N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--February 1998

Craggy religious center and chapel dedicated

Asheville - Nearly 400 Department of Correction personnel, community volunteers, guests and inmates gathered at Craggy Correctional Center on a snowy Monday morning to help dedicate the new T. Frank Shirley Religious Center, the John T. South Chapel and the Billy Graham Family Library.

Sen. Robert C. Carpenter, Sen. Jesse Ledbetter, Keith Hester
(background), John T. South, Mack Jarvis, Michael York,
Chaplain Frank Shirley, Jennifer Langley, Chaplain Roosevelt
Wilkerson, Jr. and Superintendent Marcus B. Hughes were
among the many participants in the dedication ceremony.

The dedication service held December 8, 1997, marked the completion of many months of hard work and cooperation among community members and the state of North Carolina to construct the 5,000-square-foot religious center.

Designed by architect Carleton Collins, owner of the Design Workshop in Asheville, the T. Frank Shirley Religious Center features a beautiful worship area, a service area and a work area. The building includes the 180-seat John T. South Chapel, the 60-seat Myron Peterson Education Room, the Billy Graham Family Library, two counseling rooms, three Senior and Associate Chaplain's offices, a clerical office and storage space. A gift from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association provided funds for the Billy Graham Family Library as well as a continuing commitment to provide printed, audio and video materials.

Speaking at the dedication service, Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis said December 8 was an important day for the men of Craggy Correctional Center, the Department of Correction and the people of western North Carolina. "All have worked together to arrive at this moment, " he said. "We are here to dedicate this building as a place of worship and to remember the hard work that brought us to this point."

As part of this combined effort, the state committed $438,750 to the project, and the Craggy Correctional Center Chapel Fund, Inc. committed $205, 44. More than 800 individuals, churches, businesses, organizations, foundations and trust funds made donations to the Chapel Fund to help make the dream of having a religious center at Craggy Correctional Center a much needed reality.

"Each piece of brick and mortar purchased by those donations sends a message," Jarvis said. "When the inmates of Craggy look at this building, they can hear a choir of people from across western North Carolina sing out I care. For a man separated from family, locked away from society and living the life ordered by the state, hearing someone say I care is important."

Chaplain T. Frank Shirley, who retired from the Department of Correction in September, and community leader John T. South both lead the way with their support for the chapel campaign by working tirelessly to help guide and achieve the completion of a House of God inside the fence at Craggy Correctional Center.

During a visit to Craggy's new religious center, Gov. Jim Hunt expressed pride in the project. "I think this facility at Craggy is a wonderful example of people working together and believing that God can change people's lives, even people who have fallen very low...But the Lord can work miracles," he said. "This building is going to do great work, and I am very proud of it."

NC DOC Correction News- February 1998
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