed, adding: “There absolutely an integral part of our ministry.”
If you’re looking for the McCambridges, you won’t find them at Glorieta this week. They left over the weekend for a week-long mission trip to Las Cruces, N.M.
“I’m going to be doing some sheetrock work on a church down there,” J.D. said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Information about volunteer opportunities at Glorieta and at Ridgecrest, N.C., a LifeWay Conference Center, may be obtained by writing to Glorieta, a LifeWay Conference Center, Box 8, Glorieta, NM 87535 and Ridgecrest, a LifeWay Conference Center, Box 128, Ridgecrest, NC 28770.

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  • Chip Alford