The group will leave Sunday, October 15 (late afternoon) and return Friday, October 20, 2023.
The Cove Retreat Center
The Cove is the perfect setting for you to answer His call as you stroll winding trails through 1,200 acres of natural wonder. Connect with friends old and new by sitting around a warm fire, enjoying a breathtaking view over the mountain valley or eating a gourmet meal in our scenic dining room. Ruth’s Attic Bookstore offers decor items, books by Christian authors, Bibles and more. There is also a display that explores the life and travels of Billy, Franklin and Will Graham through memorabilia and information about the ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Bible Study and Worship
During our 3 nights at the Cove, we will enjoy nightly worship services with guest artists and great Bible teaching.
Each day there will be free time to pray and meditate on God’s Word while enjoying the crisp mountain air and walking through Ruth’s Prayer Garden. The Chatlos Memorial Chapel will also be open daily.
We will gather in the chapel to sing many of our beloved hymns.
The Biltmore Estate, Asheville NC
We will spend an afternoon at the Biltmore Estate. This 250-room castle built by George Vanderbilt in the late 1800’s is America’s Largest Home with over 175,000 square feet and 65 fireplaces.
Samaritan's Purse Operation Center, Wilkesboro NC
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational Christian organization led by Franklin Graham that provides spiritual and physical aid to victims of war, natural disasters, disease, famine, poverty and persecution in more than 100 countries, with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His son, Jesus Christ. We will tour their Operational headquarters and warehouse to learn more of this great ministry.
The Billy Graham Library, Charlotte NC
We will visit The Billy Graham Library which is described as a “Crusade” that would continue for generations to come and not a memorial or museum. The Billy Graham Library is a ministry prayerfully planned with the intention of communicating the unchanging, life-giving message of Jesus Christ to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year who may never attend a Crusade.
Dr. Jerry Vines, Bible Teacher
Dr. Vines has been serving God in local churches for over 60 years. He was senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Florida from 1982-2006 when he retired from the pastorate. But Dr. Vines has not retired from ministry. His desire is still to win people to Christ and to help those who know Christ grow in their Christian lives. Dr. Vines’ interests include Alabama football. It’s a year-round passion! He also enjoys spending his free time in the Smoky Mountains with his family, especially his grandchildren!
Dr. Dennis Swanberg, Comedian
Commonly referred to as “THE SWAN”, Dr. Swanberg is considered by many as “AMERICA’S MINISTER OF ENCOURAGEMENT” as he has the reputation for revealing and instilling hope and motivating people from all walks of life. He uses laughter as a tool to break down people’s barriers about themselves and he promotes faith and family values in a lighthearted and humorous way.
Brad Goad, Bible Teacher
Brad has been on staff at Second Baptist Church since 2004 on the Woodway Campus. He began as pastor of the Single Parents and older Singles, but currently serves as pastor of the 60+ ministry (the fun group). He has served as a missionary in Calgary and Alberta, Canada and as campus minister in Connecticut at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Connecticut College. Brad served as Manager of the Adult Discipleship Department at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, Tennessee where he worked with speakers and authors such as Beth Moore, Henry Blackaby, Calvin Miller, John Trent, Gary Smalley and Anne Graham Lotz.
Jeff Bennett, Worship Leader
With a skillful and energetic approach to keyboard styling, Jeff’s writing and recordings have made him a respected pianist, arranger and recording artist with every major publisher in the country. He has published over 700 hymn arrangements for keyboard and has 8 CD recordings. Jeff currently serves as Worship Pastor, Second Baptist Church, Houston – North Campus.
Kyle Matthews, Worship Leader
Kyle’s unique combination of inventive songwriting and spoken-word presentations bridge the gap between education and entertainment, setting him apart as a worship leader. His song, “We Fall Down” won numerous music industry awards, including the Dove Award for Traditional Gospel Song of the Year, the Stellar award for Song of the Year, and ASCAP’s 2002 Christian Song of the Year.
Elva Hurst, Chalk Artist
Mrs. Hurst uses chalk to draw a large picture illustrating a story that is presented with music and narration. These chalk talks were born out of her love for the arts, and above all, a deep desire from within to share the same wonderful, good news of the Gospel that so radically changed her life and continues to bring purpose excitement and adventure into her life.