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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Herod

Ending on a Hight Note Celebrating 16 Years of Faith and Fellowship

After 16 years, the Alive Youth Rally held its last gathering on Friday and Saturday, March 1-2, 2024.

Alive, hosted and conducted by the Spartanburg church since 2009, was the brainchild of Kevin Watson, Pastor Ryan Hodgins, and a team of dedicated church members. Its sole purpose was to help connect youth with Jesus. Although the role of youth pastor has changed hands several times since Hodgins moved on to pastor other churches, Pastor Benjamin Lawson stepped in for the last few years, helping to conclude this 16-year journey.

This year, despite lower attendance due to multiple events across the Carolina Conference, the teenagers connected with guest speaker Dwain Esmond. Esmond, now the associate director and editor for the White Estate at the General Conference, was also the inaugural speaker in 2009, providing a fitting conclusion to the event.

In the afternoon, between lunch and the following session, Watson’s and Lawson’s team prepared a comprehensive team activity competition for the attendees. The much-loved and anticipated T-shirt cannon followed the afternoon session. Different age groups were invited onto the baseball field to try to catch one of the many shirts shot over their heads. This year, the Spartanburg team went all out, dropping T-shirts from an airplane in addition to firing them from air-compressed cannons, as attendees scrambled to catch the rolled-up T-shirts.

Now that Alive has concluded its final year, perhaps God is calling your church to develop the next youth rally. While we often talk about the youth as the future of the church, they are, in fact, its present. One of the pillars the Conference Administration is focusing on during this quinquennial session is youth. Let’s prioritize them in each church as Spartanburg has, continuing this important work.

—Courtney Herod

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charlie myatt
charlie myatt
26 mars

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