ABOUT US

Our Team

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Gretchen Averette
Communications & Development Specialist
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GRETCHEN'S BIO

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'S BIO

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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JEFF'S BIO

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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Liz Brewster
Guest Services/Volunteer Coordinator
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LIZ'S BIO

Liz grew up going to and working at church summer camps in Northern Virginia. She has worked in various positions in churches, ministries, and non-profits since attending Virginia Commonwealth University. After moving to North Carolina, she prayed for a job where she would be able to continue to use her skillset to help kids develop their relationship with God. She found New Life Camp in 2022. Liz enjoys music, any outdoor activity, and has a lot of plants

“For you created my inmost being; you wove me together in my mother’s womb..” – Psalm 139:13

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Katlyn Carney
Registrar & Seasonal Staff Hiring Manager
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KATLYN'S BIO

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

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Jason Herbert
Athletic Director
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JASON'S BIO

Jason has been around and involved at camp for many years, from participating in Summer Camp, Next Level Basketball, and HEA (LEARN Academics Classes), to being a LIT, Summer Camp Counselor, Next Level Staff, Custodian, Summer Leadership Staff, and Director of Program Staff. With a bachelor’s degree in Sport’s Management from NC State and his background with Refugee Hope Partners, we are overjoyed to have him on our team. He greatly enjoys playing all sports, particularly basketball, as well as playing board games with family and friends.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15

Celeste-Honaker

Celeste Honaker
Business Manager
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CELESTE'S BIO

We have been privileged to have Celeste on our team for over 10 years! After majoring in Accounting at Wake Forest University, she worked as an auditor, a business and financial assistant, and a finance manager. Celeste joined New Life Camp in 2010. She loves walking with friends, reading, and group exercise classes, as well as spending time with her husband, Bill, her son and daughter-in-law, Nathan and Aubree, and her daughter, Katie.

 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

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Joel Kellum
Seasonal Staff Ministry Coordinator & Hiring Associate
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JOEL'S BIO

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 soon-to-be 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'S BIO

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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Nathaniel Miller
Director of LEARN, IT & Web Coordinator
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NATHANIEL'S BIO

First experiencing New Life Camp as a camper, Nathaniel quickly fell in love with camp and went on to serve as both an LIT and a Counselor. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Tennessee Temple University, he joined the NLC full-time staff. In his free time, he can be found reading, listening to music and podcasts, or occasionally watching movies. Additionally, he greatly enjoys BibleProject resources, as they get him excited to open the Bible and learn more about how all of it leads to Jesus.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” – Colossians 3:16

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Bailey Patterson
First Aid Coordinator/Assistant Director of Programs
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BAILEY'S BIO

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'S BIO

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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Bo Roberts
Assistant Executive Director/Accreditation
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BO'S BIO

As a consultant and a staff member since 2013, Bo is a valued member of our team. After getting his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill, he worked for many years with YMCA camping as well as for Campus Crusade (now Cru). He is a church elder and has been on over 15 mission trips! When he is not at camp, Bo and his wife, Helen, are usually busy with their family of 3 married children and 4 grandchildren, which keeps their schedule very full!

“Also, when I reach old age and have gray hair, God, do not forsake me, until I have declared your power to this generation and your might to the next one.” – Psalm 71:18

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Sam Smith
Senior Assistant Director of Development
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SAM'S BIO

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

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
Board President

Frank Lassiter
Vice President

Joey Hart
Secretary

Hank Keleher
Treasurer

Amy Martin

Marc Mills

Shannon Scott

Sharon Stone

Bob Touchton

Frank Tyndall

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