Youth & Discipleship Hosts Successful Winterfest Weekend

After Church of God Winterfest was cancelled in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a creative approach was needed to continue the vision of the event. Knowing the impact this event had on the lives of so many young people over its more than 35 years, an innovative way was developed to assure Winterfest could take place in 2021. Bringing the event to the Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tennessee became the answer.

The baseball stadium provided an unlimited atmosphere of worship that was not confined merely inside of a building, but allowed younger generations’ voices of praise and biblical proclamation to be released under the stars, literally advancing the song and message to the outdoors.

During the kick-off service on Friday, Church of God pastor (and 2020 winner of NBC’s “The Voice”) Todd Tilghman, opened by leading the crowd in “The Star Spangled Banner.” Lee University’s Voices of Lee continued the patriotic theme by singing “God Bless America.” Afterwards, Tilghman took those gathered back to their Pentecostal roots by singing modernized versions of traditional hymns.

Dante Bowe of Maverick City Music followed Tilghman and led a stadium packed full of excited students and leaders into worship and an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ. Brandon and Alissa Holt, along with their team also led the Winterfest constituents into a unified chorus of voices magnifying the name of the Lord, ushering in the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Lord was tangible and present throughout the entire weekend.

On Saturday night a moving memorial was given in honor of the life and ministry of Dr. David C. Blair, who led the department of Youth and Discipleship until his untimely death on March 21, 2021. Following the tribute the Australian band, For King and Country put on an electrifying and energetic performance that had most students on their feet jumping, clapping, and singing along. As they sang their top hit, “Fix My Eyes” an entire stadium of voices joined in with them.

Dynamic and powerful messages were given by Brian Bullock, Sharo Ramkhelawan, Chris Estrada, and Reggie Dabbs, who each boldly proclaimed the Word of the Lord to a generation hungry for a move of His spirit.

International Youth and Discipleship Director, Rob Bailey stated, “It was so good to gather together in person at Winterfest this weekend! The Lord moved in such an extraordinary way as sons and daughters were saved, prodigals came home, and teenagers from Church of God congregations from all over the country were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance!”

The new venue for Winterfest 2022 will be at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee on February 4-6. For more information or to register, check out

(Source: Youth and Discipleship. Article by: McKayla Jacobs)

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