Tag Archives: Christian Conference Center

Saturday Snapshot — Quiet and Busy

It’s been quiet around The Cove the last couple of weeks.  After a busy year of ministry, many of our staff are taking time off to rest and enjoy time with family.

As you can see, the deer are enjoying the space normally occupied by our RV (Recreational vehicle) volunteers.  Click here to read more about that ministry.

The nearly 10 miles of walking trails have not seen much activity in the last couple of weeks either.  Just look how the ice has formed on a branch hanging over the creek!  To put it in perspective, the largest ice formation in the middle of the picture is the size of a 16-ounce bottle and appears to be hollow inside!  God never ceases to amaze, does He?!

Meanwhile, over at Pilgrim’s Inn this week there is a flurry of activity.  Because we don’t have many guests staying in our inns during a pocket of time between late December and early January, we use that time to take on big cleaning and/or construction projects.  This winter, our big project is the completion of the Pilgrim’s Inn renovation.  We’ve updated all the inn rooms at Shepherd’s Inn and one half at Pilgrim’s Inn over the last few years, and this is the last phase of that renovation project.

Here’s a look at some of the work that took place this past week.  We’d appreciate your prayers for safety and favor during this project.

We look forward to providing a lovely updated inn-room for your next stay at The Cove!

Happy New Year, friends! We look forward to seeing you back here, or in person, in 2018.

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 Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.


Saturday Snapshot: Intensive Bible Study with Mark Yarbrough

This week kicked off the first of five Intensive Bible Training seminars, in which participants take an in-depth approach to understanding a specific topic or section of the Bible.  These 5-day seminars, take place every summer and feature seminary-level instructors.

This week Mark Yarbrough, from Dallas Theological Seminary, walked our guests through Galatians in a seminar titled Reveling in Grace: The Gospel of Freedom.

Here are a few shots of what went on in his seminar:


Mark Yarbrough answering tough questions from the crowd…

yarbrough teachingParticipants taking notes and listening carefully to the teaching.

yarbrough notes

39 pages of notes for the week! These fill-in-the-blank pages are especially helpful…

Mark Yarbrough teaching at The Cove June 2017 notes sm

Taking those kinds of notes, can work up an appetite!


Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

If you’d like to register for one of the remaining 5-day Intensive Bible Training seminars, click here.

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Take Our Spring Photo Challenge

Spring Photo Challenge Blog Header

They say a picture is worth a thousand words…well, Spring is in the air, and how better to share with one another than through pictures from each of our own neck of the woods?

You may have participated in our photo challenges in the past, but if not, it’s easy, and we hope you will join in and share through the lens of your camera (or smartphone in most cases)!  (Click here for a photo recap of our last photo challenge.)

Our 2017 Spring Photo Challenge begins Saturday, April 1st.

Here’s how it works:

Post one photo daily, using the daily prompts noted below, on Instagram or Facebook.  Don’t forget to use the hashtag #CoveSpringPhotoChallenge when you post your photo so we can all see what each other are sharing.

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Not a picture taking pro?  Don’t worry, neither are we. All of our photos will be taken with an iPhone.  No fancy photography skills required!

Need some ideas of what to share? Post a picture of the blooming flowers, your favorite spring activity, a page or quote from an inspirational book, or a photo of the place where you find renewal.

Most importantly, have fun!  Take time to enjoy the lively buzz of spring.

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

The bright, blooming foliage of spring make this time of year one of the most incredible seasons to visit our area.  Make sure to visit the Chatlos Memorial Chapel, Visitors Center, and Ruth’s Prayer Garden.  Click here for directions and operating hours. Tours are free.

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.

Saturday Snapshot — Heart Work x 2

We give thanks that the Lord is the Great Physician, but as a staff, it is our goal to be prepared to help in medical situations when necessary.

This week, many of our staff were trained by a team from the American Heart Association on 1st Aid, CPR and AED.  We certainly don’t hope to use these skills, but are ready, should we need to.

She’s got the technique down.
Tina and Alla and bandages on CPR day Feb 2017
These two have been properly bandaged up!

It’s never too late to learn lifesaving skills.  If you are interested in taking a class through the American Heart Association,  click here.  For Red Cross classes,  click here.

On another note, we’d love for you to join us in covering the 121 military couples that will be on property this weekend for a Military Marriage Retreat.  Please pray for their hearts as they dig into God’s Word this weekend.  Please pray that they would enjoy sweet fellowship with other military couples.  And, please pray that each couple will return home inspired by God’s purpose for their marriages.

Here are a few snapshots from some of our Military Marriage Retreats in previous years.

Relaxing in rocking chairs soothes the soul.
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Beautiful mountain views.
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Through the Bible teaching, couple’s will gain an insightful perspective on marriage and find application for the special circumstances that only military couples can understand.
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There’s no shortage of food or good conversation during the retreat!
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No snow scheduled for this weekend, but it sure was fun in 2014!

If you or someone you know are interested in attending an upcoming Military Marriage Retreat, click here.

If you’d like to print a flyer to hand out to friends, at church or on your base, click here.


Saturday Snapshot – A Look at the 2017 Program Guide

The 2017 Program Guide is out and we’re pleased to share it with you today on video.

To have a Program Guide mailed to you, please click here and complete the online request.

Get registered today for one of our seminars, programs, or concerts. Click here for a schedule of upcoming seminar, concerts and retreats at The Cove in beautiful Asheville, NC.

If you’d like to hold your own event at The Cove, click here for more information.

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

Bless you, friends.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Hold Your Event at The Cove — Top 10 Tips for Meeting Planners


Did you know that every year 140 – 150 different groups choose to hold their conference and ministry events at The Cove?

The groups come in all shapes and sizes: small groups, such as board meetings and church staff retreats, as well as large groups with up to 450 attendees.

No matter the size, groups come with one wish in common: To get away to a distraction-free atmosphere where they can seek the leading of the Holy Spirit through the application of God’s Word.

We’d love for you to bring your group to The Cove.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Call  1-800-950-2092 to discuss booking your event.
  2. Confirm your dates, and the number of rooms and meals you’ll need.  A contract will be drawn up at this point.
  3. You will be assigned an Event Coordinator to work with you through every little detail in order to make sure your event goes smooth.  This event coordinator will be your point of contact from the time you sign the contract until you arrive on The Cove property.
  4. Repeat year after year. 🙂

Maybe you’re the meeting planner at your church or Christian ministry?  (If you’re not, please forward this blog on to that special person).  To help in the planning process, we thought it would be helpful to provide some tips to help the planning process along.

Here they are:

Top 10 Tips for Meeting Planners
(For after you book your event at The Cove.)

1. Read Your Contract.

You would be surprised at how many people do not read what they are signing.  Many of your questions will be answered by reading this document.

2. Designate one person to communicate with your event coordinator.

Feel free to copy any correspondence with your team, but the old saying is really true, “too many cooks can spoil the stew.”  It’s much easier to deal one-on-one with your event coordinator.

3. There is no such thing as a bad or stupid question.

The more you ask, the better your event coordinator will know what you’d like to accomplish while you are here.  Ask away!

4. Be specific.

Let your event coordinator know your schedule with as much detail as you can.  Will you have workshops or breakout sessions in addition to main sessions?  How will your guests be arriving?  Will they be arriving individually, carpooling or on a charter bus?  Check-in will be handled differently based on arrival information.  What are your technical needs?  Will you be having praise and worship? Will you run a PowerPoint program, and will you need microphones?  How will you like to greet your guests and get program materials to them?

By being as specific as you can in advance of your event, the better we can serve you while you are here.

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5. Do you want something special?

Many guests like to add communion, foot washing, or a chapel service to their schedule.  Think about this beforehand and discuss with your event coordinator.

6. Be timely.

Getting information to your event coordinator in a timely manner will allow them to serve you well.

7. We feed you very well while you’re here.

We serve three full gourmet buffet-style meals daily, along with night-time snacks and all the beverages and frozen yogurt you could wish for.  Come hungry!


8. Bring your walking shoes.

To enrich your retreat experience, we have miles of walking trails with scripture pillars along the way.  You may also enjoy strolling through Ruth’s Prayer Garden, or hike to the prayer alter where Billy and Ruth Graham first asked God if this mountain was the place He chose for them to build the Training Center.

Emanuel Romanian Church hiking October 2011

9. Do your guests have any special needs we should know about?

This will help in our room assignment process.  If there are specific dietary needs, let your event coordinator know about that ahead of time as well.

10. Don’t stress!

One of the first documents you will receive from us is an event planning guide.  It has many helpful tips, along with a time line of when things are due.  Out staff loves to take care of groups, it’s what we do!

Call  1-800-950-2092 to book your event today.

Interested in submitting an online request to hold your Christian conference or ministry event here at The Cove?  Click here for information.

Your First Step When Planning a Retreat at The Cove

What is the first thing to do when planning a retreat?


The answer might surprise you – the very first thing you should do after you’ve agreed to plan your organization’s retreat or meeting is to recruit a partner in planning. 

That may sound odd – I haven’t even started and I should recruit someone to work with?

Absolutely!  Here are some of the reasons doing so is not only wise, it is essential!

  1. 1.       Christian ministry is not a solo venture; we are called to work together.  It is also too important to be subject to the challenges we face in life so if you cannot serve for any reason, there is someone who can pick up and carry on.  Life happens!  I had been planning an event for many months and was unable to attend.  It went off without a hitch because the person I had worked closely with didn’t miss a beat.  She did not plan to be in charge that day but she was up to speed on the details and was unfazed by the responsibility. Jesus set an example by sending out disciples two by two. (Mark 6:7)
  2. 2.      Who is going to plan the next event?  One of the key phrases in planning for your ministry growth is “replace yourself.”  If I want to grow into new responsibilities, then someone else has to be prepared to do what I do now.  That means that I can begin training someone now to do what they might be called to do next month or next year.
  3. 3.      Working with a partner creates a diversity that allows you to see more of the whole picture.  If you are a vision person, work with a detail person.   Most likely both will find it a bit annoying but in the end, both will be grateful for the skills the other brought to the process.  Proverbs 27:17 says it this way:  As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
  4. 4.      Most importantly, we are in the “business” of making disciples.  Whatever we do, we should be doing it to the glory of God and the advancement of the kingdom.  This applies not only to event planning but to so many aspects of Christian ministry.  Musicians train new musicians in how to serve and lead in music ministry.  Those who visit the sick or in prison take with them those who have a heart for these ministries and may themselves be called to them someday.  Likewise those of us who serve in planning need to disciple others in serving. 

Leadership can indeed be taught! 

The best classroom is not a classroom at all but working alongside a wise believer who has served well. 

One of the greatest joys of ministry is to see one we have poured in to, respond to God’s call and serve well.  It is not only a personal joy, but God’s design for the health of his body and the spread of the gospel. 

Happy planning!
Nancy, Event Planner at The Cove

Click here or call 1-800-950-2092 to find out more about bringing your group to The Cove. 

Fun with Words

Looking for something fun to do over the weekend? 

How about making your own word collage.

To create ours, we pasted in all the words describing events and programs at The Cove in the month of March and voilà, here’s what came out.

Would be fun to create one with Scripture verses too! 


Try making your own.  Visit www.Wordle.net.

Paste a link to your creation in our comment section below so we can see yours too!

Enjoy your weekend!  God bless you.      

2013 Cove Program Guide Is Here!

Did you receive your 2013 Cove Program Guide this week? 

WARNING!  You may be compelled to grab a cup of tea, find a comfy chair and savor the experience of reading through this journal style guide to what’s happening at The Cove in 2013.

Whether you attend a life-changing seminar,  a Women’s Day Away program, a guided or self-directed Personal Spiritual Retreat, an uplifting Christian concert, a special senior adult program or are attending a retreat with a group from your church, you are sure to come away with a refreshed spirit and a testimony to share how God impacted your life while here at The Cove. 


“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” — Mark 6:31  

Click here to visit our website to see what’s going at The Cove this year. 

To request a free 2013 Program Guide, please call 1-800-950-2092 or click here to make your request online. 

We hope to see you soon!   

Over 20 Countries Represented at The Cove This Week

by Trevor Freeze

If you think the Jesus.net conference is just another weekend getaway, you should spend a couple of minutes talking with Grace Sumbillo and Mark Ty.

Traveling more than 9,000 miles from their homes in Metro Manila, Philippines, to The Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, N.C., Sumbillo and Ty know this is more than just another startup website project.

They know this five-day conference — with people from more than 20 countries represented — is more than just a chance to buy a new widget or learn about the latest Internet fad.

People in the Philippines are just like people in the United States. They’re hurting and searching.

And they oftentimes go online.

“It’s God moving,” Ty said. “It’s not really about us. It’s about God moving people to this website.”

In the Philippines, that website is HopeKayGod.net, their version of PeaceWithGod.net, the Internet Evangelism website launched by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in April of 2011.

“We chose ‘Hope’ because the word ‘Peace’ in the Philippines means not fighting,” said Ty, the web developer of the project. “We found ‘Hope’ is more universally known in the Philippines.”

HopeKayGod.net hasn’t even been up for two months, and barely any online advertising has been done, yet people are finding it. And they’re finding a video presentation of the Gospel of Jesus in the local language of Tagalog.

In the last week of November alone, more than 2,000 people stumbled upon HopeKayGod.net, with more than 75 making decisions for Christ and over 20 percent filling out a form to be contacted for more information.

“My background is in IT,” Ty said. “To be able to use my work skills in ministry is very exciting.”

And the Philippines’ project isn’t even officially launched yet. Along with Portugal, Mexico and two versions in the U.S. (one English, one Spanish), the BGEA is expanding its Internet Evangelism ministry.

And the potential is staggering.

In the past 20 months since launching more than 6 million people have visited PeaceWithGod.net, which features a clear video presentation of the Gospel.

More than 1.4 million people have indicated they made a decision to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. More than 185,000 have filled out a form requesting more information. The BGEA’s Internet Evangelism team then follows up with five discipleship e-mail lessons and as well as answering any other questions the new believers may have.

“Everyone who asks a question, we respond to them,” said Bob Hill, BGEA’s Director of Strategic Planning and Project Management.

The challenging task of responding to all the inquiries has been met by a volunteer base of 270 trained e-counselors and discipleship coaches. Soon that number will nearly double as training qualified online coaches continue to expand.

But in the Philippines that number currently sits at two.

Sumbillo is in charge of the e-coaches for HopeKayGod.net and while her two trained e-coaches are very efficient, she is in the process of training 10 other e-coaches.

She hopes to have them up and running by February, when HopeKayGod.net plans to officially launch around a Hillsong United concert at Araneta Collesium in Manila that will help promote the online ministry.

“We’re surprised that even without much promotion people have found the website.”

Questions range from general curiosity about God to specific ones, such as “Why does God allow bad things if He loves me?”

“It’s an exciting ministry,” said Sumbillo, describing how a Philippine woman living in Canada found the website and prayed to receive Christ. “It’s just the work of God.”

BGEA’s work in the Philippines dates back to 1977. A young 15-year-old by the name of James Tioco was one of the 412,000 people who came to the 1977 Billy Graham Crusade at Rizal Park in Manilla.

Tioco was one of more than 22,000 who came forward to accept Christ into his life and has been on fire to spread the Gospel ever since. From Operation Christmas Child involvement to 2006 leadership roles in both My Hope Philippines and the Franklin Graham Festival in Manila, Tioco has fanned the flames of evangelism in his country.

Then he heard about using the Internet to reach people for Jesus and he was all in.

Quickly a partnership with the Philippines formed and a site was built using the Tagalog language.

“I can see a lot of churches using this for their evangelistic ministry,” Ty said. “What I like about this website is you’re looking at real people talking.”

And that’s part of what the Jesus.net conference is all about. Getting people together, who are in some form or another under the Jesus.net umbrella, to talk about their specific online ministry and to learn from each other.

“It gives people an opportunity to all get on the same page,” Hill said. “It’s a movement. We just have to make sure we’re all moving the same direction.”

Click here to bring your ministry group to The Cove for a conference or retreat.