Men's retreat at Rock Eagle reaches golden milestone


   It was fall of 1961. Roger Maris held the attention of the nation as he chased, and finally topped, Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record. Ray Charles had the No. 1 record, “Hit The Road Jack.” Westerns -- Wagon Train, Bonanza and Gunsmoke – were the most popular shows on TV.
       And the first Methodist men’s retreat was held at Rock Eagle.
      With the exception of 2005, when the retreat was cancelled to allow the camp to be used to house refugees from Hurricane Katrina, the men have gathered there every fall.  
        The 2011 event, Sept. 23-25, will feature several special events to highlight the anniversary. Walt Boyd, Chairman for the Retreats Committee, has been gathering information to be presented in a historical pamphlet, including a listing of past Rock Eagle speakers, past Conference Presidents for UMM, past Executive Directors, and UMM who have received the Society of John Wesley Awards.  
           Dr. Timothy Tennent, President of Asbury Theological Seminary, will be keynote speaker. Tennent, who grew up in Atlanta as a member of Grace UMC, will be teaching under the theme: "Back To The Future."           
       The retreat will feature about 18 workshops, Bible study on the lake with Carey Gibson, cabin sharing, praise services in the chapel, a golf tournament, a prayer and fasting event at Collinswood beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday led by Tommy Hays, and the Red Cross bloodmobile.
      Music will be provided by Crystal River, CrossWalk, Ralph Freeman -- for the 42nd year in a row -- and a volunteer choir.
          The registration form can be found at  Cost for the full lodging and meals is $165. You can register for the Cross & Flame run and T-shirt, EMS, and golf.  If you have any questions, call Cary Loesing or Judy Koch at 678-533-1455.