The Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove, located in Asheville, N.C., in the Blue Ridge Mountains, offers year-round programs that feature leading Bible teachers from around the world. Many churches and nonprofit Christian ministries have experienced the center’s hospitality, award-winning facilities, and the seclusion necessary for a spiritual retreat.
“We are continually amazed at the great things God does here in the midst of the groups who come,” said Will Graham, executive director of The Cove. When his grandparents Billy and Ruth Graham founded The Cove more than 25 years ago, they prayed it would be a place of spiritual refreshment—a sanctuary where people could leave behind the stresses of everyday life and focus on the Savior.
Billy and Ruth Graham each expressed their vision for The Cove with four words. Billy’s words—impact, intercession, instruction, and inspiration—signified a place where men and women are equipped by God’s Word for evangelism and discipleship. Ruth wanted The Cove to be a place for retreat, rest, relaxation, and renewal, where hospitality is a ministry.
The two inns at The Cove have windows facing the mountains and offer 126 rooms and six suites. Other facilities include the Training Center, which offers 16 meeting rooms that can be arranged according to the group’s needs; the lobby, where participants can socialize; and numerous places of solitude available for quiet retreat. The large wraparound deck offers panoramic views that invite personal reflection and prayer, while also serving as a spot for casual meetings.
Retreats at The Cove also offer gourmet buffet meals served in the Training Center dining room, which overlooks the mountains. After dinner, many choose to relax in a rocking chair and watch the sun slowly set behind the mountains. With 1,200 acres of forest, The Cove offers more than 10 miles of nature trails that guests can explore.
“There’s something about a mountaintop that enlarges your vistas,” said Cliff Barrows, longtime associate of Billy Graham. “It helps you to see. There’s an overlook at The Cove where you can look over the whole valley and into Asheville. You can see a vastness of the beauty of God’s creation. … That’s a picture to me of the God who created it all, who created it for us to enjoy and to see His presence in it so we will worship Him.”
At a Glance
Amenities: 460-seat auditorium, 113-seat auditorium, 14 additional meeting and breakout rooms, audio and visual capabilities, meals, 24-hour complimentary beverages
Guest Rooms: 126 rooms, six suites
Total Meeting Space: Over 75,000 square feet
By Lauren Reiniger