Phillipe Guillaume demonstrates the depth of a large vat used for wine-making at Jezreel.

Here’s another in our series of reflections from participants in the Jezreel Expedition  archaeological dig traveling with Campbell University Divinity School / Nurturing Faith Experiences.

Dale Belvin is a 2009 graduate of CUDS. For the past seven years, he has been pastor of Mount Zion Original Freewill Baptist Church in Bayboro, whose good folks raised funds to help him pay for the trip. He will be soon transitioning to the Rose of Sharon Freewill Baptist Church in Bear Grass, NC, near Williamston. Dale has made the most of this experience. Here are some of his thoughts.


A trip to Israel has been a desire of mine since I first started learning about Jesus. I have wanted to go to the place of the Patriarchs. I have wanted to walk were Jesus walked. The opportunities in this trip gave me the chance to experience that and much more. Participating in an archaeological dig sounded exciting and very informative. I could not imagine coming upon items that had been part of biblical times or even earlier. I knew that this trip would give me the opportunity to touch, see and experience things that I would not have had the opportunity to do otherwise. The Jezreel Expedition was a tremendous opportunity that I could not turn down.

Dale requests instruction on where or how deep to dig.

From the first day until now, this has been both an academic experience and a spiritual experience. It is academic because I have learned so much. I have learned about Israel and Jerusalem in biblical times as well as modern day Israel. I have learned some of the finer details about some of my favorite biblical stories like David fighting Goliath and some of the traditions around the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I have learned a great deal about Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age living. It is a spiritual experience because this is the land of the Bible. Nearly every city, town, village,  landmark, mountain, or area has significance. I have found the work of excavating to be very spiritual as we have gotten into the dirt and put in a good day’s work.

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