by Allen Webster

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (BNc) — The Great Smoky Mountain Marriage Retreat was held Valentine’s weekend in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with 700 attending from 16 states. This retreat began in 1999 as an effort of the Jacksonville, Ala., church to strengthen its marriages and homes. The next year it was made available to any who wanted to come, and it has steadily grown over the years.

The Sevierville, Tenn., church has partnered with the retreat over the years and hosts the Wednesday night service. The attendees ranged from newlyweds to those who had celebrated fifty years together. Some traveled more than a thousand miles to attend.

David Shannon, of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, and Phillip Hines, of Hartselle, Alabama, did an excellent job teaching sessions on “Joy in the Journey. Celebrating God’s Gift of Matrimony.”  Jim Dearman, of GBN television, hosted the event and at times had the crowd rolling with laughter.

If the Lord wills, the next Great Smoky Mountain Marriage Retreat will be held February 16-19, 2011, so mark your calendars for a very special Valentine’s weekend.

CDs of this year’s classes, as well as previous years, may be ordered at their website or by calling 1-877-338-3397.