We, the Board and volunteers of The Mary B. Mullen Bible Camp, Inc., are making continuous efforts to refurbish the camp located at 1900 Freemantown Road in Lake Lure, North Carolina. The camp, previously a plantation, was founded in 1906 by the Christian Missionary Alliance of Nyack, New York with the assistance of Missionaries Ida Ingraham, Mary B. Mullen, Theodosia Phoenix and Izetta Gamble who served as advisors, teachers and administrators. Their goal was to help provide an education for African American children who, at that time, were not able to obtain regular training in the public school system. Additional land was donated by African American farmers whose farms bordered the camp property.
The camp, formerly named "The Mullen Bible Training School," was a unique setting for the education of African Americans; first as a grade school--then as a high school. A number of original curriculum manuals have been located and placed in the camp archives. The school suffered two fires, first in 1916 then again in 1922 and with great effort managed to remain active until 1943. At that time it was temporarily closed due to financial difficulties. In 1948, the school reopened as an approved training facility for adult religious education by the Department of Public Instruction of the State of North Carolina allowing Veterans to enroll under the G.I. Bill of Rights. This training program was utilized up until 1952. Thereafter, the camp remained mostly inactive until 1988 when it was renamed The Mary B. Mullen Bible Camp and was incorporated. However, through the 90's the camp was greatly under utilized largely due to lack of funding and out-of-state administrators. During that time, it was periodically used for Bible study, Vacation Bible school, and Christian training workshops conducted by various missionaries, ministers, and evangelists who were trained at the camp.
In June 2006, a new board was elected. The Trustees of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Lake Lure had served as "overseers" of the property as many of its parishioners were also volunteers of the camp. The camp now holds its' own deed and is operated by volunteers of the community with policies established by an elected Board representing the members of local churches and community members at large. Under a new administration, it has been restored by youth mission groups from various churches (both local as well as out of state), and loving, energetic, persevering volunteers of the community who participate in monthly refurbishing/clean-up days.
Our mission is to fully develop the entire property into a useful community setting by refurbishing and maintaining the grounds in order to provide the following: a retreat center, summer camping facilities, recreational facilities, walking trails, picnic facilities, reunion and meeting facilities. We have provided conference facilities, a library and a classroom for workshops and seminars.
The camp is initially funded by grants, donations, fundraisers, and facility rentals. Our refurbishing efforts have proven to be a humbling and unifying experience for the whole community.
Some of the tasks already taken on by volunteers and youth groups have included repairs and improvements such as installation of new windows and doors, roof repairs, building handicapped ramps, and painting. Camp activities to date have included Veteran’s Day programs, Family Reunions, Community Fun Days, Special Anniversary Programs, Community Easter Egg Hunts, Senior Citizen outings, Class Reunions, overnight Back-To-School camp outs (with hayrides), Luncheons, Birthday Parties, and a wedding rehearsal dinner under the multi-purpose pavilion.
Fundraising efforts include:
Million Penny Jar Drive
Annual Car Washes
As well Other Donation Drive Efforts