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Wounded Warrior Retreat: a hidden Georgia Baptist gem

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NORWOOD — Robert Driggers, pastor of Pine Hill Baptist Church in Hephzibah, has an extraordinary ministry to wounded warriors, specifically those who have served in the U.S. military and those who have served as pastors.

Driggers has used the facilities and property of the beautiful Come Away Plantation in Norwood as the retreat center for his wounded warriors. The Plantation is located about 50 miles west of Augusta and three miles off I-20.

The Pine Hill pastor’s objective is to bless and encourage those whom he serves in the course of a Thursday evening through Sunday morning wild game hunting experience. Driggers explained, “We try to provide these ‘retreats’ about a dozen times a year and can accommodate ten families or up to ten wounded warriors.”

According to Stacy Dyer, state missionary and outdoor ministry consultant with the Georgia Baptist Convention, “Through the wounded warrior retreat Pastor Driggers offers a variety of outdoor opportunities, including fishing from the ponds and lakes on the property, golfing on-site, and a limited amount of hunts. He hosts a couple of annual pheasant hunts as well as turkey and deer hunts.

“The retreats include great meals for the participants and daily spiritual devotions by Pastor Driggers and others involved in this wonderful ministry. Many soldiers’ lives have been directly impacted by this ministry.”

Dyer-hunt4 A pheasant shoot was held in February 2015 at Come Away Plantation.

Driggers, who calls himself an army brat due to his father being a career military man, stated, “We have seen some come to have a personal relationship with Christ as a result of the retreat. We have also seen couples headed for divorce have their marriages renewed.

“We have also noted that ministers who have experienced trials in their calling find peace and solace and offering great encouragement and hope to the military wounded warriors, some of whom have had serious physical injuries and others who continue to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

Staff Sergeant Jeremy Young, one of Dyer’s friends from Cleveland, GA, reflected on the Wounded Warrior Retreat, stating, “As a disabled army veteran I have had access to some of the best medical and psychological care in the world. I have been medically retired for over two years and it has taken me this long for me to get to the point where I don’t get depressed.

Military servicemen Reuben Pedro, left, and Damion Peyton, right, pose on a Wounded Warriors hunt in 2012. The deer was Peyton's first to kill. Military servicemen Reuben Pedro, left, and Damion Peyton, right, pose on a wounded warriors hunt in 2012. The deer was Peyton's first to kill.

“I owe my recovery to partly to my association to the Wounded Warrior Retreat. Through them I received the spiritual care that has really helped me. The retreat really opened my eyes so that I could understand my need for spiritual help. I can now help other wounded warriors with their recovery.”

Through Driggers’ ministry he is announcing and demonstrating that these individuals are not alone or forgotten. The mission statement for the Wounded Warrior Retreat best describes the desired outcome of the ministry:

“Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of wounded warriors by mentoring, promoting, supporting, and encouraging spiritual healing for wounded warriors and their families while participants enjoy the many outdoor activities offered by the private hunting retreat.”

Your church or ministry may have a veteran that you would like to bless with this opportunity. There are many different activities and events during each year that are available. To connect with these events call Pastor Robert Driggers at (706) 830-0835 or email him at driggers0062@comcast.net.

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