Just a year ago, the future was uncertain for the Central Pennsylvania Bible Conference.
But the free summer conference is making a strong comeback with a new location, nationally known presenters and an expected attendance of a couple of hundred.
Last summer, the board voted to dissolve the conference because no one had stepped up to organize it after the president resigned in 2009.
In 2010, Lewis Makin of Altoona agreed to take charge of the event and has become the president. Makin has high hopes for the 92nd Central Pennsylvania Bible Conference being held July 31 to Aug. 7 at Faith Baptist Church at 315 40th St. Makin expects 150 to 200 people to attend.
"The special music is very good this year. We will be taught some different subjects on the Bible and what it has to say for the future of the world," Makin said.
Music will be presented by Eddie Piper and The Strings of Joy.
One of the presenters, the Rev. Dr. Bill Shade, director of Source of Light Ministries in Madison, Ga., will focus on the future in light of events in Middle East.
"I'm going to be looking at the current prophecy and what's taking place in the Middle East and what has taken place in the Muslim nations in the spring and how that fits in with what the Bible has to say. Folks will think it's very timely," Shade said.
He has spoken in previous years at the Central Pennsylvania Bible Conference and is looking forward to his return.
"I find folks in Altoona to be wonderful, receptive. They love the Word of God. I'll be very very happy to be there," Shade said.
Jim O'Bryon, master of ceremonies, is also eager to return.
O'Bryon was deputy assistant secretary of defense from 1986 to 2001 and was working in the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. He said his faith was strengthened after the attacks.
"It reinforced my faith. A plane actually hit where my office used to be," O'Bryon said, explaining before the terrorist attacks he had moved to a different office because of a reorganization of the Pentagon.
"I knew if something happened to me, I knew where I'd be. My faith is strong," O'Bryon said. Although O'Bryon always had a strong Christian faith, he didn't talk about it a lot on the job. Even so, every decision he made was influenced by it.
"Your faith is something that surrounds you," O'Bryon said. "My faith is always at work. I didn't have great big signs on the wall that had various Bible verses, but I did have one that said: 'This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.' You can't take government time to preach, but it certainly guided me."
O'Bryon, who will be leading some songs and hosting the Central Pennsylvania Bible Conference, said he will discuss Bible prophecies in light of the recent hysteria over the end of the world. "There's been a lot of crazy stuff out there on the Second Coming. The Bible makes it clear that we don't set dates," O'Bryon said. "I enjoy excellent Bible teaching."
Also presenting will be the Rev. Dr. Paul McCaulley, president and founder of Aviation Missions, an organization which works with churches and mission agencies to provide support to missionaries, especially with emergency evacuation.
O'Bryon said he enjoys the fellowship at the conference. After the sessions, there will be time to mingle over a light dinner served each night.