About Bethel Colony


Bethel Colony of Mercy was founded in 1948 by Mr. and Mrs. James N. Claffee as a non-profit, non-denominational, Christian ministry to men in bondage to alcohol and/or drug addiction. Bethel Colony has offered help to thousands of men from all walks of life. Having received new life in Christ, scores have experienced restored health, renewed minds, redeemed reputations and reunited families.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58


The purpose of Bethel Colony is best summarized in our slogan, “Victory Through Christ.” God has provided the cross of Jesus Christ as the only true escape from bondage. At Bethel Colony we seek to point men to the reality of the indwelling Christ as the present Savior from sin and His provision of the Holy Spirit who transforms men in every area of life.

Statement of Faith

  • We believe In the Divine Inspiration and Authority of the Scriptures. By this is meant a miraculous guidance of the Holy Spirit in their original writing, applying to all parts of the Scriptures equally, even to the choice of words, so that the result is the very Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. Moreover, We believe that God exercised such singular care and providence through the ages in preserving the written Word, that the Scriptures as we now have them are in every essential particular, as originally given, and contains all things necessary to salvation.
  • We believe in one God, revealed as existing in three equal persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We believe in the Deity and the Virgin Birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe in the Holy Spirit as a Divine Person, a personality distinct from the Father and the Son, who indwells every believer.
  • We believe that as through one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, so death passed upon all men, in that all have sinned.
  • We believe in the death of Jesus Christ as a perfect substitute for man, and that His atoning blood was a sufficient expiation for the sin of all men.
  • We believe that Christ arose from the dead and that those who receive Him by faith, as their personal Savior from sin, have been given a new life from God that brings victory over sin.
  • We believe that we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ alone, and that we are accounted righteous before God, only through the merit of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • We believe in the everlasting conscious blessedness of the saved and in the everlasting conscious punishment of the lost.
  • We believe in the visible and personal return of our Lord Jesus Christ for His church, and then with His redeemed to establish a world-wide Kingdom of righteousness and peace.
  • We believe it to be the supreme responsibility of every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ to make His gospel known to all men.
  • We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. We believe that any form of fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance.  (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4)
  • We believe that due to the unique ministry of Bethel Colony, and in keeping with Ephesians 5:18 and other portions of Scripture, no member of the ministry shall use, to any extent, or traffic alcoholic beverages or other controlled or addictive substances or be a member of any secret society.


Bethel Colony of Mercy Men’s Campus is located on State Route 18 North in Lenoir, North Carolina. It consists of a complex of modest, attractive buildings overlooking the peaceful Blue Ridge Mountains. The facility includes a chapel, administrative offices, gym, weight room, recreation areas, and student dorms. For more information on where we are located click here.

Bethel Colony of Mercy Women’s Campus is located off Hwy 268 in the Buffalo Cove area of Lenoir, North Carolina. It consists of a complex of modest, attractive buildings and cabins in the Grassy Mountain Valley of the peaceful Blue Ridge Mountains. The facility includes multiple cabins as our students’ housing, an administrative office, gym, weight room, and recreation areas. For more information on where we are located click here.