Tag Archives: Military Marriage Retreat

Saturday Snapshot – Military Marriage Retreat Race to the Top September 2017


MMR Blog Header

There’s nothing like a good challenge, and many of the men and women attending last weekend’s Military Marriage Retreat were able to accomplish a difficult feat.

Earlier this year, we started our Race to the Top challenge because we knew many of our active-duty military men and women enjoy hiking or running  on the trails throughout The Cove property.  So we thought, why not have a little healthy competition?!

This last weekend marked our 2nd Race to the Top challenge.  The weather was perfect and 22, in all, finished the race.

The race began at the trail entrance near Chatlos Memorial Chapel and ended at The Cove overlook.  The course is a steep, winding, four-mile uphill journey!


Following the honor system, each participant timed themselves and completed the challenge during their free time on Saturday.

Some of our racers woke up early and headed up at sunrise, while others ventured up in the afternoon.  Finish times ranged from 42 minutes and 28 seconds to just over an hour.

Enjoy the pictures…




MMR 11

This is a very welcoming sign to our racers…only 150 yards to go!

MMR 3The mens’ winner rounding the bend to the overlook…

MMR 14

Behold the view from the overlook…
Not a bad reward for finishing the race!


Many of the race participants took pictures at the top.  Here they are… Cristina Moore and husband 1 hour 30 min Kyle connelly 53_38 Mark Oldroyd and wife Mark time was 50_58 Robert and Josell Spracklin RT time was over an hour and a halfMMR 10

Taking time for a little fellowship and more pictures on the mountain…MMR 16

MMR 13

MMR 15

MMR 12

And the winners are…

That’s right, the men’s and women’s division winners are a couple!! That’s one fast couple.

MMR 18 MMR 17MMR 19 MMR 20 MMR 21 MMR 22

The view from the top and the journey along the way was a memorable experience for all.

Look who one of our couples spotted as they were coming off the trail near the parking lot… an official Cove ambassador!

Bear that Cristina Moore and husband saw near trail entrance coming back to parking lot

On Sunday morning, we opened up our last session of the weekend with the winner announcement and prize award.

Bradley was our mens’ winner, and he finished the race in an impressive 42 minutes and 28 seconds.

Male Winner

And our womens’ winner, Marcelle, finished in 51 minutes and two seconds.  Well done, sister! Female Winner

Congratulations to the winners, as well as to all the participants. 

There was more than a race going on over the weekend, 70 military couples were blessed with powerful Bible teaching from Tommy Nelson, worshiping, relaxing, and enjoying each other’s company.

We expect to have three Military Marriage Retreats at The Cove in 2018.  At the time of this publication, we only have two confirmed, so check back for the third date (probably March 2018) in November.  These retreats for our military are free to active-duty, Guard, and Reserve service-members and their spouses.  (Includes program, meals and lodging).  Please help spread the word to your military friends and loved ones.

Active-duty, Guard and Reserve service-members are also welcome to attend any of our regular seminars, Personal Spiritual Retreats and concerts.  Click here for more information and to download the resource form.

Saturday Snapshot – Race to the Top

Who doesn’t love a good challenge?

Many of the participants for last weekend’s Military Marriage Retreat sure did!  Anytime we have active-duty military men and women on property, hiking or running to the overlook is a popular option during free time, so this year we thought we’d make an official race of it–complete with prize packs for the winners!

Our Race to the Top challenge started from the trail entrance near Chatlos Memorial Chapel and ended at the top of The Cove overlook–a nearly 4-mile uphill trek!


Each participant  timed themselves (the honor system seemed appropriate with our honorable military participants) and completed the challenge during their free time.  Some woke up early and headed up at sunrise, while others ventured up in the afternoon.

Finish times ranged from 41 minutes and 12 seconds to over 2 hours.  As you can imagine, it wasn’t a feat for the faint of heart, but 39 people finished the race.

Here are some of the racers:


DSC_2144 DSC_2154 DSC_2156 DSC_2158 DSC_2161 DSC_2166



Selfie 1

We think the view from the top, as well as the journey along the way, was a fun experience for all.

And the winners were…

Winner 2
Women’s Division Winner – Kati. She completed the race with a time of 46:03.
Winner 1
Men’s Division Winner – Christopher. He completed the race with a time of 41:12.

Congratulations to the winners, as well as to all the participants. Racing to the overlook here at The Cove is certainly no easy feat!

There was more than a race going on over the weekend…118 military couples were enlightened by powerful Bible teaching from Chip Ingram, and led in worship by Marty Goetz.


Chip Ingram

Marty Goetz

The next Military Marriage Retreat at The Cove will be held September 8-10, 2017.  Tommy Nelson will be speaking on the topic of Living Well in Your Marriage.  The retreat is free (includes program, meals and lodging) to active-duty, Guard, and Reserve service-members, so please help spread the word.

What’s Happening at The Cove – MAY 2015

COMING TO(1) “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised!” Psalm 113:3

 Make plans to join us next month at The Cove!  We’ve got something for everyone and we would be honored to serve you on your visit!  Check out our schedule for the month of May below.

PERSONAL SPIRITUAL RETREATS(1) Click on the link below for May dates or call 1-800-950-2092.
May Personal Spiritual Retreats

SEMINARS AND EVENTS Click on the links below for more information and to register.  You may also call 1-800-950-2092.

Walk Through God’s Story 
with James Emery White, May 1-3, 2015

SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing
Ron Whittemore with David Gaines, May 12, 2015

Culture Shock: Whatever Happened to Right and Wrong?
with Chip Ingram, May 22-24, 2015

Growing in Love with God
with Ken Boa, May 26-28, 2015

Military Marriage Seminar: Building a Lifelong Love 
with Gary Thomas, May 29-31, 2015
Free to active duty military personnel & spouses!

Flowering Tree behind Shepherds InnFlowering tree in spring at The Cove

Want to get away with God, but can't(2) Click here for more information.

2015 Military Marriage Retreats

military marriage

It’s our turn to serve you.

We want to support you and your marriage at The Cove by providing a FREE retreat for any active-duty service-member (Guard & Reserve too) and their spouse.

You will enjoy the quiet seclusion of our mountain retreat, complete with winding trails, well appointed rooms, and celebrated cuisine.

Most importantly, you will have plenty of time and space to be alone with God.  Click here to download the military resource form.

Following are the 2015 Military Marriage Retreats:

Building a Resilient Marriage in Turbulent Times
with John Cook, February 19-20, 2015

Building a Lifelong Love
with Gary Thomas, May 29-31, 2015

Military Marriage Seminar-TBD
with Gary Chapman, September 4-6, 2015

Please share this information with other individuals who would be blessed by this opportunity.

military handsThe Cove also offers financial resources (program, meals and lodging are covered…travel is your responsibility) for couples or individuals to come to any Cove seminar or Personal Spiritual Retreat throughout the year.  For more information on our financial resources, visit our website here.

Honoring Love

You could cut the tension with a knife.

A couple walked into the Billy Graham Training Center last year to attend a Military Marriage Retreat. 

This retreat was a last resort for their failing marriage.

Two days later, after many hours of Bible teaching, daily devotions, much needed time in prayer, walking the trails, fellowshipping with other military couples, marital workshops and pastoral counseling, this same couple walked out hand in hand with a new committment in their heart. 

5416A committment to lay their marriage at the feet of Jesus.  To surrender and allow God to make their marriage one of strength and beauty.  They opened their hearts in order to allow Jesus to heal the hurts and grow the bond of their marriage.  A marriage devoted to God.

Marriage can be tough enough for ordinary civilian couples. But consider the unique challenges that military families are faced with. Extended separations, frequent moves, unpredictable schedules and difficulties in communicating due to distance or stressors that take place but cannot be voiced.

These military marriage retreats allow couples to focus on God in their marriage and how applying Biblical principles to their circumstances will strengthen them both as a couple and individuals.

Today, Valentine’s Day, the first of two 2014 Military Marriage Retreats will begin at The Cove. 

Please join us in prayer in lifting these 115 couples up for healing, strength, wisdom, rest and renewal.  Pray with us that each person would hear from and be touched by God in a special, meaningful, transforming way.     

Active-duty, Guard and Reserve servicemembers may attend the military marriage retreats, as well as other Cove seminars and Personal Spiritual Retreats throughout the year at no cost to them.  The program, lodging and meals are covered by generous donors who wish to bless these special people. 

There is still space in the June 27-29, 2014 Military Marriage Retreat with The 5 Love Languages author, Gary Chapman.  Click here for more information.

2014 Military Marriage Retreats

2014 Military Marriage flyerFor more information on the February retreat, click here.
For more information on the June retreat, click here.

The Cove also offers financial resources (program, meals and lodging are covered…travel is your responsibility) for couples or individuals to come to any Cove seminar or Personal Spiritual Retreat throughout the year.  For a full listing of events to choose from, visit our website here.

You will enjoy the quiet seclusion of our mountain retreat, complete with winding trails, well appointed rooms, and celebrated cuisine. Most importantly, you will have plenty of time and space to be alone with God.  Click here to download the military resource form.

Please share this information with other individuals who would be blessed by this opportunity.

SAVING A SEAT FOR YOU: Coming up in 2014


We have so much to look forward to in the New Year.  Take a look here to see what’s happening at The Cove in 2014. 


Click here for information on the free Women’s Bible studies beginning on January 7th.

Select one of the dates below for more information on the Military Marriage Retreats in 2014:
February 14-16, 2014 with Michael Easley
June 28-30, 2014  with Gary Chapman

And last but not least…

Save the date: An Evening at The Cove with David Phelps on February 13th!

A Message From Will Graham: A Look at 2013

By Will Graham, Executive Director, The Cove

At the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, we’re praising God for an effective and blessed year of ministry in 2012. We saw God work in awesome ways as thousands came to study from His Word, receive rest and renewal, and return to their ministries and lives ready to make an impact for Him.

Now, as we celebrate The Cove’s 25th anniversary in 2013, we’re praying for an even more exciting year!

In addition to the peaceful surroundings and solid Bible teaching you’ve come to expect from The Cove, we’re doing a few new things this year that we’d like to tell you about.

First, if you’ve always wanted to take a seminary class but have never had the opportunity, you will have a chance this year. We’re working with Dallas Theological Seminary (DTS) to hold an Intensive Bible Training event titled “The BIG Picture: Grasping the Master’s Plan from Genesis to Revelation.” Mark Yarborough, vice president for Academic Affairs, academic dean and assistant professor at the seminary, will lead this in-depth five-day seminar (June 24-28). As a Cove participant, you are going to love delving into the Bible in a real and meaningful way, and this is open to you whether you have ever had any formal Bible training or not. DTS students will have the option of attending to earn credit, and you can take the course alongside them (without ever having to fill out a seminary application!).

Another new opportunity this year will be select no-fee seminars. There are five in all.  Herb Reavis will lead a seminar next month titled “The Power and Possibilities of Genuine Revival,” Sinclair Ferguson, a seminar in March titled “Four Hours with the Master,” Jim Henry, a seminar in May titled “Sermons in Stone,” and in August, Neil Anderson, a seminar titled, Rough Road to Freedom, and Pedro Garcia, a seminar titled, “Tension: How God can use Stress to Save Your Life.”  These will include the seminar for just the cost of lodging and meals at The Cove. In other words, enjoy the on-site accommodations and gourmet meals, and you will be able to attend the seminar for free!

Finally, something that is near and dear to me. I must admit that I love the book of 1st Samuel. There are so many life-changing lessons in that book, and I love to preach and teach out of it. In October, I’m going to begin the process of teaching through the entire book in the format of a Cove Seminar, which will be titled “Second-Guessing God’s Plan.” I’m going to aim to work through 1st Samuel 1-4 during the three-day seminar. Then, next year I’ll pick it up again and keep progressing through the book. As far as I know, this is the first time we’ve ever made a single book of the Bible an ongoing, intensive, multi-year focus, and I’m really looking forward to digging into the meat of 1st Samuel with you!

Of course, we’re excited about these new opportunities, but they only scratch the surface of what is taking place this year at The Cove. We’ll have seminars from well-known Bible teachers like Jack Hayford, James Dobson, Pedro Garcia, Jim Cymbala, Chip Ingram and more; two military marriage seminars, one in February and the other in June, to strengthen the families of our service members; and several Evening at The Cove concert events featuring intimate performances by many of your favorite Christian artists. You can find a full list of what is coming up in 2013 at www.thecove.org.

On behalf of the entire staff of The Cove, thank you for praying for us and allowing us to serve you. God bless you and your family this year!

FREE Military Marriage Retreats at The Cove

It is an honor to support our brave men and women in the military.  Active duty, guard and reserve military personnel and their spouses are invited to a FREE Military Marriage Retreat on February 15-17 (June 28-30 too, see below) at The Cove in Asheville, NC. 

Participants will refresh their spirits as they stroll our extensive mountain trails, connect with new friends, and experience life-changing Bible teaching with a unique perspective on military marriages. 

Our speaker, John Cook, Chaplain (Army Colonel – Retired), has spent the vast majority of his life associated with the military and has a keen understanding of the challenges facing military families today. Pastor Cook currently serves as senior pastor at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville, N.C.   

“One of the things that God has revealed to me at The Cove Military Marriage retreat was we’ve been married for 16 years and the fact that we should never get complacent in our marriage.
No matter where you are, no matter whether you’re a newlywed or have been married for 30 years that you always need to grow.”

– 2012 Military Marriage Retreat Participant –

Would you like to spend Valentine’s Day with us too?  Come one day early for time to relax and enjoy an Evening at The Cove with Brandon Heath.  You will enjoy a delicious dinner and a worshipful concert while celebrating your love for one another.   Coming a day early can be included in your scholarship too!

“Our experience at the Cove was an absolute blessing.  We were both refreshed and renewed in our love for one another and our commitment to our marriage, our family, and our relationship with Jesus Christ.  The fact that the Military Scholarship Program made it  free of charge for us to attend, made it so much better and alleviated a financial burden.”
– Military Seminar Participant –

Space is limited so if you or someone you know is interested, register today.

We also have a Military Marriage retreat on June 28-30.  Click here for more information and to register.   

You will need to complete a short 1-page application for the military scholarship and fax it to (828) 771-4808 or mail it to: 

The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove
Attention Military Awards Committee
PO Box 19223
Asheville, NC 28815

Click here to download your military marriage retreat scholarship form.