More than a thousand have already preregistered for the 26th annual Church of God Senior Adult Retreat, the Smoky Mountain Jubilee. As it has been for the past 23 years, the retreat will be conducted at the Gatlinburg Convention Center in downtown Gatlinburg, Tennessee, one of America’s favorite Smoky Mountain vacation destinations.
The retreat begins at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26 with “An Evening of Gospel Music” featuring singer, songwriter and Christian comedian Aaron Wilburn, followed by the popular Southern Gospel trio, Greater Vision.
The entire day on Wednesday will be devoted to the 26th annual “Senior Parade of Talent,” as more than 100 contestants from around the nation compete in music, creative writing, and art, very much like children and youth participate in Junior and Teen Talent competitions. Adjudicators will evaluate each contestant, and the winners will be recognized and awarded trophies during Thursday’s “Morning of Applause and Recognition.” The Jubilee concludes at noon on Thursday, April 28.
A highlight of each Jubilee is the Wednesday night worship service that is presented in an old-fashioned camp meeting style. Praise and worship will be led by Phillip Looney, Multigenerational Ministries Pastor at Westmore Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee, and special music provided by Ryan Wilson and the Wilson Family from Hiawassee, Georgia, and Janice Hill from Cleveland, Tennessee.
This year’s Wednesday night speaker will be Dr. Wallace J. Sibley, Third Assistant General Overseer of the Church of God, who also serves as the liaison and Executive Divisional Director to World Evangelization/USA Missions. Dr. Sibley will be completing his tenure on the International Executive Committee at the upcoming International General Assembly, and the leadership of the Jubilee felt strongly that he should be this year’s speaker. He is also a former assistant director and director of Evangelism and Home Missions (now USA Missions). His dynamic preaching will be a tremendous blessing to the Jubilee delegates.
Hundreds of dollars of cash door prizes have been donated by Church of God state offices, local churches, and individuals, will be awarded throughout the Jubilee. Door prizes will range from $25 to $100, with a “Grand Prize” of $500, donated by the Church of God Foundation, to be given away on Thursday morning just before dismissal.
Dr. James E. Cossey, Executive Administrator of USA Missions, who directs the Jubilee, has also announced that Terrell Brinson, who served for twenty-two years as emcee for the Jubilee and moderator of the Senior Adult Talent competition, has voluntarily stepped down. He will be succeeded by Phillip Looney, Multigenerational Pastor at Westmore Church of God. Said Cossey, “Terrell, who is, and has been my personal friend for years, and my “motorcycle buddy,” approached me when I came to this office in 2012 and asked to step down from the Jubilee, but I prevailed upon him to continue at least until I could find my way in the leadership of the retreat. I am grateful for his twenty-two years of service, and especially for the three Jubilees that he emceed for me. He will be missed!”
Although the March 28 deadline for preregistration has passed (only those who preregistered by the deadline date will receive the free SMJ T-shirt), Cossey says that persons still wishing to register may do so online and pay by credit card until Monday, April 18, after which, they will need to register at the door on Tuesday, April 26. The registration doors will open at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. Until the April 18 date, the preregistration price of $69 per person will continue to be honored. At the door, however, the registration price will be $75.
Registration and detailed information is available on the USA Missions website at www.usamissions.com, or by calling 423-478-7103.