Our Team

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Gretchen Averette
Communications & Development Specialist
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Gretchen grew up in the Raleigh area and graduated from Meredith College with a BS in Child Development. She has work experience in education, communications, and children’s ministry. It brings her great joy to see the Lord utilize her skills and experience to further the Kingdom here at New Life Camp. She is happily married to her college sweetheart and loves doing life with their three mostly grown kids. In her downtime, she enjoys being outdoors, travel, interior design, and sipping coffee on her back porch with family, friends, or a good book.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-24

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Paul Averette
Director of Campus & Facility Operations
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Paul was both a camper and a volunteer around camp for many years. After attending NC State University, he has worked in a variety of ministry positions from being on staff at Providence Baptist Church and NC State FCA, to spending the last 25 years as a local builder. He deeply loves his wife Gretchen, as well as his kids Riley, Madalyn, and Mason, and his dogs, Murphy and Finley. He also likes animals of all sorts and has 2 cats, 2 goats, 20 chickens, 6 ducks, a donkey, a horse, and a rabbit on his farm. When he is not taking care of them or camp, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and baseball.

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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Dr. Jeff Beckett
Executive Director
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We are happy to have Jeff as our Executive Director here at New Life Camp. He has led faith-based non-profits for 31 years prior to coming to NLC. First getting a degree in Political Science and History from Texas A&M, Commerce, he went on to get a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate in Ministry from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to being a two-time church planter in Texas and a long-time pastor in Apex, NC, he has taught economics and history, as well as coaching basketball, football, and baseball. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar, most outdoor sports, and traveling with his wife, Kathy, kids, Audrey, Allison, Amy, and Lucas, and grandkid, Owen. While he does not have pets, he enjoys the squirrels, deer, and raccoons around the Director’s House at camp.

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

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Kaycee Browning
Spiritual Formations & Media Coordinator
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Kaycee accepted Christ as Savior when she was 14 years old, which sparked a passion for helping children and students become confident disciples of Jesus. She graduated from NC State with degrees in English and Anthropology, then worked at The Summit Church in student ministry for three years via The Summit Institute, a leadership development program. After the program ended, Kaycee followed the next steps God paved for her which led to New Life Camp! In her free time, Kaycee loves to travel overseas, read classics, write fiction, and explore museums and coffee shops.

“God – his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is a rock? Only our God.” – Psalm 18:30-31 (CSB)

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Cheryl Humphrey
Director of Finance
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Bio coming soon!

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Katlyn Jones
Registrar & Seasonal Staff Hiring Manager
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Katlyn first came to New Life Camp in 2019 as an intern with Children’s Bible Ministries. After the internship program was over, she felt God calling her into full-time ministry. Before joining the NLC full-time staff in 2021, Katlyn worked with CBM as a registrar for Camp Gilead in Florida, and as a Project Leader for Project Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since her days in the internship, she has loved New Life Camp and is excited she gets to work with the ministry to see children come to know and accept Christ as their Savior. When she is not coaching one of our Storm Volleyball teams, she can be found horseback riding or spending time with a friend.

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.” – Jeremiah 1:7

Wesley Jones

Wesley Jones
Assistant Athletic Director/Programs Specialist
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Wesley started his journey at New Life Camp after working one week of summer camp 14 years ago. After that one week, he went on to work seven more years of summer camp. Wesley was born and raised here in the heart of Raleigh. He grew up with his mom, Angela, her six sisters, and his older sister, Nzinga. Wesley loves mentoring and pouring into the generations coming behind him. Any chance he gets to encourage and motivate young people to be the best they can be in Christ is time well spent. He loves playing and coaching basketball, singing, and watching all the UNC Basketball games.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

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Joel Kellum
Seasonal Staff Ministry Coordinator & Hiring Associate
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Joel discovered his passion for camp ministry while working at Miracle Camp and Retreat Center in Michigan, where he worked for many years. He graduated with a degree in Camp and Recreation Administration with a minor in Business Administration, from Indiana Wesleyan University. Joel moved from Indiana in 2021 to join our NLC team full time. He and his wife Annie love good food, learning new things, and playing games, including sports, disc golf and board games.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20-21

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Aaron Miller
Director of Programs
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Aaron grew up at New Life Camp. He was a camper, LIT, and summer staff member. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Elementary Education. We have been blessed to have him lead on our full-time staff for over 20 years. Prior to working at camp full time, Aaron also worked with the YMCA and coached basketball and soccer at Trinity Academy of Raleigh. He has developed many of our camp programs. The activities Aaron began have transformed New Life Camp into a wonderful place for children all year long. Aaron enjoys playing ping pong and watching sports but he loves spending time with his wife Laura and playing with his kids, Liam, Claira, and Grayson.

“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.'” – John 6:68

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Bailey Patterson
First Aid Coordinator/Assistant Director of Programs
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Bailey fell in love with both summer camp and medicine at a very young age. After obtaining a Biology degree and her EMT license at the University of North Carolina, she began praying for a job where she could pursue both of her passions. God delivered the perfect place in New Life Camp and she joined the team in 2022. She has served in youth ministry for years and loves helping kids develop a deep and personal relationship with Jesus. Bailey enjoys watching Tarheel basketball, traveling with friends, running, and playing with her cat, Sundae.

“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” -John 11:25-26

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Trisha Price
Director of Communications
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Trisha fell in love with New Life Camp her first year as a counselor in 1999. She continued working as a summer staff member for many years. Trisha went on to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Tennessee Temple University. After teaching at an elementary school in Ohio for a couple of years, she joined the NLC full-time staff and has been an integral part of our team for almost 20 years. Trisha loves to create art, hang out with her family, friends and her dog, Raleigh!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

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Ed Russ
Bookkeeping and Customer Service Coordinator
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Ed Russ comes to New Life Camp with 25 years of business management experience and over 20 years of pastoral experience in the Raleigh area. Ed is excited to use his experiences to help New Life Camp continue to impact many lives for Christ. His desire is to see everyone flourish as they grow into Christlikeness, using their gifts to help build the body of Christ. He loves to teach the Bible, helping people see the big picture of a passage or a book and how they can live out what they are learning. Ed, a UNC-Chapel Hill grad (who bleeds Carolina blue) has been married to Mary for 28 years and together they raised two daughters, both now married. They are anticipating the arrival of their first grandchild in May 2023!

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” – Ephesians 4:15-16

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Sam Smith
Director of Development and IT
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As a 3rd generation camper, Sam has been around camp his whole life. After obtaining a degree in Business from Liberty University, he came back to NLC to join our team. He loves basketball and cooking for his wife Hannah and daughter Ellie.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6

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Heather Totty
LEARN and Reception Coordinator
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Heather fell in love with New Life Camp as a parent. After seeing her children love camp and the LEARN program so much she started working in the Main Office. Heather grew up in Raleigh and graduated from Greensboro College with a Bachelor’s in Religion before finishing her education at Duke University with her Master’s of Divinity. She has work experience in chaplaincy and youth and children’s ministry. She has homeschooled her two children since Kindergarten and has a passion for homeschooling. Heather is happily married to her husband of over 20 years. When she is not at NLC or on the sidelines of a New Life Storm game, she is probably serving with the youth at her church. She loves reading, listening to audiobooks, and hanging out with her family in her free time.

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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Battle Watkins
Athletic Director
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Battle has just come to New Life Camp from a 30 year career in teaching, coaching, and Athletic Directing in North Carolina. His kids and wife attended NLC! He grew up in Hendersonville and attended UNC Chapel Hill graduating with a bachelor’s in Secondary Education where he met his wife Shannon. His youth ministry background includes leading FCA huddles, youth groups, and sports camps. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, traveling with his family (Shannon, Graham, Amy Grace, Noah, Lottie, Corrie) playing golf, and visiting historical places.

 “We are therefore Christ’s Ambassadors as though God were making his appeal through us.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20

Former Directors

John Dorman

Greg Burton

Bob & Debbie Johnson

Bob Johnson, Sr.

Board of Directors

New Life Camp has a rich legacy of sharing the love of Jesus Christ with children and youth. Members of our Board of Directors share a commitment to this mission based on personal and family experiences.  They give their time and resources to steward the mission and govern the strategic direction of the camp.

Bill Peterson

Hank Keleher
Vice Chairperson

Joey Hart

Frank Lassiter

Phil Begany

Amy Martin

Shannon Scott

Sharon Stone

Bob Touchton

David Trower

Frank Tyndall

Want to learn more?
Contact the New Life Camp Board of Directors.