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YEC samples new schedule

PREPARING TO WORSHIP — Shannon Slover, minster of pastoral care at First Church, Laurel, and planning committee member for the 2019 Mississippi Baptist Youth Evangelism Challenge, opens the Dec. 28 morning session with prayer at A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton. (Photo by William H. Perkins Jr.)


By William H. Perkins Jr.


The 2019 Mississippi Baptist Youth Evangelism Challenge (YEC) came to Mississippi College in Clinton Dec. 27-28, conducted over a weekend for the first time in the history of the conference.

Don Lum, evangelism director at the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, said the move to a weekend run was made for the convenience of attendees and so participation could be boosted.

“We wanted to try a pilot weekend schedule to see if it would be better for the young people who want to attend. YEC has always been held in late December, when everyone has completed their Christmas observances and preparations are being made for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“That’s a busy time and we felt more people would be able to attend if it was held on a Friday and Saturday,” he said.

The 2019 event program included:

  • Keynote speaker Chris Lovell, head basketball coach at Bossier Parish Community College in in Bossier City, La. He is the former director of student ministries at Prestonwood Church, Dallas, and Germantown Church, Germantown, Tn.

“Chris used his life experiences as a Christian coach to relate to the young people who were there,” Lum said.

  • Broken Vessels, a Christian worship band from Valley Church in Searcy, Ar.
  • Participants in the 2019 Mississippi Baptist Speakers Tournament:

— First Place: Claire Reeves, member of Meadow Grove Church, Brandon.

— Second Place: Anna Stogner, member of Cato Church, Braxton.

— Third Place: Anna Krisbyrd, member of First Church, Ridgeland.

— Madeline Walling, member of Cleary Church, Florence.

“The Youth Evangelism Challenge is designed to encourage churches to bring their young people together with other young people their age for a quality experience while they are out of school for the holidays, in a setting where the Gospel is shared with them through speakers and worship leaders to whom they can relate,” Lum said.

“For those who have already accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, it’s an opportunity for them to grow in their faith,” he added.

Lum expressed appreciation for the adult chaperones who took time away from their own holiday celebrations to bring their church’s young people to the Challenge. “Without them, we couldn’t make this conference work,” he said.

He also thanked Mississippi College, which is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention, and First Church, Clinton, for opening their facilities to the conference.

In addition to Lum, members of the 2019 YEC planning committee were:

  • Shannon Slover, minster of pastoral care at First Church, Laurel.
  • Brad Van Cleave, senior executive pastor of Overflow Church, Magee.

The Youth Evangelism Challenge is supported by gifts to the Mississippi Cooperative Program. The 2020 YEC will be held Dec. 28-29 at Mississippi College.

For more information, contact Lum at Telephone: (601) 292-3278. Mailing address: P.O. Box 530, Jackson MS 39205-0530.