Sivels 2018 Saw Mill Team

A sawmill team from Lufkin, Texas, volunteers in 2018 to mill logs into siding at Sivells Baptist Camp. The team brings the mobile sawmill with them to work onsite. The team returned to do similar work in 2019. It was the team’s third trip to Sivells.

CLOUDCROFT (BNM) - Sivells Baptist Camp and Retreat Center recorded approximately 12,000 volunteer hours during the 2019 calendar year, including 16 individuals who volunteered for a month or longer, according to camp director, Jay Hammond. During the year, Sivells also recorded 51 professions of faith, nine rededications of faith, four baptisms, and ten requests for baptism. Six students responded to a call to ministry.

Butch and Darlene Joyner volunteered throughout 2019. According to Hammond, the Joyners help food service, grounds maintenance, janitorial projects, laundry duties, guest services, and prayer support. “Butch is 77 years old and continues to make a huge contribution to the camp’s work,” Hammond said.

Don Davis organized a team of volunteers to help with several projects over four weeks, including a remodel of the camp’s concession stand. Hammond commended Davis, saying, “Don Davis is 83 [years old] and continues to provide leadership to get volunteers to help with much-needed projects.”

In March, 46 volunteers from Valley Grove Baptist Church, Stephenville, Texas, spent a week working on various organizational projects. The group organized the camp’s maintenance shop and east and west laundry rooms. They also assisted camp staff with Sivells’ dish room and dining hall project.

Dewain and Joyce Denke of Waco, Texas, volunteered for six weeks in May and June. The Denke’s helped with food service, camp laundry, mowing, and other projects. Irene Parker, also from Waco, volunteered for five weeks in May and June. She served in the dining hall and helped with other projects.

Jodie Thurman of Hewitt, Texas, served in the dining hall and laundry facility. She also helped with other projects.

Randy and Patsy Lloyd of Forney, Texas, volunteered at the camp for eight weeks in the summer. The Lloyd’s helped laundry, janitorial, dining hall duties, grounds maintenance, and equipment. According to Hammond, the Lloyd’s returned to Sivells in October to volunteer on a sawmill crew. 

Tracy and June Hooker of Calvary Baptist Church, Las Cruces, volunteered in various capacities from May through November. June served as food services director while Tracy brought a backhoe and worked on a dirt project, worked on the camp’s water system, helped to upgrade the electrical system at the camp’s R.V. park, and performed automotive maintenance.

In July, a mission team from First Baptist Church, Stephenville, Texas built a privacy fence around the camp’s dining hall, completed metal siding work on the north side of the dining hall, installed a handicap ramp at the camp director’s residence, and prepared lumber for two of the camp’s meeting areas. According to Hammond, 2019 marks the eighth year the church has sent a mission team to Sivells.

Jonnie and Kathy Herriage volunteered during the entire month of July. They volunteered in the dining hall, concession stand, and laundry facility. Jonnie also led staff devotions.

In October, Steve Chandler of Lufkin, Texas; Larry Quissenberry of El Paso, Texas; Randy Lloyd of Forney, Texas; and Mike Gray of Cloudcroft, volunteered to mill lumber for the camp. According to Hammond, this is the third year Chandler has organized a team to volunteer at Sivells.

Electrician Dale Yerion serviced the camp’s emergency lighting systems, upgraded the electrical systems at the camp’s R.V. park, east laundry room, and one of the staff apartments. He also helped with the dish room and dining half project

In the camp’s 2019 annual report, Hammond noted that Sivells is preparing for a major renovation of its dining hall. He asked Baptists to “pray that God would provide the resources and volunteers to complete this project.” “We are dependent on God’s provision and wisdom as we prayerfully move forward. We will be asking for volunteer groups to assist with this project. Please call the camp office if you are willing to assist,” he said.

For more information, Sivells, visit, email Hammond at, or call the camp office at 575-687-3538. Sivells is located at 1254 Cox Canyon Road, Cloudcroft, New Mexico 88317. Sivells is a ministry of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, and is supported by churches' gifts to the Cooperative Program.

Daniel Porter is a staff writer with the Baptist New Mexican news journal and, news and information outlets for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

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