A trowel, a dustpan, and a pottery basket are always close at hand while digging.

Readers hear enough of me … I’ve asked participants on the Campbell University Divinity School/Nurturing Faith Experiences Jezreel Dig team to share some of their thoughts and experiences, and will be posting a few each day for the next several days. All students received scholarship help from the Snellings Fund. Several participants also benefitted from a generous gift by an anonymous donor, and they want to express appreciation.

Larry Turlington, who never saw a job that shouldn’t be finished on time and done well. Larry is a bivocational pastor who works as a contractor, and has impressed the dig directors with his work ethic: he’s as good at deconstructing as he is at construction.

I first fell in love with archaeology when I was young. I have always had a fascination with rocks and dirt. I remember seeing, “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and day dreamed of being Indiana Jones, not for the looting of burial tombs or temples, but for the thrill of discovery.

When I heard that Campbell University was offering an Archaeology course, even though I did not need it to graduate, I knew I could live out a boyhood dream. The classroom work that we completed in preparation for this dig is invaluable.

From the first day, even though the work is hard, my love for archaeology has only deepened. At fifty-three years old, I can now check archaeology off my bucket list. Thanks go out to all those who have made this wonderful experience possible.

Muriel Lasater is a third-year student who has also worked as a graduate assistant and a student intern at Benson Baptist Church. She will soon join the CUDS staff as Admissions and Student Finance Counselor.

My first experience with archaeological digging was when I came to Israel in May 2017. I was with a group from Campbell University Divinity School, and we dug for a few hours in caves at Bet Guvrim, near Tel Mareshah. I enjoyed the digging process, which made me interested in future opportunities. When the opportunity arose to participate in the Jezreel Expedition, I was all in. 

I love to try new things and take advantage of opportunities for growth and learning. Even though archaeological digging can be strenuous and exhausting, it can also be very enlightening. I love how this process connects us to humanity at large and allows us to gain insight into their lives by studying pottery, artifacts, and figurines. It’s amazing how this connects us to people who lived thousands and thousands of years ago.

I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and this experience in Jezreel, and I am especially grateful for the generosity of those who contributed to the financial costs of the trip for us Campbell students. Your generosity is making a difference and impacting more lives than I can even imagine! 

David Helms has been at First Baptist Church of Southern Pines for 35 years, most of that time as senior pastor. For the past several years, he has periodically taught “The Life and Work of the Minister” as an adjunct faculty member at CUDS.

I have always dreamed of going to Israel for an archaeological dig since the days of my seminary education.  This year, when I read of the opportunity for a dig with Campbell University Divinity School, I inquired immediately about the details, conferred with the church to request a sabbatical to celebrate my 35th anniversary at FBCSP.  
The tour and dig have given me a deeper appreciation for and understanding of the land of the Bible.   The experience of digging in the dirt, separating stones, and placing pottery shards aside brings me closer to those ancient people the Bible calls “the people of the earth,” reminding me that we are all simply “people of the earth.”  I am grateful for the school and the generous donor who made this trip feasible.  



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