New Life Camp began in 1950 under the leadership of Robert Johnson, Sr. A fantastic summer camp program grew through his passion for children. In 1955, a beautiful 70-acre wooded campsite near Raleigh, complete with recreation area, large tabernacle, dining room, cabins, swimming pond and other camp facilities, was purchased. The original cost of the camp was $35,000, but it was offered to our ministry for $12,000, an incredible bargain.
In 1961, Bob Johnson, Jr. and his wife Debbie began their ministry at New Life Camp. Bob assumed the role of executive camp director in 1976 when his father’s health failed two years before his death. For over fifty years, this couple has faithfully served the children and families of Raleigh. They continue their ministry to this day. Their son and daughter-in-law, Bobby and Page Johnson, joined the full-time staff in 1993 as maintenance manager and nurse, respectively. They left the ministry in 2011 to begin Interlocking Ministries with the goal of assisting pastors and churches in Kenya to spread the Gospel.
In 2000, Aaron Miller joined the full-time staff as director of programs. Under his guidance and with the completion of our first gym, New Life Camp expanded its programs beyond that of a summer camp in the areas of Upward Sports, a home-school supplemental program, Saturday evening events for all children, and the New Life Storm athletic teams. As the programs grew, so did the staff and the facilities. Nathaniel Miller and Trisha Price joined the full time staff in 2003 and 2004, respectively. An activities center, complete with a basketball gymnasium, swimming pool, and sports field, was completed in 2010.
In 2010, Bob Johnson stepped down as executive director. Greg Burton, a recent graduate from Shepherd’s Theological Seminary who most recently served on pastoral staff at Colonial Baptist Church, was appointed as the executive director. Greg is a former high school teacher and coach with extensive sport, camp, and missions work experience.
New Life Camp has been through many changes through the years, but our passion for sharing the love of Jesus Christ with children and youth remains constant. With such a rich legacy full of individuals who have served Christ here, we will continue making Jesus Christ known to all who come.