Alumni News

The Holy Land Experience

by Office of Marketing | Jun 20, 2014
Wendel Cover
Growing up, Rev. Wendel Cover ’55 had never traveled far from his home in Bedford County, Pa. It wasn’t until his time at Valley Forge Christian College (VFCC), then Eastern Bible Institute (EBI), that Cover saw traveling as a possibility. Now, as a missionary and senior pastor, Cover has traveled around the globe once and visited more than 120 countries.

Cover’s time at EBI shaped his missionary journey. Academically, he gained a solid biblical foundation, and outside of the classroom, he gained real-life experience. He credits his knowledge to mentors and the time he spent with other missionaries and pastors, observing and applying what he saw. “It’s an invaluable opportunity to learn from others in your field who are called to the same purpose,” he said.

Cover returned to the U.S. this year after his 60th trip to Israel. His journeys to the Holy Land are both educational and spiritual experiences. Cover leads a tour through the cities of Jerusalem, Galilee and Bethlehem. While at the biblical landmarks, he speaks on scripture passages pertaining to each location and offers historical perspective and setting. During his first trip in 1969, he led a group of 12 people around Israel; on his most recent trip, 62 people accompanied him.

While visiting VFCC this spring, Cover shared his recent adventures in Israel as well as his passion for Jesus’ command to go into the world and make disciples. He mentioned the importance of experiencing life outside of one’s small section of the world. Travel helps people realize how diverse the world is and also to appreciate God’s blessings. Knowledge and appreciation lead to compassion for people of other countries, as well as a desire to help. Cover encouraged students by reminding them that, “Wherever God calls you or wherever you go, He has promised to be with you to the ends of the earth; He will never leave you and never forsake you.”

Currently, Cover serves as the senior pastor at Word of Life International Church in Springfield, Va., where he continues to share his passion for missions and travel.

For more information on Cover’s 2015 tour of Israel, visit