Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Youth Conference Latest Example of a Church on the Move

Dr. Victor Wyatt, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, center, was among the presenters at Bethel AME's first-ever Youth Conference held over last weekend and taught students about the science of fats and oils.

Over the weekend, Bethel African Methodist-Episcopal Church held it's first-ever Youth Conference featuring speakers and presenters not only on religious subjects, but also about science and social issues.

A few examples included career planning, parent and youth challenges, the science of fats and oils and understanding your potential.

In addition to Dr. Wyatt, the conference also welcomed Anthony Stevenson, a principal from the Radnor School District, Johnny Corson, 2011 graduate of The Hill School and a junior at Boston College, as well as Dwight Lamar, named best gospel and McDonald's Gospel Fest award winner, who was a guest solist.

Also performing were the newly formed Youth Choir.

"We were attempting to bring the youth off the streets for two days into various workshops, seminars, fun and games," said Bethel AME Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Vernon Ross. "We will even have workshops designed to help parents deal with the challenges of their youth." 

He said the youth conference is just the latest of several church initiatives.

"We have many food programs and we just started a youth choir and we are having health fairs on Sundays, the men are taking their ministry to the nursing homes, and people of all background, experiences, and color are joining the Church," Ross said. 

"We gave out five scholarships to high school graduates last year and they are all in college doing great. We gave out two scholarships this year and they plan to start college this fall," Ross said. "We are starting alcohol and drug abuse ministry, retention ministry, and prison ministry."

The church is also preparing a new capital campaign drive for the next phase of its new church project.

An artist's rendering of the plans for a new Bethel AME Church.

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