By: David Holloway
If you are looking for a beautiful, quiet place to get away from the hustle and hurry world we live in, then Cherokee Cove may be just the place for you. In 1998, God called Stuart and Samantha Stephens into full-time ministry. They formed a 501C3 non-profit corporation in 2000 called Uphill Ministries which operates at Cherokee Cove in Mountain City, Tennessee and is situated on 200 private acres on the border of TN and NC within the Cherokee National Forest. Stuart and I bought the property and began to develop just circumstantially how the Lord provided. He provided volunteers and materials. We didnt have a big master plan, said Samantha.
There are many distractions in our world today that are fighting for our attention. Cherokee Cove is a secluded retreat that has very limited Internet access and no cable television so the guests can be free from distractions, be able to communicate with each other and to be still before the Lord in a place with a beautiful surrounding. They provide simple, attractive facilities in which to rest, fellowship, and seek the Lord.
Stuart, Samantha and their children, Hunter, John and Libby Stephens all volunteer at the campground. The organization is a volunteer run organization. People will plan mission trips and come and help. There is a discipleship program for teens 13 to 18 called Uphill Youth where they will stay for a week to four weeks and help with the camp. They are discipled in the Word twice daily and they have their personal quiet time as well. The camp only allows four or five girls and four or five boys at a time and each group has a counselor that is 18 or older that manages those kids. The counselor is there to lead the kids in Bible study, make sure they are not on their phones, etc. At most campgrounds, the counselor will have 20 or 30 kids so there is no way to have the intimate one-on-one relationship that Cherokee Cove provides. The kids are also taught life skills like how to cook and clean. Samantha said, Its really startling how many kids today do not know your basic things. For example, we had a girl who was 17 that we taught how to do laundry and fold clothes. She had never done it before. We meet them where they are.
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