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Holy Land Tour

June 4 – June 14, 2018
Join us for an unforgettable journey to the Holy Land! With your expert hosts, you will join others on a tour that is filled with biblical history, culture and spiritual relevance.

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The Holy Land Trip Begins Here

Day 1 – Monday, June 4, 2018 - Chicago - Tel Aviv
We will board our overnight flight from Chicago to Tel Aviv arriving the next day. Meals will be served on board.

Day 2 – Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - Tel Aviv - Jaffa - Tiberius
Upon arrival in Tel Aviv (the largest city in Israel), we will be greeted at the airport by our tour guide and depart for a brief stop in Jaffa (the location for Simon the Tanner’s house near the Mediterranean) then proceed to Tiberius by the famous Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight in our hotel.

Day 3 – Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - Tiberias – Upper Galilee
Our first stop this morning will be at Magdala, home of Mary Magdalene and site of one of Israel’s oldest synagogues dating back to the time of Jesus. We drive by Chorazin on our way to Hazor to view the ruins of the powerful Canaanite city destroyed by Joshua and later a chariot city for Solomon. We continue to the northern limits of Jesus’ travel as we cross the River Hatzbani to Dan where we combine a nature walk beside the Upper Jordan with views of ancient ruins topped by the Israelite high place that supported a golden calf. We continue our journey with a short drive to Caesarea Philippi (Banias) where Peter made his great confession of faith. Driving past Mount Hermon we ascend to the Golan Heights for a magnificent view of Upper Galilee. Our day concludes with a brief stop at Kursi, the probable site of the healing of the Gerasene demoniac.

Day 4 – Thursday, June 7, 2018 – Sea of Galilee – Capernaum – Tabgha – Mt of Beatitudes - Bet Shean - Yardenit
From Tiberius we enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and view the Jesus Boat at Nof Ginnosar. We continue our morning tour with a visit to Capernaum, Tabgha, and the Mt of Beatitudes. In the afternoon we follow the Rift Valley along the route Jesus most frequently traveled to Jerusalem. We will visit Bet Shean, one of the best preserved Greco-Roman cities in Israel. Our day ends at Yardenit, a baptismal site on the Jordan River where tour members who choose to do so can be baptized.

Day 4 – Thursday, June 7, 2018 – Sea of Galilee – Capernaum – Tabgha – Mt of Beatitudes - Bet Shean - Yardenit

From Tiberius we enjoy a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee and view the Jesus Boat at Nof Ginnosar. We continue our morning tour with a visit to Capernaum, Tabgha, and the Mt of Beatitudes. In the afternoon we follow the Rift Valley along the route Jesus most frequently traveled to Jerusalem. We will visit Bet Shean, one of the best preserved Greco-Roman cities in Israel. Our day ends at Yardenit, a baptismal site on the Jordan River where tour members who choose to do so can be baptized.

Day 5 – Friday, June 8, 2018 – Arbel – Cana - Nazareth – Caesarea Maritima - Jerusalem
On our way to Nazareth we will ascend the Arbel overlooking the Sea of Galilee. From here we drive through Cana and visit the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth and ascend the Mount of the Precipice overlooking the Jezreel Valley. We will be stopping at Tel Megiddo then ascend Mt Carmel where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. In the afternoon we travel the coastal highway to Caesarea Maritima where Paul was imprisoned and from where Christianity spread to the west. On our way to Jerusalem, via the historic Beth Horon road, we pass ancient Gibeon and make a brief stop at Mt Scopus for our first view of the Holy City and conclude our day with dinner at our hotel.

Day 6 – Saturday - June 9, 2018 – Ein Gedi – Masada – Qumran – Jericho

Today we proceed to Ein Gedi, David’s stronghold while fleeing King Saul. We travel alongside the Dead Sea – the lowest spot on earth. We make our way to the fortress at Masada where Jewish defenders made their last stand. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in caves at Qumran. There will be time for a short swim in the Dead Sea for those interested and then we wrap up our day at the ancient city of Jericho.

Day 7 – Sunday – June 10, 2018 - Mt of Olives – Passion Walk – Western Wall – Upper Room – Bethlehem

We begin our day at the Mt of Olives and visit the Church of the PaterNoster then begin the Passion Walk that includes stops at Dominus Flevit, Gethsemane, and the Church of All Nations. We make our way to the southern steps that entered the Temple and also stop at the Western Wall. We view a video that shows the Temple as it was at the time of Jesus. Before heading to Bethlehem, we visit the Upper Room on Mt Zion. From Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity, we visit Shepherds’ Field and then drive by the Herodium (Herod’s Palace).

Day 8 – Monday – June 11, 2018 – Jerusalem Old City - Rabbinic Tunnels – Temple Institute – Shrine of the Book - Yad Vashem
Our focus today will be on Jerusalem. We visit the amazing Rabbinic Tunnels where we go down to the foundation of the Second Temple. We also visit the Temple Institute where we will see instruments a sect of orthodox Jews have prepared for the Third Temple they believe will be built in the future. In the afternoon we will visit the Shrine of the Book and view a model of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus. We conclude our day with a visit to Yad Vashem to see the Museum of the Holocaust.

Day 9 – Tuesday - June 12, 2018 – Jerusalem Old City – Temple Mount – Via Dolorosa – Garden Tomb

This morning we ascend to the Dome of the Rock located on the traditional site of the ancient Temple Mount. Here the first and second Temples once stood. Afterward, we visit the Pools of Bethesda and St. Anne’s Church. We then follow the Via Dolorosa (Way of Sorrow) to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the single most important church in Christendom. From there we walk from the Christian Quarter along the Arab Souk through the Cardo Maximo and past the Armenian Quarter continuing to Mt Zion and to the grounds of a church called Peter in Gallicantu for the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. There will be time made available for shopping in the Old City. We conclude our day with a visit to the Garden Tomb where we celebrate a communion service together.

Day 10 – Wednesday – June 13, 2018 – Ein Kerem – Beit Shemesh – Valley of Elah – Lachish – Bell Caves
We begin our last day driving by Ein Kerem, birthplace of John the Baptist. We descend into the Shephelah (foothills) to Beit Shemesh then on to the Valley of Elah, the site of David’s conquest over the giant Goliath. We stop at the Bell Caves (Beit Guvrim) where many Jews fled during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Our last stop of the day will be biblical Lachish destroyed by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. We return to Jerusalem in the afternoon for you to enjoy free time before our farewell dinner and final overnight.

Day 11 – Thursday, June 14, 2018 – Departure to Tel Aviv – USA
We transfer to the airport for our flight home. Reading Scripture will never be the same because we have seen with our eyes and walked with our feet some of the most important places where God’s plan of salvation unfolded.

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The Holy Land Tour Details

Dates: June 4 – June 14, 2018

Cost: $4,599 per person based on double occupancy

Price includes: 11 day trip, round trip airfare from Chicago, ground transportation, breakfast and dinner daily, fees, tips, and taxes.

Sites include: Magdala, Caesarea Philippi, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Beit Shean, Cana, Nazareth, Masada, Qumran, Dead Sea, Jericho, Mt of Olives, Gethsemane, Bethlehem, Old City Jerusalem, Rabbinic Tunnels, Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Garden Tomb, Western Wall and many more.

Lodging: Tiberius: The Ron Beach Hotel – Jerusalem: Notre Dame Center Hotel

Physical condition: This trip requires a significant amount of walking. Getting on and off a tour bus several times a day, walking and being on your feet for extended periods of time is to be expected. It was estimated on a recent trip that we walked approximately five miles over the course of each day.

Who can participate? The trip is designed for Taylor University alumni, parents/grandparents of current or former students, or anyone that shares an affinity for Taylor University.

How do I sign up? You can sign up for this trip with a $500 deposit per person. To register through the mail send to Maranatha Tours, Inc. 18428 N. 42nd Place, Phoenix, AZ 85032 (make checks payable to Maranatha Tours, Inc.), call (800) 545-5533, or online: Register Now

When do I need to sign up? Registration is open until we reach capacity at 50 passengers. A waiting list will be created after that time.

Questions? Contact Mike Falder at, or by phone at (765) 998-5538. You can also contact Jennifer Morales of Maranatha Tours at or by phone at (800) 545-5533.

Tour Hosts

Dr. Lowell and Sherry Haines
Dr. Larry and Joyce Helyer
Rex and Nancy Bennett

“Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem.” Psalm 122:2

A journey to the Holy Land! We invite you on an unforgettable pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  Visit the sites where foundational events of our faith occurred. This journey brings to life many episodes and passages from the Bible. Making this journey with family and friends who share a common faith in Christ adds a wonderful dimension to your Holy Land experience. Picture yourself sailing in a boat like the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, seeing the birthplace of our Lord Jesus in Bethlehem, walking the streets of Jerusalem and sharing communion at the Garden Tomb, powerfully reminding us of the bedrock of our faith–Christ arose! At the end of this tour two things will most certainly be changed–you and your understanding of the Bible.

Join us and your Taylor friends for a life-changing experience!

Larry and Joyce Helyer

Dr. Larry Helyer is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Taylor University. Larry and Joyce are both graduates of Biola University in California. Following seminary in Oregon, Larry and Joyce lived in Jerusalem for a year and earned Certificates in Middle Eastern Studies from Jerusalem University College. Larry completed his PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary, and after 10 years as a pastor he began his 29 year teaching career at Taylor University. Joyce holds a MA from Ball State University and was employed by Taylor University in various positions for 21 years and retired as Interim Vice President for Advancement. Larry has taught at Jerusalem University College and they host tours to Israel, Turkey and Greece. They have two adult children living in New York and Tennessee and two college-age grandchildren.

Dr. Larry and Joyce Helyer

Lowell and Sherry Haines

Prior to joining the Taylor University administration, President Haines served on Taylor’s Board of Trustees. He is a 1975 Taylor graduate and the first 10 years of his professional career were spent in Upland. During those years, he served in a variety of roles including VP for Student Development. For the past 25 years, President Haines practiced with Indianapolis-based Faegre Baker Daniels, where he specialized in working with non-profit organizations and served as legal counsel to dozens of colleges and universities across the country. President Haines holds an EdD from the University of Pennsylvania, JD from Maurer School of Law at Indiana University; MA from Ball State University, and BA from Taylor University. His wife Sherry is a 1976 Taylor graduate, and spent 35 years as an art teacher in public and private schools. Their daughter Hannah is a 2011 alumna of Taylor University.

Dr. Lowell and Sherry Haines

Rex and Nancy Bennett

Rex Bennett is Taylor's Vice President for University Advancement. Bennett, who has served as Vice President for Development-Finance at Indianapolis-based real estate development and management company FSJ, Inc., since March 2016, previously served as an equity member at the Indianapolis law firm of Frost Brown Todd LLC for 16 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Greenville College, Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, Ill.), and a Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University College of Law (Dallas, Texas). Rex and his wife Nancy are parents of two daughters, Katelyn and Hannah, both of whom are graduates of Taylor University.

Dr. Rex and Nancy Bennett