Lake Junaluska, N.C. – Officers, soldiers and families involved in the Southern Territory of The Salvation Army are gathering at Lake Junaluska from August 13 to 20 for their annual Bible Conference. With this year’s conference, the Southern Territory celebrates 47 years of gathering at Lake Junaluska.
Around 1,200 people are estimated to be attending this year’s conference. The week’s events are intended to provide attendees with times of renewal and spiritual development.
Devotions, group worship services and Bible study sessions will be led by Salvation Army officers who have previously served nationally and internationally.
“Lake Junaluska has been a wonderful host to us, and it provides a great setting for us to do what we do,” said Lieutenant Colonel Bill Mockabee, program secretary for the Southern Territory. “We’ve developed such a partnership with the lake.”
Mockabee said he hopes that the week will be a time of physical, emotional and spiritual refreshment for each person who attends.
“We hope that there will be a deepening of one’s spiritual life, [because] a lot of people are involved in day-to-day ministry,” said Mockabee.
The Bible Conference is also a place for attendees to reconnect and find fellowship with each other. For retired Salvation Army officer Evelyn Repass, the Bible Conference is her yearly chance to visit with both longtime friends and cherished family members.
“We see a lot of folks we don’t see all year,” said Repass, who began attending the Bible Conference as a teenager and later served in Salvation Army ministry in South America and Central America.
Though it has been 53 years since Repass trained as a cadet, she said she and many people who were in her original class of trainees still faithfully attend the Bible Conference every year.
“We come up here every year and have lunch together. There’s still 20-some of us left, after all those years,” said Repass. “Also, it’s a family thing, because this is a time when my son, his wife, and their boys—we can all be together for a week.”
Special guest speakers will include Dr. Dan Boone, president of Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee, and Oscar Roan, former NFL football player currently serving alongside Christian ministries including The Salvation Army. They will speak on the conference’s theme for the year, “Psalms for All Seasons.”
The conference also includes a week-long “Praise Party” program for youth and teens, which will be filled with opportunities to praise through music, art, dance, outdoor recreation and fellowship.
The week commenced with the opening session on Sunday, August 13 at 7 p.m. in Stuart Auditorium. The session included introductions, announcements and a concert by Christian music group The Ball Brothers. It was followed by a Welcome Reception by the lake.
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 www.lakejunaluska.com.