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Seniors work as volunteers at Glorieta & Ridgecrest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–While he planted flowers in the prayer garden at Glorieta (N.M.) Baptist Conference Center, Charles “Grumpy” Britt figured people saw his lips moving and assumed he was talking to himself.
That was not the case, however. He was talking to the Lord.
“I enjoy the peace and quiet of the prayer garden,” Britt said. He and his wife, Dean, members of First Baptist Church, Soddy Daisy, Tenn., are among several dozen senior adults who have spent part or all of the summer working as volunteers at Glorieta and Ridgecrest (N.C.) Baptist Conference centers.
In addition to grounds work, seniors have served as greeters, punched meal tickets, answered questions, poured drinks, swept floors and driven the trams purchased by each center from the 1996 Olympics.
“The best part is the people,” said Edith Deal, a member of Cedar Crest Baptist Church, West Monroe, La., who works in the Ridgecrest dining hall doing “whatever they need me to do.”
She also has enjoyed being away from television and other distractions. “God and I have spent a lot of time together.”
At Glorieta, Jerry Hollaway and Curtis King manned the Glorieta tram for eight weeks until they left Aug. 2 to return home to Natchez, Miss. Hollaway and his wife, Jerry, are members of Washington Baptist Church while King and his wife, Valerie, attend Parkway Baptist Church.
Betty Hollaway, who served as a greeter in New Mexico Hall, described the summer as a “vacation and a revival rolled into one.”
Both couples already have turned in their applications for 1998.
Jean and Norris Boyett are no strangers to Ridgecrest. They served as paid summer staffers from 1984-95 and returned as volunteers in 1996.
The Boyetts, members of Fellowship Baptist Church, Greenwell Springs, La., staffed the information desk in Pritchell Hall, answering questions and delivering messages.
“Ridgecrest is our second home,” Jean Boyett said. “We meet the sweetest people in the world.”
Opal Ragan, a member of Taylor Ranch Baptist Church, Albuquerque, N.M., spent the summer at Glorieta as a volunteer in the dining fall. She plans to stay over this fall to become a dorm mother for students attending Wayland Baptist University at Glorieta.
“I’ve had more fun this summer than I’ve had in a long time,” Ragan said.
Evelyn Hair, a member of Cooper River Baptist Church, North Charleston, S.C., first volunteered at Ridgecrest last fall. She returned this summer to serve as a hostess in the dining hall and plans to stay until October.
“This is my home away from home,” Hair said. “I just love to get up early, walk around and see the sun come up over the mountain.”
Curt and Eva Compton, members of Palms Southern Baptist Church, 29 Palms, Calif., parked their trailer at the Glorieta campground May 23 and plan to stay until Oct. 11. He has worked in maintenance and as a tram driver while she serves as a housekeeper. They also serve as relief host and hostess at the campground.
The Comptons have enjoyed meeting people, especially fellow volunteers.
“We’ve established a camaraderie we’ll probably never forget,” Eva Compton said.
People interested in serving as volunteers at Glorieta or Ridgecrest may write: Billie Koller, Glorieta Conference Center, Glorieta, NM 87535, or Sandra Boone, Ridgecrest Conference Center, Box 128, Ridgecrest, NC 28770.

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  • Linda Lawson