Mountain-top Experience Affords Tremendous ViewPoint

 In All Church of God, CBH: Christians Broadcasting Hope

The Cove on a clear, moon-lit evening.

By Carl Stagner

At 3,885 feet above the cares of the world, Cedar Cliff Overlook, just minutes from the Billy Graham Training Center, reminds guests that the Artist who painted such breathtaking scenery is the same God who wants to give us a chance to catch our breath. Even in ministry—or especially in ministry—moments of rest and renewal are a must! When the vantage point of a pastor or layperson constantly focuses the eyes on the next task, it’s time to retreat. The CBH Retreat to the Cove has long served as a prescription for long seasons of work, ministry, and hurry. This October 15–18, join Jim Lyon, Larnelle Harris, Joe and Merry Cookston, Melissa Pratt, Wesley Duff, and Rob Kespelher for a mountain-top experience unlike any other. And, as you pull away from the crowd, you’ll find yourself in good company with Jesus (Mark 6:31).

Pastor Denver Burns and his wife Marcia had come to the place in their ministry where they knew they, too, needed a break. As Providence would have it, they came across a brochure for the Retreat to the Cove. The leaders of the Michiana Community Church of God in Granger, Indiana, decided to take a chance on the Asheville, North Carolina, event last year and are so glad they did. They describe the setting as serene and Spirit-filled. “The time of worship, the special guests, and Jim Lyon’s teaching were all special to both of us,” Denver explains. “We left rejuvenated and inspired.”

Pastor Denver & Marcia Burns at the Cove last year.

Keena Wood’s mother had been encouraging her to attend for years, but her busy schedule wouldn’t allow. A couple of years ago, however, she intentionally adjusted her schedule so she could join her mother. “I had heard my mom speak about it for years, about what a renewing and wonderful experience it was…now I understand what my mom was speaking about.” That busy schedule was precisely the reason Keena needed a mountain-top experience. This year she’ll leave her cares behind at her home in Largo, Florida, and once again retreat to the Cove. “There is so much I enjoy about the Cove—the opportunity to pause and reflect on my Christian journey and my relationship with Jesus, spending time with my mother, making new connections with fellow believers, and the wonderful worship music and insightful messages. Besides, who can resist North Carolina in October with fall in the air?”

Keena’s mother couldn’t be more pleased to be joined by her daughter. Judy Lighty of Anderson, Indiana, has been attending for a dozen years and knows firsthand the blessing that it is. “Every aspect of this experience is very rewarding,” Judy reflects. “Meeting friends year after year is so affirming; singing and praising the Lord in worship is so uplifting; hearing inspiring messages and thoughts from the Bible study are both encouraging and challenging; and having time to be away from the turmoil of the world is restful and calming. The one memory that continues to play out every year is the change of atmosphere and feeling of peace when you drive through the gates at the Cove. It is very real!”

Bill Stapleton, of Ashland, Kentucky, has had this mountain-top experience for more than thirty years. He and his wife keep coming back not only for the rest and relaxation, but also for the friendships, speakers, the worship, and the Communion service. More than listeners to ViewPoint alone, these longtime supporters of the global ministry of Christians Broadcasting Hope got to know several outstanding leaders in the movement because of CBH. From Maurice Berquist and Gerald Marvel, to Dean Schield and Norma Brandon, CBH and the Retreat to the Cove have meant lasting friendships for Bill and his wife. “CBH has been a ministry to the entire world that we are proud to be a part of,” he reflects.

So, slow down for the curves in the road, take in a deep breath, and enjoy a fresh viewpoint.

Register yourself or your pastor (remember, October is Pastor Appreciation Month!) for the CBH Retreat to the Cove, October 15–18, at

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