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Students from Lookout Mountain Baptist Association focus on ‘Our God’comment (0)

August 16, 2012

By Maggie Walsh

Students from Lookout Mountain  Baptist Association focus on ‘Our God’

In an era where technology reigns supreme, spending a weekend without cellphones is unheard of. But that is exactly what 22 youth did July 13–15 at the 6th annual Godfest youth retreat sponsored by Lookout Mountain Baptist Association at Paint Rock Valley Lodge in Estillfork.

“At first they miss [their phones], but then they don’t even notice they’re gone,” said Jerome Manley, volunteer youth leader for Welcome Hill Baptist Church, Fort Payne, and youth director for Lookout Mountain Association. “Not that it would’ve mattered because nobody had service anyway.”

Worship services, quiet times, adult skits, jam sessions and recreational times kept the seventh- through 12th-grade students busy and involved in Christ-centered activities throughout the weekend. Daniel Lawson, pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church, Collinsville, was the speaker for the retreat. 

Each year the Lord gives Manley a theme song, he said, and the teaching goes from there. This year’s theme song was “Our God” by Chris Tomlin, leading Manley to teach lessons on miracles from the book of John. 

“This weekend, we talked to the youth a lot about finding God’s vision for their lives,” he said. “Now is the time to be praying for that because it’s going to take miracles if you’re following God’s leading.”

By the conclusion of Godfest, two youth followed that leading and accepted Christ.

In addition to Welcome Hill, four other churches participated in the youth retreat: New Bethel Baptist Church, Collinsville; Shady Grove Baptist Church, Collinsville; Little River Baptist Church, Cedar Bluff; and Church of God of Prophecy, Leesburg. 

“Since we’re small, us (churches) getting together seemed to make the most sense,” Manley said. He noted four of the six youth from Welcome Hill attended Godfest and the other participating churches each have about the same size youth group as Welcome Hill.

Carah Sarratt, an incoming freshman at Northeast Alabama Community College in Rainsville, has attended every Godfest and said even though they had a smaller group attend this year, “it was still amazing.”

“I enjoy it so much because I love getting closer to God and the people at Godfest,” said Sarratt, a member of Shady Grove Baptist.

One of her favorite parts of Godfest is the jam sessions where the boys and girls are separated so they can openly talk about problems. Younger kids get to learn a lot by hearing about older kids’ experiences, Sarratt said, such as ways to avoid problems or making the same mistakes.

The 18-year-old said although she cannot attend Godfest as a student anymore, she plans to return as a chaperone when she turns 21.

(Maggie Walsh, TAB intern)

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