Christian event a good time
Published 12:02 pm Saturday, April 9, 2011
BY NANCY ALSTATT/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
FRANKLIN—After a year of planning, the first local Youth Encounter was held last weekend.
The rally entitled “Fools for God” offered praise and worship for local teens. Blackwater Baptist Association of Virginia partnered with Virginia Baptist Mission Board and Bluefield College to bring this free event to Franklin.
The kickoff was hosted by Courtland Baptist Church on April 1. Praise and worship music was provided by Courtland Baptist Church’s Praise and Worship Team.
The Rev. Danny Dillon from The Rock Church in Franklin gave the message. The roughly 250 youth who attended were treated to refreshments and watched “To Save a Life.” The movie focused on issues youth face.
On April 2, the event continued at the Regional Workforce Development Center at Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin. The day’s activities included games hosted by Bluefield College. Youth played the inflatable basketball game and did Wii games of dance, exercise, archery and more.
The Rev. Tim Lipp from Smithfield Baptist Church spoke about missions and world hunger. Participants were asked to bring canned goods to donate to Cooperative Ministries in Franklin.
An offering was taken up and will be sent to the Virginia Baptist Mission Board for hunger projects in Virginia and around the world.
The bands More Than Conquerors, originally from Smithfield Baptist Church, and Skyline Drive, who are former students of Bluefield College, performed praise and worship music.
Speaker Jon Gillis, who began ELife Ministries in 1999, said he “likes to challenge people to have an intentional, authentic relationship with Jesus.”
“I am a huge fan of encouraging event attendees to move beyond mindless rhetoric and find themselves instead submerged in the Word,” Gillis said.
Based out of Atlanta, where he lives with his wife and 3-year-old daughter, Gillis travels year round speaking at churches and church-related events mostly in the Southeast. He started his career as a counselor at camps, such as Centrifuge, which is in association with LifeWay Christian Resources of Southern Baptist Convention.
Some 225 youth from 21 churches attended. Youth also came from as far as Emporia, Gloucester, Manakin-Sabot and Skippers.
“This was a great opportunity having an event so close to home,” said the Rev. Jason Wise, pastor at Newsoms Baptist Church.
“It was good to see people confess their sins and follow God,” added Tim Smith, a youth at Black Creek Baptist Church.
The Youth Ministry Council and Blackwater Baptist Association of Virginia will be planning other youth activities with the local churches during the year.