Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Saturday Snapshot – Photo Challenge

Do you have an Instagram or Facebook account? We would love for you to participate in our 14-Day Photo Challenge beginning June 1.

Our theme is “In The Garden.”  We chose this because we will be celebrating the opening of Ruth’s Prayer Garden (and sharing photos from this garden), right here at The Cove in Asheville, NC, on June 2, 2016!

So, here’s how you can take part in our 14-Day Photo Challenge: Beginning June 1, share one photo per day on your Facebook or Instagram account based on the photo prompts we’ve outlined below and include the hashtag: #InTheGardenPhotoChallenge. 

By using the hashtag #InTheGardenPhotoChallenge we’ll all be able to see what each other are posting in that one central search location.    

14 Day June Photo Challenge Pinterest and Blog

Don’t worry if you’re not a professional photographer–neither are we!  We will be using both an iPhone and a Canon camera to take our pictures.

Need some ideas of what to share? Post a picture of the flowers blooming in your yard (or your neighbor’s yard), the bumble bees pollinating the blooms in your garden, or a photo of the special place you call your spiritual sanctuary. Each day we will be sharing photos from Ruth’s Prayer Garden.

Here’s a sneak peek of what we will be sharing in our
14-Day Photo Challenge! One of Ruth Bell Graham’s favorite flowers was a rose. What a fitting bloom to commemorate her legacy in Ruth’s Prayer Garden at The Cove. 


FYI: Anyone taking part in the photo challenge may have their photos shared by The Cove and other participants. 

We hope you’ll make plans to visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.  Click here for directions and operating hours.  Make sure to leave time to tour the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center while you’re here too.  Both tours are free.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Saturday Snapshot – A Peak Behind-The-Scenes

The Cove has a lot of special people working here.  Their hearts for Jesus is reflected in all they do.  Do you ever wonder about some of the people behind-the-scenes, that you may or may not ever see while you’re here?

Well, today, we’re sharing a little bit about the personalities of some of these people through an item or items that they have in their work-spaces.

The departments that are represented in today’s post are Program (plan and coordinate all our seminars, senior-events, personal spiritual retreats and concerts), Guest Groups (work with churches and other Christian ministries that want to hold their own events at The Cove) and the Executive Director’s office.

Here we go…

Looks like someone has a green-thumb!  The person that has this beautiful plant arrangement in her work space helps with our Guest Groups department.  The little frog  looks like quite the daydreamer!

IMG_0532 sm plant at Dianes desk with froggie

This Program department employee, is following the rule of three decorating guideline.  Angel, plant, and faith…not a bad combination! IMG_0539 sm Teresa Matthews office decor

This Program department employee has a little table in her office with a few of her favorite things: God’s Word, tea, and a devotional.  A lovely way to spend time during a break or lunchtime. IMG_0537 sm Lauras Bible devotional and tea

We are thankful for Billy Graham’s faithful obedience to our heavenly Father.  This poster is a reminder to pray without ceasing.   This is displayed in another Program department employee. IMG_0536 sm Billy Graham pray in Michelles office

Yet another employee from our Program department, who cross stiched this beautiful “Names of God” piece.  She said that it took her about one month working on it in the evenings and weekends.    IMG_0534 sm Teebers cross stich names of God piece

This employee, also works with our Program department and received these roses from her husband who had surgery last week.  Apparently she took good care of him!  IMG_0529 sm donnas roses from Bruce

This Program department employee has a real knack for seasonal decorating.  The little sheep is the constant presence as decorations change several times throughout the year.  IMG_0533 sm Tracis desk

And if you’re a Vikings fan, then you’ll love and appreciate this crafty tissue box cover.  This employee works in the Executive Director’s office and is clearly a huge fan!

IMG_0540 sm Middys Vikings kleenex box

Friends, we hope this little behind-the-scenes snapshot was fun for you.  If you’d like to see other departments featured like this in the future, let us know.

What do you have in your work or home that tells a little about your personality?  Share with us in the comments below.

Have a beautiful and blessed weekend!

Click here to see a full list of upcoming events at The Cove or contact our Guest Group department to hold your group retreat at The Cove.

Come take a free tour of the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center.  Click here for hours and directions.



Something New at The Cove: Ruth’s Prayer Garden


“We cannot pray and remain the same. We cannot pray and have our homes remain the same. We cannot pray and have the world about us remain the same. God has decreed to act in response to prayer. ‘Ask,’ He commands us. And Satan trembles for fear we will.”  —Ruth Bell Graham,  Legacy of a Pack Rat

By Donna Riesen:

Ruth Bell Graham was a woman of prayer; and Ruth’s Prayer Garden, opening June 2, 2016 at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, is designed to honor her memory and encourage others to pray. As the wife of evangelist Billy Graham, Ruth’s schedule was packed full with commitments—at times she traveled with her husband to crusades around the world, yet most often Ruth supported him behind the scenes and out of the spotlight by shouldering the responsibility of caring for their five children at their home in Montreat. This remarkable woman could not have had the impact she had on her husband, her family, and the world, without the daily discipline of prayer.

Winding along pathways surrounding Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Ruth’s Prayer Garden will offer a peaceful place for prayer and meditation amid the natural beauty and serenity of The Cove.

“My grandfather wanted this place to be known as a mountain of prayer,” says Will Graham, executive director of The Cove and grandson of Billy and Ruth. “There’s prayer going out all over The Cove, from our Intercessory Prayer Team to our staff prayers to our Personal Spiritual Retreats. There are so many needs facing us today, we can’t pray enough!”

“Like The Cove itself, this garden is designed to be an extension of my grandparents’ home at Montreat,” Will says.

With five children in the household, the Graham home was a place of laughter, activity, and the usual childhood scrapes and squabbles; but more importantly, it was a place of prayer.


“I would go down to her room late at night,” daughter Anne Graham Lotz remembers. “I would see the light on underneath the door and I’d go in, and she would be on her knees in prayer.”

Daughter Ruth Graham reflects, “Faith was the very heartbeat of life at Little Piney Cove. We began and ended each day as a family on our knees in prayer.”

Ruth’s Prayer Garden was created to honor and perpetuate this legacy of prayer.

The garden was also designed to be a reflection of Ruth’s love of nature and appreciation for the beauty of her North Carolina mountain home. Lucas Jack, horticulturist and supervisor of Grounds Maintenance at The Cove, explains how great care was taken to convey Ruth’s personality as a gardener and plant- lover. When asked about the process of planning and designing the gardenscape, Jack noted, “Everything that I know of Ruth Graham has been learned secondhand, which is difficult when trying to piece together a ‘botanical personality.’ I learned she really didn’t have dislikes but had a lot of favorites. She loved color and appreciated gardens in general, and we’ve tried to convey her botanical personality by including many of the plants and flowers she loved.”


Roses, daylilies, touch-me- nots will line the winding paths. “Our goal was not to overwhelm the visitor with the landscape,” Jack says, “but to allow them to enjoy the experience and feel as if they are part of it.”

Ruth’s love for color and beauty may have been the result of two strong childhood influences: her early childhood years in China as the daughter of medical missionaries, and her teen years in Montreat.

According to grandson Will, “My great-grandfather Nelson Bell loved gardens and gardening. He loved flowers and plants, and he used them to teach lessons to his children. When we work with our hands in a garden, God teaches us things.”

If she were here today, Ruth Bell Graham would probably agree. When you visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden, enjoy the view and take time to smell the roses; then bow your head and echo the disciples’ request to Jesus: “Lord, teach us to pray.” (Luke 11:1, NKJV)


We hope you’ll make plans to visit Ruth’s Prayer Garden at the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.  Click here for directions and operating hours.

Click here for a schedule of seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Saturday Snapshot – Stop & Smell the Roses

“I am the true vine and My Father is the gardener.” (John 15:1, NKJV)

In case you haven’t stopped to smell the roses this week, we’ve got you covered!  Of course, you’ll have to use your imagination and trust us that they do smell good…especially the pink ones.

Do you remember the video devotion our gardener shared here back in March?

Well, just look at the fruits of his labor!

pink rose bud sm

row of roses and kousa in the background sm
Rose bush heaven near the Training Center.
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This one smells particularly good!

Do you ever stop and marvel at the awesome designs and colors our Creator blesses us with though His flowers?

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yellow rose and little flowers sm

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A bird’s eye view.

The Kousa dogwood, also know as the Japanese dogwood, is a beautiful addition to The Cove’s spring landscape.  This variety of dogwood blooms a few weeks later than the native flowering dogwood, and the white star-like pieces are not actually flowers–they are modified leaves–and the green part in the middle is the actual flower.

kousa dogwood blooms sm

kousa up close sm

The rhododendrons in May never disappoint!  This gorgeous group flanks the road as you drive through the gates.

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Get up close and personal with this rhodie near the administration building.

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These pretty blooms really remind us that God is in the details….in the garden and in our lives.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed the flower show today!

Have a lovely weekend!


Click here to see a full list of upcoming events at The Cove or contact our Guest Group department to hold your group retreat at The Cove.

Come take a free tour of the Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center.  Click here for hours and directions.

Saturday Snapshot

There are around 130 groups that hold their own events, meetings and retreats at The Cove each year.  Of these groups is a regionally located church that holds their annual women’s retreat here.  This past weekend, 250 women came for a time of rest, renewal, relaxation, and inspiration.  How we loved having them here!

Today, we’re sharing photos that one of the women from this group shared with us.  Enjoy!

Oh, the beauty of God’s creation!  Just look at the view from the overlook.  Many from this group ventured out and hiked to the overlook, a 6-mile round-trip hike from the Training Center.

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The Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center, open to the public for tours, but also a popular spot to visit for our groups staying on property is featured in the next few photos.  The structure, history, and beauty of this place are something to behold.  Billy Graham said,  “There are two gorgeous chapels in eastern America. One is at Duke University and the other is here at The Cove.”

Click here to plan your next visit to our chapel and visitor’s center.

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You’ll find intricate detail throughout the chapel.
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Calligraphy in the chapel prayer room. One of Mrs. Graham’s favorite verses.
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One of God’s beautiful creatures popped by for a visit.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed the photos!  Thanks to Ashley for sharing them with us.

Click here to see a full list of upcoming events at The Cove or contact our Guest Group department to hold your group retreat at The Cove.

Saturday Snapshot – Tweet Tweet

Yes, we have plenty of beautiful birds on The Cove property, but today the tweeting we’re sharing is of a different sort.

Earlier this week, we had a two hundred people attending a special leadership renewal retreat for youth leaders and their spouses.  Some in this group, probably because they need to keep up with the youth, were utilizing social media – Twitter in particular – to share their experience.

Today we’re sharing some of their “tweets”.

Don’t worry, if you never plan on using Twitter, this is an opportunity for you to take a glimpse into what happens in the Twittersphere!

A quick lesson on Twitter for non-Twitter-users:  Twitter is a real-time social media sharing site in which you are only allowed 140 characters or less to communicate your message.  Other people on Twitter can reply to, like, or re-tweet (share) your message.

These first two “tweets” capture our guests’ anticipation of rest, renewal, and learning of Biblical principles.  This is exactly what Billy and Ruth Graham envisioned this place to be….a place of rest, renewal, and instruction.

Tweet from LRR May 2016 6


Tweet from LRR May 2016 5

You can’t beat the food at The Cove.  Here, one of our guests shares his delicious experience.

Tweet from LRR May 2016 4

Our chef has shared several of his recipes from The Cove kitchen.  Click here to see if one of those recipes strikes your fancy and for printable recipes.

If you’ve tasted the bread pudding you’re probably salivating right now.  We are too!

Tweet from LRR May 2016 3

Here a guest shares a couple quotes that resonated with him from one of our seminar speakers, Alex McFarland.

Tweet from LRR May 2016 8

As our guests and speakers depart three days after their arrival, they share thoughts of their Cove experience:

Tweet from LRR May 2016 2  Tweet from LRR May 2016 9

Tweet from LRR May 2016 10


Tweet from LRR May 2016 11

Tweet from Sean McDowell from LRR May 2016

Besides Twitter, you can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Periscope.

We’d love to see you in person at The Cove!

Click here for a schedule of upcoming seminars, retreats, and concerts at The Cove.

Would you like to hold your group event at The Cove?  Click here for information.

God bless you!

Saturday Snapshot

We’re sharing staff devotion time again!  We were blessed to have Stephanie Seedfeldt stop by and lead us in worship earlier this week.  Stephanie leads worship at several seminars throughout the year at The Cove and is always a guest favorite.

We recorded the entire time of worship, so enjoy a little bit or the whole thing.

Click here if you are unable to view the video in your browser.

Join Stephanie as she ministers alongside Tony Evans and R.T. Kendall this summer.  Click on the speaker name below for details and to register for the seminar.

Tony Evans July 14 – 16, 2016
R.T. Kendall July 18 – 22, 2016

God bless you!

7 Things You Should Know About The Chatlos Memorial Chapel & Visitors Center

7 Things to Know About the Chapel for Blog

Whether you’re here to soak up His Word during a seminar or to visit and feel the presence of God on top of this mountain, the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center offers spiritual sanctuary to individuals and families on the grounds of the Cove.

The Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center at The Cove is used for presenting the ministry of The Cove to visitors and offers a place of prayer for those seeking the peace of God. Volunteers provide guided tours for anyone wanting to know more about the chapel and the life and ministry of Rev. Billy Graham.

 “There are two gorgeous chapels in eastern America. One is at Duke University and the other is here at The Cove.” – Billy Graham

There is no denying the beauty and wonder of this place.

Following are seven fun facts about our chapel and visitors center.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit, we hope that you too, will come and experience God’s blessings here.

1. The steeple is REALLY Tall

  • 87 feet tall with leaded copper, the steeple atop the chapel is as tall as 14 Billy Grahams!

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 2. The cross on top of the steeple is tall, too.

  • The gold-leaf painted cross towers at 8 feet tall on top of the steeple and is a magnificent reminder of the sacrifice
    our Lord Jesus Christ made for us.


3. The pulpit, which is located in the sanctuary level of our chapel, is from the Church of England. Isn’t that cheeky!?

  • Did you know that the pulpit in the Chatlos Memorial Chapel is believed to be over 400 years old? How amazing it is to think of all the messages from God spoken from this pulpit.



4. The pews in the chapel aren’t much younger!

  • The antique pews were originally used in the Royal School for the Blind in England and are over 200 years old!

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5. There’s a Prayer Room located directly beneath the steeple and the cross.

  • Ruth Graham asked for knee pads to be placed around the prayer table so that everyone would feel comfortable during their time of prayer and reflection.  Her thoughtful touches can be found throughout the The Cove property.


6. Ruth Graham chose two special Scriptures to be written in calligraphy, freehand, on the wall in the Prayer Room.

  • The Scripture on the north wall, Philippians 4:6-7, is an invitation to prayer, and the other, on the south wall, Ephesians 3:20-21, a reminder of Who you prayed to. Ruth Graham wanted every detail of the Prayer Room to point to God and give peace to those seeking refuge from the daily trials of life.



7. The illuminated globe in the Prayer Room is a reminder to pray for our brothers and sisters sharing the Gospel around the world.

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:7-8, ESV).


When asked about their favorite part of the chapel, visitors often say they sensed God’s Spirit upon entering through the doors.

We, at The Cove, pray you feel God’s peace today, and we extend a welcome invitation to come enjoy and experience what God has provided for us here at The Cove through the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.

Click here for hours and directions.

Click here to see a full schedule of events taking place in 2016
at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove.

Saturday Snapshot

Here at The Cove, we begin our days with staff devotions.  Earlier this week, we were blessed to have some of the guys from our grounds and maintenance crew lead us in worship.

Here’s a snippet from that wonderful time of worship.

Have a blessed weekend, friends!

We’d love to have you attend one of our programs or events, bring your group to The Cove, or just stop by for a visit, .  Click on one of the links below for more information.

Attend a seminar, concert, or personal spiritual retreat.
Host your own event at The Cove.
Take a free tour of the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center.

Saturday Snapshot — Singing Unto The Lord

We had some very gifted visitors from Pennsylvania stop by our chapel for a tour last week, and wow! could they sing.  Enjoy the Grove City College Touring Choir here as they lift their voices unto the Lord in praise and worship.

Click here if you cannot view this video in your browser.

We posted another video on our Facebook page.  Head on over there and listen to another worshipful song they performed for us.

We’d love you to stop by and see us!  Click here for hours and directions to the Chatlos Memorial Chapel and Visitors Center at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove in Asheville, NC.  Guided tours are free and open to the public.

God bless you!