What started as a youth event for one church became a Southwest Region DNOW weekend!
After several scheduling conflicts and through the Holy Spirit’s leading, Pastor Allen Roberts and Pastor Forest Mills from Euclid Avenue Baptist Church in Bristol, VA began to see an opportunity for a regional youth event. They quickly reached out to their SBCV regional strategist, Travis Ingle, and began contacting pastors and youth leaders and organizing video calls to determine interest and begin planning.
With a high level of excellence and a spirit of obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading, the first Southwest Region DNOW weekend took place in the fall of 2022. Two other churches joined Euclid Avenue: First Baptist Church (Damascus) and Gethsemane Baptist Church (Richlands).
Speaker Chris Miller, discipleship pastor at Northside Community Church in Johnson City, TN, shared from 1 Samuel 17, which highlighted the theme, Wear Your Own Armor. Miller is an excellent communicator of God’s Word and gifted at reaching teens. He challenged those in attendance to “live with purpose” and to know that they are “seen, known, and loved fully by God.”
BJ Sinclair and his band led worship. Sinclair serves as the associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Damascus. Sinclair and his band have led worship for many years and are sensitive to how the Holy Spirit is moving and make adjustments accordingly.
“There was evidence of a sanctifying work throughout the weekend,” shared Pastor Roberts, who looks forward to this becoming an annual event and gathering more churches to participate.
“We do not want this to be a Euclid Avenue Baptist Church event but a Southwest event that anyone in the region can host… We hope to form an advisory council of 8-12 youth pastors and leaders from across the region to pray for, plan out, and participate in the next Southwest Region DNOW weekend.
“We know we can do more together than we can on our own. We began with three churches participating in the first DNOW weekend, [and] we believe we have laid a healthy foundation for this to grow among our regional churches.
“Our goal is for youth leaders and youth groups to join [us] and experience the power of ‘not alone.’” ■