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Lineup of Internationally Known Preachers Announced for Lake Junaluska Summer Worship Series


LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — All are invited to attend the Summer Worship Series at Lake Junaluska from June 10 to August 5. The Summer Worship Series includes spirited traditional worship services led by internationally known preachers on Sunday mornings.

Most services begin Sundays in Stuart Auditorium at 11 a.m., with a prelude by the Lake Junaluska Singers at 10:45 a.m. This year two special services will be held in the evenings at Memorial Chapel and the amphitheater by the Lake Junaluska Cross.

The theme for this year’s Summer Worship Series is “Stories on the Lakeshore.”

“In the Gospels, the lakeshore is a place of transformation,” said Rev. Mitzi Johnson, director of programming at Lake Junaluska. “It’s on the mountainous shores of the Galilee that followers of Jesus are called, taught, healed and sent out to serve. Lake Junaluska provides an ideal setting for hearing the challenging stories of Jesus with fresh ears.”

Nine guest speakers will come to Lake Junaluska to preach this summer, including Rev. Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, who served as the former president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio and Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli who recently became the first woman to serve as senior pastor at the historic Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C.

The 2018 Summer Worship Series begins with a special kick-off service held in Memorial Chapel on June 10 at 7 p.m. The service is led by Dean of Memorial Chapel Susan Slye Giles, a retired elder of the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.

On July 15, an outdoor service will take place at the Lake Junaluska Cross amphitheater led by Bishop Lawrence McCleskey. McCleskey plans to preach the story of Jesus walking on water, a story of doubt and faith, perfect for an evening lakeside setting.

During the closing worship for the Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church on June 24, Bishop Paul L. Leeland will speak in Stuart Auditorium. Tracy Radosevic, dean of the Academy for Biblical Storytellers, will elaborate on a story in which Jesus breaks every social convention to heal a woman on the margins of society on July 1. Radosevic is particularly fond of mining biblical narratives for their humor and their often-overlooked feminine inspirations.

"The Gospel stories that form the heart of this summer's worship series highlight some of the grandest themes of Jesus' teachings,” said Johnson. “For each of these themes, we've chosen preachers who interpret the ideas boldly with words and in their lived ministry. Their daily lives lend authenticity and power to their messages so that the lakeshore continues to be a place of transformation just as it was in Galilee all those years ago."

The summer worship series also includes Taizé services of prayer and song on Monday evenings at 8 p.m. in Memorial Chapel June 18 to August 6 (excluding July 2). The service, modeled after the Taizé Community in France, has a casual atmosphere encouraging participants to slow down in the midst of their fast-paced lives.  Simple meditative songs, scripture, candlelight and silence are characteristic of this service.


All services at 11 a.m. unless otherwise noted, with a prelude by the Lake Junaluska Singers beginning at 10:45 a.m.

  • June 10 - Rev. Susan Slye Giles, special kick-off event at Memorial Chapel at 7 p.m.
  • June 17 - Rev. Dr. Clarence G. Newsome
  • June 24 - Bishop Paul L. Leeland, 10 a.m.
  • July 1 - Rev. Tracy Radosevic
  • July 8 - Rev. Carol Howard Merritt
  • July 15 - Bishop Lawrence McCleskey, at the amphitheater under the Lake Junaluska Cross at 7 p.m.
  • July 22 - Rev. Dr. Carl Frazier
  • July 29 - Rev. Juan Huertas
  • August 5 - Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli

Read Summer Worship Series speaker bios HERE.

To learn more about the Summer Worship Series, visit

Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit


Mary Bates
Lake Junaluska
PO Box 67, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745