Labor Day Family Conference

Labor Day Family Conference

The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,

the world and those who dwell therein,

for he has founded it upon the seas

and established it upon the rivers.

Psalm 24:1-2

Labor Day Family Conference

This conference has a fairly long history, being one of the first conferences held at Machen. As a family conference, it is general in nature, addressing topics of interest to Christian families. Some of the topics that have been addressed over the years include “The Lord’s Supper”, “Personal Evangelism” and “Family Growth.” Each year the topic is different, but it is always edifying, and the speakers have been as diverse as the topics.

Furthermore, this conference gives the families who attend a time for fellowship with families of other churches, and their children time to play together. Families of a broad age range have found it to be a time of spiritual refreshment at the end of the summer season.

August 30th – September 2nd, 2019

Conference theme: The Beatitudes of our Lord

The Reverends Matt Holst and Joby Fowler will preach through the Beatitudes form Matthew 5. While the world lives by a self-promoting individualism, those who belong to the Kingdom of Christ live by another standard. That standard is set by King Jesus, both in his teaching and life. As we examine the Beatitudes, we see that the race is not to the strong, the proud, or the might, but those who, like their Savior, abase themselves in the service of their Heavenly Father. Christ himself, along with Christian graces and living are the subject matter of the Beatitudes.

Join us for this year’s Labor Day Family Conference as Rev. Matthew Holst and Rev. Joby Fowler lead an exploration of this vital and encouraging Biblical theme!


Joby Fowler, Pastor

Joby Fowler is pastor of Reformation, OPC in Gastonia, where her served as both church planter and pastor since the fall of 2011. A graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC, he previously served as a missionary in Southwest China after graduating from university in Atlanta, GA.

His wife, Carla, is from Matthews, NC; they have six children: Cora, Mary, Dorn, Henry, Logan, and Ellie plus a couple dogs and rabbits. Joby, Carla, and the kids enjoy CrossFit, camping, and other outdoor activities.

Matthew Holst, Pastor

Matthew Holst was installed as senior pastor of Shiloh, OPC in June 2016. Prior to that, he served as pastor of Geneva, OPC in Marietta, GA from from 2010-2016 and ministered in Cambridge Presbyterian Church (UK) for a year. A native of Wales, Matt is a 2008 graduate of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

His wife, Stacy, is a native of Greenville, SC. Together they have four children: Garin, Isacc, Evan, and Gethin. Matt Coaches Rugby for Raleigh rugby. He is also a keen outdoorsman enjoying hunting, and fishing and can be often found pottering around his garden where he grows vegetables.

Matt writes for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and his articles can be found at Reformation21 ( or the Christward Collective (


The registration fee includes lodging, all meals, and use of the main lodge facilities. Tent sites are also available if you would like to bring your own tent and sleep in it.

Online Registration Form

Machen Retreat and Conference Center


PO Box 91
McDowell, Virginia 24458


6 Job’s Hill Rd
McDowell, VA 24458


Retreat: (540)396-3650
Information: (703)477-5670

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2