Category Archives: Behind The Scenes

Saturday Snapshot: Pastor Renewal Retreat with Jim Cymbala

Our week started with a Pastor Renewal Retreat featuring the ministry of Pastor Jim Cymbala.

Pastor Cymbala was born in Brooklyn, New York,  and serves as the lead pastor of The Brooklyn Tabernacle. Because of the challenges God has brought him through over the years, Pastor Cymbala is an amazing speaker for other ministers to hear.  So many pastors today can relate to those same challenges.

When Jim and his wife started in ministry,  they found a congregation of less than 20 people meeting in a rundown building located in an impoverished part of downtown Brooklyn. Over the years God has shown his faithfulness to them and their congregation in many incredible ways. Pastor Cymbala believes that churches are built on prayer!  Brooklyn Tabernacle’s present campus includes a large renovated theater in downtown Brooklyn where thousands of people come each week to hear the Good News of Jesus.

Jim is the author of several books,  including Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, which was named Christian book of the year. His wife, Carol, directs the six-time Grammy Award Winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir whose music has blessed people around the world.

Cove Pastor Renewal Retreats include free meals and lodging (based on availability) for those actively serving in pastoral ministry. Each retreat provides the opportunity to interact with peers and receive insight, instruction, and best practices from experienced Christian leaders. We are pleased to offer these retreats as an opportunity for pastors and their spouses to be refreshed in the Word and have some time to rest.

Of their retreat experience this weekend one pastor and his wife wrote, “We had an amazing time at The Cove with Pastor Jim Cymbala. God has a way of using servants who have a passion to share the Word to lift and edify others. We are filled-up and encouraged.” We were sold out at this weekend’s retreat, but we do have many more coming up! We encourage you to let your pastor know about these retreats! We hold them during the week so that pastors will still be free for their church’s weekend services. It will be a blessing to your pastor and their spouse.

Upcoming Pastor Renewal Retreats led by:

Jim Henry: May 1st-3rd (click here to view more)

Ed Stetzer: May 30th- June 1st ( click here to view more)

Richard Blackaby: September 4th-5th (click here to view more)


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

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Saturday Snapshot: Spring at The Cove

Spring at The Cove

One of the most beautiful times of the year at The Cove is spring. The flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and the trails are perfect for hiking. It’s a time to be outside and enjoy God’s beautiful creation.

The tulips planted by the entrance are showing their bright spring colors.

As you drive through, you are met with beauty and reminded of God’s most perfect creation. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”(John 1:3)

When you enter The Cove, you can leave the world behind and have a time of rest.  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) 

The beautiful trails and creeks lining our property offer great opportunities for hiking or just sitting on a bench while you listen to the birds sing and the water bubbling over the rocks.

As you head towards our chapel, you will see even more beautiful flowers along the way. The chapel is open for visitors and is a wonderful place to come and sit for a while to pray.

To end today’s blog, we’ve included a special poem about Spring that was  written by Quinn Graham (son of Will Graham) right before Easter.  Quinn is 12 years old and loves to write psalms. May this “Psalm of Spring” bless you!

Spring is Right Around the Corner

“The cold winter winds are almost over
The winter snow all gone
The trees start sprouting their green leaves
The nice warm air is almost here
Easter is also right around the corner
Soon we will celebrate the day that Jesus rose from the dead
We will all rejoice
Because Jesus is not dead
Spring is right around the corner
The day of life waking up
Just as Jesus rose from the dead
Animals start coming out of hibernation
And plants start sprouting
The wonderful spring life is almost upon us.”

We hope you’ll come visit us at The Cove this spring! We have some wonderful seminars, events, and guest concerts, or you can create your own spiritual retreat.


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

Follow us on social media. click map

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Prayer Note: April 2018

We hope you will enjoy our “Prayer Note”—an internal communication here at The Cove, created each month to remind and encourage our staff to pray. We share these with you at the beginning of each month in hopes that you, too, will be encouraged.

Prayer Note(3)

JUST WHO DO WE THINK WE’RE TALKING TO?

“…in Jesus’ name, amen.” We often end our prayers in this way—probably more times than we can count. But what do we do after our petitions have been made and our prayers ended? After saying amen, have you ever raised your head, risen from your knees and stooped right back down to pick up your burden?


The little girl stood with tiny feet planted in the cool, wet sand. A strong, salty breeze blew and the hot sun warmed her skin. Not yet old enough to comprehend the immensity of the vast ocean before her, she busied herself with the task of collecting water in her little red pail. With patient determination she squatted low and tipped the bucket down to allow the incoming wave to fill it. Then, squealing with excitement, up she jumped, grinning as she ran, cool seawater splashing over the sides of the bucket as she scampered across the sandy shore. Her parents watched, amused at the seriousness with which their little one viewed this endeavor. The tiny water-bearer grinned up at them as she dumped the seawater into the hole she’d dug earlier. She watched with a mixture of fascination and exasperation as the thirsty ground drank up most of her offering. Then, shrugging her shoulders she rose and ran back down to the shoreline for another fill-up. With sober determination she knelt and tipped the bucket down to allow the next wave to fill it. Satisfied, she lifted her head, scanning the huge incoming waves with wide eyes and an expression of surprise. “Mama,” she cried, “it just keeps on coming!” Then she lifted her half-filled bucket and began making her way back across the sandy beach…

How often my prayer life resembles the activity of this industrious child on her first trip to the beach. I bow my head and dutifully tilt my bucket of need, prepared to catch the incoming flow of blessings I’ve requested of my Father on behalf of myself and those I love. After pouring out praise and petitions, I rise and think the ‘task’ of prayer is complete. Another item checked off my list. Yet often the depth of need seems to remain or grow bigger. Worry and anxiety return to keep me company. I’ve poured out my bucket of prayers, yet the burden still weighs heavy and the depth of my need increases.

LIFTING OUR EYES

What if, instead of keeping my head lowered and my eyes on my tiny bucket, I simply lifted my eyes to survey the vast ocean of grace and goodness in front of me?

What if when we prayed, we paused with each request to consider Who it is we are coming to? How might our prayers change if we began to try to comprehend just a fraction of the limitless sea of sufficiency we have in Christ? Would it help us to pray without ceasing if we paused to remind ourselves that His mercies never cease?  (See 1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Lamentations 3:22.)

“Lord, there’s a big decision I have to make—please give me wisdom. Your Word says that You Yourself are the embodiment of Wisdom, and that in You ‘are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ (Colossians 2:3, NKJV). You’ve told me to ask for wisdom when I need it (see James 1:5), so I’m asking now. Thank You for hearing and answering, Lord!”

“Jesus, I’ve blown it again. I’ve failed You and fallen into the same hateful sin. I confess it before You and ask You to forgive me. You are the Savior who died to pay the penalty for my sin, and You are my Redeemer and Deliverer. (See Colossians 1:13-14.) Thank You that nothing in all creation can separate me from Your love.” (See Romans 8:38-39.)

“God, I’m facing a huge task and I’m in need of strength. Your Word tells me that You are my ‘refuge and fortress’ (Psalm 91:2, ESV).  You are omnipotent—all-powerful, and You give strength to the weary and power to the weak. (See Isaiah 40:29.)  I need Your strength and power today, and I’m trusting You for it. Thank you.”

“Lord Jesus, these waves of grief and loss washing over me threaten to knock me off my feet. The Scriptures tell me that you were ‘a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief’ (Isaiah 53:3, NKJV) and that You are ‘near to the broken-hearted’ (Psalm 34:18, ESV). Please help me as I bring these pieces of my shattered heart to You. Let me rest in You, trusting You to hold me and bring comfort, courage and healing.”

“Heavenly Father, the need I’m faced with appears huge—insurmountable—like a towering mountain casting a great shadow over me. Yet I thank You that I can ‘seek refuge in the shadow of Your wings’ (Psalm 57:1, HCSB).  Help me to remember that You are the all-sufficient Creator who holds all things together. (See Colossians 1:16-17.) As I lift my eyes to the hills, help me to remember that my help comes from You, the Maker of heaven and earth. (See Psalm 121:1-3.)”

As we pray for the seminars and events that will take place at The Cove this month, let’s search the Scriptures, claim God’s promises, and pause to remember just Who it is we are talking to.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
(Ephesians 3:14-19 NKJV)

Keep praying and seeking!

—Donna Riesen


We appreciate you joining us in prayer for the following events taking place on The Cove property during the month of April:

Jan Harrison — April 8
(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor; Worship Leader: Shannon Wexelberg)
Women’s Spring Luncheon —
Life After the Storm: God Will Carry You Through

SeniorSalt Impact Hymn Sing — April 9
(Emcee/Worship Leader: Ron Whittemore)

Jim Cymbala — April 10-11
(Emcee: Glynn Bachelor; Worship Leader: Shannon Wexelberg)
Pastor Renewal Retreat—
Breakthrough Ministry: Lessons From the Book of Acts

Guided Personal Spiritual Retreat — April 16-19
(Facilitator: John Parrish)

An Evening at The Cove with David Phelps — April 19
(Emcee: Michelle Bachelor)

 

Saturday Snapshot: Billy Graham on Peace

There is one thing we all have in common: We all have a desire for peace in our lives. The question is, how do we have peace in the midst of a difficult time in our lives? How do we have peace when it seems like everything around us is falling apart? How do we have peace when we watch the news and see the tragedies in our world?

The Bible says, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.” (John 16:33 NKJV).

Through the years, Billy Graham shared many messages with us about how to have this kind of peace. On today’s blog, we would like to share some of these words to encourage you this weekend.

As Billy Graham said, “Only Christ can meet the deepest needs of our world and our hearts. Christ alone can bring lasting peace- peace with God, peace among men and nations, and peace within our hearts. He transcends the political and social boundaries of our world.  God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life-abundant and eternal. ”

The answer for peace is found in Jesus Christ.  Dr. Graham shared with us that “The world doesn’t give peace, for it doesn’t have any peace to give. It fights for peace, it negotiates for peace, it maneuvers for peace, but there is no ultimate peace in the world. But Jesus gives peace to those who put their trust in Him.” That means that we have to completely put our life, our situations, our struggles in His hands. Jesus is the only one that can give us peace that is lasting. We must ask Jesus into our hearts, acknowledge that we are sinners and ask Him to forgive us of our sins. When we ask Christ into our hearts, He gives us that peace that the world cannot give. Billy Graham said “I know where I’ve come from. I know why I’m here. I know where I’m going- and I have peace in my heart. His peace floods my heart and overwhelms my soul!” We can all have that same assurance that Billy Graham had. If you want to know more about asking Jesus into your heart and how to have that everlasting peace,  click on this link to find out more.

When you have Jesus in your heart, you not only have peace but there is also a joy that fills your soul. The book of Nehemiah states in chapter 8, verse 12:  “The people went…to celebrate with great joy because they had heard God’s words and understood them.”

It is important to us at The Cove that we carry out the vision that  Billy and Ruth Graham had for this beautiful place. Billy had a vision for The Cove to always be a place of impact, intercession, instruction, and inspiration through the study of God’s Word. Ruth had a desire to see The Cove as a place for relaxation and retreat–a place to be refreshed and renewed. They both knew that if we could have focused time in The Word of God, away from distractions, we could hear from God and fill our soul with  His peace, joy, and love. We hope that you can come visit us. If you are not able too, then we encourage you to find that time alone with The Word and seek to know Him more each day.


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

Follow us on social media. click map

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Saturday Snapshot: Ruth’s Attic

We started our week off with snow but ended with a couple of beautiful days! We had many guests this week and our Ruth’s Attic bookstore stayed busy! We wanted to highlight a few of our most popular items in the bookstore!

Ruth’s Attic located in The Training Center at The Cove carries some of Billy Graham’s most loved books, including his latest “Where I Am.”  This book focuses on heaven, eternity, and life beyond.

It is great to have daily encouragement in your home  to remind you and your guests of His Word. We have this beautiful wall-art with different encouraging scriptures.

These pottery mugs are hand-crafted and are wonderful for coffee, hot tea, or chocolate! Many of our guests take these home as gifts for their family and friends!

Another one of our most popular collections are our  Billy Graham lotions! There are many different scents to choose from and they are perfect for a guest bathroom or gift! This could be a great gift for Mother’s Day!

We also carry magnets that are perfect for your fridge or even to use as a drink coaster. These are creative and will add a little farmhouse feel to your home!

If you want to visit Ruth’s Attic, you can call for an appointment or can visit anytime you are here for an event, seminar, or retreat! You can also order any of these items over the phone!  These are great as gifts for family and friends!


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

 

Saturday Snapshot: God is Faithful

The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove is a place that Billy and Ruth Graham founded to train people in God’s Word to win others to Christ. We have remained committed to that vision for more than 30 years, and today we continue to see lives transformed and changed through what God is doing here.

This past week we held one of our Military Marriage Retreats led by Michael Easley. One of our favorite parts of this retreat comes at the end when couples share how their marriage has been impacted and what this time together meant for them.  Here are a few testimonies from couples who were at the retreat:

“We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary on March 1st.   We are here celebrating our anniversary at this retreat. A good part of the 10 years have been a struggle. There have definitely been more downs than ups.  We have really been struggling through those years. But, a few years ago, God placed on my heart that  the ten year mark would be the end of the struggle. This year has been better! But,  as we were walking through the woods, I was talking to my husband and shared with him that I still have doubts and fear that  it is not going to last. Even though God put on my heart years ago that the struggle would end, I kept in fear of not knowing. How could it be a  guarantee that it would last?  How will we keep this feeling? As I just finished sharing this with him, we walked past one of the verses in the garden.  It read  ‘Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 4:6-). I knew at that point that God was telling me that I did not have to worry, it will all be ok. I can trust Him.”

“My husband and I have been to four of these Military Marriage Retreats. The first time we were here, our marriage was in crisis. We had been through over a dozen deployments. Never before had we received help for our marriage.  The Vet Center in Ohio told us about The Cove and the Military Marriage Retreats. We submitted our application in July. The seminar was scheduled for September.  When we  submitted our application, I honestly did not know if we would even make it to September.  I prayed everyday for us to get accepted  to this program. When the acceptance came back saying ‘yes, you are in’, I saw that as a huge answer to prayer! I was just hoping we would make it to September. That first seminar literally saved our marriage. Since then, we have been to three more! I just want you all to know the power of this place, what you all do, and that you don’t know what we have been through before you see us walk in the door, you don’t know what we are going through.  I just want to thank you all at The Cove  and want you to know that we have been blessed.”


Military Marriage Retreats include free materials, meals, and lodging for active-duty, Guard, and Reserve military members and their spouses.  If you or someone you know would like to attend one of our Military Marriage Retreats or any of our seminars, click here. 


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

A Tribute to Jane Derrick

We have been blessed to have Jane Derrick lead our morning Women’s Bible Study for the past 22 years! We are so grateful for her years of faithfully teaching God’s Word and being a mentor and and encourager for so many women.

Jane is a longtime Bible teacher and Asheville resident. She became a Christian in 1976 while an Army wife, living in Germany. Since her husband’s death in 1994, Jane has spoken at women’s retreats and conferences throughout the U.S. and Romania. She formerly held teaching and other leadership positions with Bible Study Fellowship International for over 10 years. We have definitely been so blessed to have her with us these past 22 years at The Cove.

Yesterday, March 6th, marked Jane’s final Bible Study teaching at The Cove.  Men and women filled The Training Center Auditorium and  the morning began with beautiful worship led by Carole James.

Following worship, Will Graham addressed the group and shared his personal journey these past few weeks since the passing of his grandfather. He thanked everyone for their prayers and then gave an encouraging word reminding everyone that there is no reason to fear death,  because  “death is entering the presence of God.” He shared this with tears and with a thankfulness for the ministry of Billy Graham.

 Will Graham then called Jane Derrick to the stage and thanked her for her years of faithful service in teaching the Word of God and being part of The Cove family. He presented her with a copy of one of his favorite paintings called “The Sower,” explaining that this painting means a lot to him because it gives a true depiction of his grandfather’s faithfulness in sowing the seeds of the Gospel.

Following this sweet tribute by Will Graham, The Cove’s Program Staff also wanted to show her their appreciation. They presented her with beautiful flowers and a wonderful cake that everyone could share after her final teaching.

It was such a beautiful day honoring someone so special to all of The Cove.  We would like to end with Jane’s favorite scripture.  “For all things work together for good for those you love God and are called according to His purpose. “- Romans 8:28

If you would like to send Jane Derrick a thank you note or message, feel free to email Michelle Bachelor at mbachelor@thecove.org.


 

Saturday Snapshot: A Week of Remembering Billy Graham

The Cove was founded by Billy and Ruth Graham  and has been a special place not only for instruction and training in God’s Word but also a place to relax and be refreshed. These past two weeks, we have shared in both joy and tears  honoring the life and legacy of Billy Graham.

On  Feb. 22, Morris Funeral Home brought the body of Billy Graham to The Training Center at The Cove. The weather could not have been any better as the sun was shining so brightly with hardly a cloud in the sky.

The hearse carrying the body of evangelist Billy Graham arrives at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, where some Graham family members have gathered in Asheville, North Carolina. February 22, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake

His body was placed in the auditorium of The Training Center with one of the most beautiful backdrops of the mountains that he loved. Flowers surrounded the casket, and family members gathered in the room.

On Feb. 24,  BGEA chaplain Preston Parrish led a room full of family members, dignitaries, and Cove staff in a beautiful prayer after offering words of comfort and encouragement. Then the guests slowly walked outside under the portico to await the procession. Some held hands and shed tears as the pallbearers escorted the casket to the hearse. Family members followed behind.

The family of Billy Graham watched as the pallbearers loaded his casket into the hearse.

As the funeral motorcade left The Cove, there was a feeling of sadness that Billy Graham would never be on this property again. There was also a feeling that we must all carry on his legacy and share the Good News of Jesus Christ with our community, city and world. We hope that you will not only visit this beautiful place that Billy and Ruth loved but that you will invite your friends to experience it with you.

Visit Billy Graham’s memorial page. 


Browse the schedule of seminars, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, N.C.

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Get more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

 

Billy Graham Has Finished Well: A Tribute by Quinn Graham

This week has brought many beautiful and sweet tributes to honor the life and legacy of Billy Graham. One of the most heart-warming comes from one of his great grandchildren, 12 year-old Quinn Graham.

Billy Graham Has Finished Well: By Quinn Graham

 

It’s an old picture of Daddy Bill

He is preaching to hundreds, maybe even thousands of people.

With his eyes looking straight at you,

And his Bible in his left hand.

He is pointing to you with his right hand

And preaching the Word of God to you.

This black and white picture

Shows Daddy Bill doing what he loved to do

What God called him to do:

Preaching the Truth of Jesus Christ.

We have lost a loved one,

Loved by millions

Because he loved millions –

Billy Graham.

 

He has done an inspiring job of preaching God’s Word.

He never took a break from God’s Word,

He never gave up on trying to reach people across the world.

He went everywhere to preach the Word of God . . .

If there was one person across the world who didn’t know the Word of God

Billy Graham would do anything to get him saved,

Because one person saved could mean that his whole family gets    saved.

No matter what happened to Billy Graham

He would never give up on God’s purpose for him;

He has preached in person to over 200 million people.

That means 1/30th of the whole world has heard him . . .

Today we dedicate this day to Daddy Bill,

For he is now with his Lord and Savior,

For he has finished well . . .

For more of Quinn Graham’s writing, click here. He has some beautiful psalms to bless you.


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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

 

 

 

In Memory of Billy Graham

This week was one filled with both sadness and joy as we learned the passing of Billy Graham. We felt sad that he would not be with us any longer on earth but so joyful to know that he is in heaven with our Lord.

 Throughout his life, Billy Graham preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to some 215 million people who attended one of his more than 400 Crusades, simulcasts and evangelistic rallies in more than 185 countries and territories. He reached millions more through TV, video, film, the internet and 34 books.

 

This week The Cove opened it doors to many who came to celebrate his life and also give thanks for the impact he made on their life.  One of our sweet visitors said that she attended his very first crusade and it made a lasting impact on her walk with the Lord.

We also had children stop by the public memorial at The Chatlos Memorial Chapel to give Billy Graham hand-made cards to show their love for him.

Of course, there was a large media turnout at our chapel for the public memorial. It was a beautiful sight to see two reporters ask for an interview from a guest and she proceed to share the Gospel with them and then asked to pray for them.

Our chapel was filled with many people who sat for long periods of time to just pray and show their condolences.

We also had a special visit from Gigi Graham. This is Billy Graham’s oldest daughter. She wanted to show her love to the guests and say thank you for coming. Click here to watch her video.

We will continue to pay tribute and honor a man who has had such an impact on our world. If you would like more information on the Memorial Events, click here.

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

Are you a Christian church or non-profit ministry looking for a place to hold your conference, retreat or ministry event?  Click here for more information on holding your event at The Cove.

Visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer GardenClick here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.