The numbers are simple. Two resort towns with 4,000 locals in each. Two resort towns with bed space for 50,000 people per night. 12,500,000 visitors per year. Thousands of employees working in a major resort industry. And now, over 2,000 international employees working year round or seasonally in that resort industry. This is our parish.
Why is it important to have this ministry?
Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park have long been major tourist destinations. Over 12,500,000 people per year come to experience these mountains and their attractions. SMRM has served to reveal the presence of God to those who live, work, and play in the resort settings of Sevier County for thirty years. In recent years, God has brought the world to us through both our visitors and through internationals who come to work in our attractions. Resort missions is communicating the Gospel to people involved in a leisure lifestyle and here we are provided an amazing opportunity to impact the world for Christ as they come to us and as they go home after their work season.
How do you see God using this ministry?
Our vision is to creatively share Christ with others, minister to their needs and hopes, and grow the Church through mission involvement. Through the addition of our Internationals Ministry Program, God has deepened our commitment to missions and broadened our understanding of the possibilities before us. Where we fit in the Kingdom of God has expanded as we have touched lives and as the Holy Spirit has changed lives. These people go all over the world now knowing God’s love. We are much more excited about how we touch the world.