August 19, 2009
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. – Want to make 900 friends who share in a commitment to Christ and make a difference in the community? Since 1968, that is exactly what retired Rev. Paul Davenport of Waynesville has done. Davenport first came to Lake Junaluska in 1955 as a youth. He enjoyed the Lake so much, he came back for other experiences and eventually met his wife at the Lake.
“Lake Junaluska has become a precious place to me. When I heard a group like the Junaluska Associates was being formed to support the Lake, I become a charter member in 1968,” says Rev. Davenport. “As the scriptures say, ‘Go and do likewise.’”
Members of the Junaluska Associates have been committed to sharing the “Junaluska Experience,” enhancing and promoting the programs and outreach of Lake Junaluska, providing assistance for the beautification and enhancement of the grounds and facilities, and encouraging financial support of Lake Junaluska and its needs. Rev. Davenport hopes that the Associates will be successful in their ongoing support of Lake Junaluska. “We’re trying to grow,” he commented. “We’re going to be an ongoing support and beautification group. It’s our mission to promote the Lake as a place for spiritual growth.”
When the Junaluska Associates began, the initial goal was to raise $100,000 by getting one hundred people to give $1,000 dollars. In its forty-one years since the setting of that goal, the organization has raised 3.2 million dollars, primarily for beautification purposes at the Lake. Restoration of the amphitheater, the reconstruction of the Rose Walk, paving and improving the walking trails, and buying the trams and trolley are all due to the generosity of the Junaluska Associates. They also funded the construction of the Turbeville Pedestrian Bridge, give yearly support to the Junaluska Singers, and
provide scholarships for first-time visitors to the Lake.
Rev. Davenport hopes that people will understand the true benefits of becoming an Associate. “Being a member will give people a lot of personal joy because they will know they are involved with something where God is working.”
As Lake Junaluska nears its 100th anniversary of service and ministry, the Junaluska Associates are eagerly planning centennial events, and they hope to increase their membership from their current 861 member total to 2,000 members in the remaining four years leading up to Lake Junaluska’s centennial celebration. It may be a tough task, but the Junaluska Associates are determined to continue their efforts to contribute to the Lake Junaluska community.
“Anyone, group, or church that wants to support Lake Junaluska is invited to join at any level,” said Dr. Ernie Porter, the Junaluska Associates President.
For more information on the Junaluska Associates or joining procedures, visit www.lakejunaluska.com/associates.aspx, call 828-454-6725 or email