50-year celebration of Rock Eagle a blessing; Bishop Watson named keynote speaker for 2012


    On the weekend of Sept. 23, the men of the North Georgia Conference celebrated 50 years of ministry at Rock Eagle. From the leadership of men like Joe Dekle, Dick Fleet, Robert Story, Jimmy Hale, Johnny Fowler, Eddie Freeman and others, our Conference men began a spiritual gathering at Rock Eagle in 1961 which has continued to this day. 
       We only missed meeting in 2005 as a result of the Rock Eagle facility being used to house folks displaced by hurricane Katrina. In addition, from 1977 through 1990 there were two weekends each September, and in 1987 and 1988, there were three weekends.
     Our Keynote speaker this year was Dr. Timothy Tennent, President of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY.  Dr. Tennent is a member of the North GA Conference. His messages were very inspirational and challenging.  His Saturday morning message on the first and second Adam was described by several of the men as the best sermon they had ever heard. All the workshops were well attended, with Allen Stewart, Allan Coppedge, Gary Whetstone, and Chris Lasky with Charles Cason drawing the most men.
     One of the special features of the 50th celebration was inviting back speakers and leaders from the past, which included former keynoters Allan Coppedge (1989), Joe Peabody (1993), Tom Atkins (1995), a video of Paul Blair (1998), Allen Stewart (2007), and Steve Wood (2008). We also welcomed back past Conference Presidents Bob Martin (1978), Ken Weatherford (1980), Stan England (1986), Sam McIntyre (1991), Joe Kilpatrick (1993), Norman Johnson (1997), and Jasper Russell (2007). 
     Lastly, we recognized past Executive Directors Walter Johnson (1992), Walter Boyd (2000), and Cary Loesing (2007), and our Administrative Assistant Judy Koch (1993).  Mike Pniewski, our excellent emcee, brought back a couple of offering skits from the past to help us see how we can contribute and pledge to keep this ministry going for the next fifty years.
     We enjoyed excellent praise and worship music from Crystal River, Ralph Freeman, Crosswalk, our volunteer choir, and the singing of our congregation led by Bud Sears. Other highlights included cabin sharing, the Upper Room prayer line, prayer & fasting at Collinswood on Thursday night, Bible Study on the Lake with Carey Gibson, the Rock Eagle toast, and Putt Putt golf for missions.
      The weekend also featured Eric Owen's well-planned Cross & Flame Run/Walk for missions, Youth activities (including rock wall climbing, zip-lining, youth workshops, and Wii games Madden 2012), and a Red Cross blood drive for the second year in a row.  Other favorite ministries conducted at Rock Eagle were the annual "Potato Drop" and the new Canned Soup Drive, as well news from Walt Stephens’ Scouting Ministry. 
     The Rock Eagle staff,  led by Terri Camp, were a great help to us. We are enjoying the new dining hall and three (soon to be four) new cabins, all the refurbished classrooms, and the Senior Pavilion on the lake. 
     Start planning now to attend the 51st Rock Eagle on September 28-30 2012 with our own Bishop B. Michael Watson as our Keynote Speaker.  
      For questions, contact Cary Loesing or Judy Koch at our office at 678-533-1455 or e-mail UMMen@ngcumm.org.