All About lurecrest

Here's who we are and what we believe.

Our History

Humble Beginnings


Summer Camp Starts

Upon returning from the horrors of the Second World War in Europe, a young Colonel Alfred Garr was haunted by memories of bombed-out cities and the desperate needs at home, of fatherless children and widowed mothers. In the midst of these emotions of grief and compassion, God planted the seed of Camp Lurecrest – a shelter where young lives could be renewed.

In 1947, Alfred presented his summer camp idea to the members of Garr Memorial Church in Charlotte, NC. The church, founded by Alfred’s father, Dr. A.G. Garr, Sr. in May of 1930, supported the idea of a summer camp as a "home mission." So Alfred bought 33 acres at Lake Lure for $6,500 with the help of a real estate salesman who provided a personal loan. In 1948, Camp Lurecrest opened with 75 boys.


The First Summer

That first summer, as Alfred related, "We had two dormitories and a mess hall, which could seat about 120. We put up a tent 40 feet wide and 70 feet long and that’s where we held our summer services for the young people.” (This tent was located near the site of the existing craft shop and the old Ranch House.)  “The next year, with more buildings to house campers, Lurecrest included girls.”

In 1951, Alfred married Meryle Irvy. Meryle joined Alfred in full-time service with the camp and served as associate camp director, doing administrative work during the winter months and handling food service during the camping season.



Several years after the camp opened, church member, Mr. E.J. McSwain, provided an initial $100 challenge gift to have a pool built. The camp had some lake frontage, but due to a 90-foot drop-off, campers were trucked five miles away twice daily for a safe place to swim. The congregation met McSwain’s challenge, but then Alfred realized he had no place to put the pool. That led to a three acre expansion, again thanks to a loan from the real estate salesman. Later, for $12,500, the camp bought over 60 acres with 1,600 feet on the lake.


Camp Lurecrest Name

In 1993, The Garr Memorial Church Board of Directors deeded the camp completely to Alfred and the Board of Trustees of the newly formed, non-profit, Camp Lurecrest Ministries, Inc.  With new leadership and continuing dedication, the camp continued to thrive.


Jerry and Charlotte

In June of 1997, Jerry and Charlotte Martin began working with camp in executive roles.


Alfred and Meryle Retired

In 1998, after 50 years of service to their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Alfred and Meryle retired.


Alfred Passes

In 2004, at the age of 93, Alfred passed away, having lived a life of deep love and devotion to Jesus Christ. He was a man of strict discipline, unquestioned integrity, and Christ-like character. He was known and loved by many from Lake Lure to Charlotte and throughout the United States. In the years following Alfred's passing, Meryle moved to Virginia Beach to be with their son, Alfred Jr., and his wife, Cheri.


Jeremy and Linsday

In 2007, Jeremy White, with his wife, Lindsay, and three boys, Keller, Coleman and Porter, began serving Camp Lurecrest as Camp Director.


New Executive Director

In 2011, Jeremy White was promoted to Executive Director, where he served until 2017, at which point he transitioned to a new executive position with a different non-profit ministry in Charlotte, NC called The Barnabas Center.


Meryle Passes

In September 2013, Meryle peacefully passed from this life to the next, laid to rest next to her dear husband, Alfred, to await that day when we shall all be caught up together with Christ.


New Executive Director

Kris Decker was hired in the summer of 2017 as Camp Lurecrest's newest Executive Director, along with his wife, Carolyn, and three children, Will, Janie, & Anna. He comes to Camp Lurecrest Ministries with a combined 30 years of camping and ministry experience.

What We Believe


A week can change a life!


To love God, love others, and make disciples of Jesus Christ through camping ministries.


By God’s grace and for His glory, Camp Lurecrest Ministries will, through organizational excellence and faithful stewardship of God’s resources, proclaim the gospel of God’s grace and make disciples of Jesus Christ who obey the Great Commandment and the Great Commission.

Core Values


We are committed to glorifying God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in all things.(Isaiah 43:7; Romans 11:36; Revelation 4:11)

Prayerful Stewardship

We are committed to faithfully stewarding God’s resources through organizational excellence, fiscal responsibility, and effective ministry.
(1 Corinthians 14:40; Colossians 3:23; Luke 16:11; Ephesians 4:11-13)

Discipling Community

We are committed to being a gospel-centered, loving community established on truth, nurtured through grace, and modeled in servant leadership.
(Mark 10:42-45; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5;1 Thessalonians 2:8)

Gospel of Grace

We are committed to proclaiming the Gospel of Grace, which is grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, as revealed in the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God.
(Colossians 1:28; 1 John 1:3-4; Acts 20:24; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)


We are committed to maintaining a safe camp environment, creating the opportunity to transform lives into the image of Christ.
(Psalm 91:1-2; Proverbs 16:3;
2 Corinthians 3:18)


Is a well-run, Christ-centered summer camp just a good experience?  Just good entertainment?  We believe that such a camp is a good experience, and also good fun; but it can be much, much more. It can be life-changing. A well-run, Christ-centered summer camp is one of the most effective ways to soften the hearts of God’s children so that they can hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. That is not just our opinion. Recent studies conducted by a number of universities have shown that more children are brought to salvation by God’s sovereign grace through a summer camp than through any other venue. Why is this so? Because a caring, Christ-focused summer camp offers a unique environment that captures the hearts of the campers so that they can hear the voice of the Father. And it is his voice of truth that is needed for this new generation to tell them who they are and whose they are. At Camp Lurecrest, we are committed to proclaiming this great truth with every ounce of our energy, every activity we run, and to every camper God brings.

Camp Lurecrest Ministries Statement of Faith

The Godhead

We believe in the unity of the Godhead existing in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons are One God having the same substance, power, perfection, and have always existed eternally as one God in three persons. Genesis 1:26; John 1:14, 15:26, 17:5, 21; Psalm 90:2; Ephesians 4:4-6.

God the Father

We believe in the God of the Bible, the one true God, the Father in Heaven, the first person of the Trinity. He is the greatest of all beings and depends on no other for His being or existence, who has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent "I AM", the creator of Heaven and Earth. Exodus 3:14; Isaiah 43:10-11; Genesis 1:1. 

God the Son – Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is the only Son of God and "image of the invisible God". He is the only mediator between God and man and in Him "all deity dwells in bodily form." We believe in His virgin birth, His sinless life, and His death on the cross as the substitutionary atonement for sin. We believe in His physical and literal bodily resurrection from the dead, His present ministry of intercession at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven, and His personal, physical, and future return to the earth to judge the living and the dead. Colossians 1:15-22; 1 Timothy 2:5; Colossians 2:9; Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:27, 34; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Romans 8:26-27; Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1; 1 Peter 4:5. 

God the Holy Spirit

We believe the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, convicts men of sin and regenerates, indwells, seals, sets apart, comforts, teaches, empowers, and bears witness that God’s people belong to Him. We believe the Holy Spirt empowers all believers for service in God’s Church and empowers them for holy living, learning, and life. We believe that God is at work within us both to will and to work to His good pleasure and that He will perfect and keep us until the day of Christ’s return. John 14:16, 26; Romans 8:14-16, 30; Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 1:6, 2:13; Hebrews 10:13-14, 11:40, 12:22.


We believe that every follower of Jesus Christ is called to the ministry of evangelism (sharing and proclaiming the message of salvation only possible by grace through faith in Jesus Christ) and discipleship (helping followers of Christ grow up into maturity in Christ). Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Peter 3:15; Ephesians 2:8-9, Ephesians 4:13-15.

Man’s Condition                                                                                                                                                                

We believe that man was created in the image of God, therefore, he has inherent value.  However, because of the fall, sin entered the world and man was separated from God because of their rebellion and shall be judged. Man, can only be saved through the blood of Christ and renewing grace of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, we believe that God will reward the righteous with eternal life in heaven, and that He will banish the unrighteous to everlasting punishment in hell. Genesis 1:27, 2:22, 3; Romans 3:23, 5:12; Hebrews 9:27-28; Romans 5:9; Ephesians 1:7; Titus 3:5; Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10.

God’s Plan for Marriage and Human Sexuality

We believe God’s plan for human sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage, that God created man and woman as unique biological persons made to complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society, and as a way to model how God relates to His people. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female. We also believe that men and women are both created in the image of God and are equals, and that in a marriage framework a husband should love his wife as Christ loved the church. We believe this is modeled through the husband’s servant leadership and the wife’s support and respect as his helper. Genesis 2:20-24; Matthew 19:5-6; Mark 10:6-9; Psalm 139:13-16.

The Unborn

We believe that human life is sacred from conception to its natural end, and that we must have concern for the physical and spiritual needs of our fellow men. Psalm 139:13; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 22:37-39; Romans 12:20-21; Galatians 6:10.


We believe that salvation is by grace through faith, and that it is a free gift from God apart from works so that no one can boast. We believe salvation is of the whole man and a personal receiving of Jesus Christ that will produce a lifestyle of repentance, a turning from one’s own way to God’s way, and a true faith that produces good works. In its comprehensive sense, salvation includes calling, regeneration, justification, sanctification, and glorification. Ephesians 2:8-10; 2 Corinthians 15:17; John 1:12; Matthew 3:8; Luke 3:8; Romans 2:4; James 2:17-18; Romans 8:29-30.

The Scriptures

We believe both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible to be the eternal, living, and inerrant and Holy Word of God, inspired in every part by the Holy Spirit and written by men. The Bible is the revelation of God for the salvation of man and is the supreme and final authority of faith and life. Psalm 119:89; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 5:39; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:19-21.

The Church

A New Testament church, of which the Lord Jesus Christ is the head, is a local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel who seek to obey the Great Commandment and Great Commission. The church, as the Body of Christ, includes all the redeemed from all ages. These believers are from every nation, tribe, tongue, and people. Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18; Acts 2:38-41; Romans 6:1; Matthew 28:19; Matthew 22:36-28, 28:18-20; Philippians 1:1; Romans 1:7; Revelation 5:9, 7:9, 21:2-3.

Marriage and Family*

God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption. Marriage is the uniting of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. It is God's unique gift to reveal the union between Christ and His church and to provide for the man and the woman in marriage the framework for intimate companionship, the channel of sexual expression according to biblical standards, and the means for procreation of the human race. 

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. 

Children, from the moment of conception, are a blessing and heritage from the Lord. Parents are to demonstrate to their children God's pattern for marriage. Parents are to teach their children spiritual and moral values and to lead them, through consistent lifestyle example and loving discipline, to make choices based on biblical truth. Children are to honor and obey their parents.  Genesis 1:26-28, 2:15-25, 3:1-20; Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Joshua 24:15; 1 Samuel 1:26-28; Psalms 51:5, 78:1-8, 127, 128, 139:13-16; Proverbs 1:8, 5:15-20, 6:20-22, 12:4, 13:24, 14:1, 17:6, 18:22, 22:6,15, 23:13-14, 24:3, 29:15,17, 31:10-31; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, 9:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 5:31-32, 18:2-5, 19:3-9; Mark 10:6-12; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16; Ephesians 5:21-33, 6:1-4; Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Timothy 5:8, 14; 2 Timothy 1:3-5; Titus 2:3-5; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Peter 3:1-7.

*Statement on Marriage and Family has been quoted from The 2000 Baptist Faith and Mission.