Interest in developing a summer retreat center for North Carolina Free Will Baptists began in the 1930s, but at that time limited resources prohibited any formal action toward the acquisition of such a facility. In 1941 a campaign to raise funds for this project was initiated by Free Will Baptist organizations in the state, and in 1944 a committee representing these organizations was charged with the task of finding a suitable site. Possible sites were evaluated, but no decision was made until the summer of 1945, when the committee found suitable property near Black Mountain. A campaign was begun to raise the balance of the purchase price by 1 Nov. 1945. Once the property was purchased, Cragmont Assembly was incorporated, and a board of directors representing the sponsoring organizations was chosen to make policies governing the assembly and to choose the manager responsible for day-to-day operations.
The first summer retreats and conferences were held at Cragmont Assembly in 1946. The main building, a three-story, multipurpose structure, continued to be used until 1978, when it was replaced by a more modern facility. Meanwhile, other buildings were constructed, including a motel, two dormitories, and a dining hall. Each summer, Cragmont Assembly serves as host for several youth conferences, a ministers' conference, and women's retreats. In addition, weekend retreats for church groups and recreational and inspirational events are held each year to accommodate the many hundreds of people who visit this beautiful spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Michael R. Pelt, A History of Original Free Will Baptists (1996).
Cragmont Assembly: http://cragmontassembly.com/wp/
1 January 2006 | Pelt, Michael R.