By Daphne Monix Higgins,
The event was planned to be held in the parking lot of College Hill Missionary Baptist Church, but the weather had other ideas. The Youth Ministry of the church, located at 1600 Florence Ave., Jackson, did not let the forecast of rain dampen the spirits of their hosting a special Wednesday Night worship event for the young people of the church and community.
The event, “Park and Praise” was held recently in the sanctuary of the church, instead of the parking lot and it came with a lot of praise from the young participants and their guests.
Linda Rush, the director of the church’s Youth Ministry said, “The impact of COVID-19 forced us to think outside of the box to how we would adapt our worshiping experience during an unprecedented pandemic year. We stepped up to the challenge and created a fun-filled unique event – we dubbed as “Park and Praise.” This event was also enjoyed by parents, as well as our children, youth and college ministries. Despite the challenges we have faced thus far, this event reaffirms Psalm 150 – ‘We will Praise Ye the Lord’ – regardless!”
The evening offered the young people of the church the opportunity to fellowship in person, while displaying their excitement for being in God’s House. Gospel music filled the room, greetings and prayers were shared and the word of God was delivered by the guest speaker, Samuel Green, 16, an active member of Berean Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Jackson.
The son of Louis and Joann Green, Samuel has preached God’s word in over 450 churches in cities in Mississippi, Alabama, Ar and Texas. God has also blessed Samuel to preach in Calgary Alberta, Canada. Locally, Samuel has been featured on WLBT- 3’s weekly segment, “Look Around Mississippi,” and Fox 40’s “Morning Show,” as well as “The Jackson Showcase Music Awards.”
He had a regional appearance on Fox 6 Birmingham. Nationally, he has appeared on CNN’s special broadcast, “Faces of Faith’” and NBC’s “Today Show” where he was interviewed by Kathy Lee Gilford and Hoda Kotb. Samuel has also completed filming the new TV series entitled, “Bible Treasures,” a TV series that airs regularly on 3ABN Kids Network TV and is shown worldwide.
Rush added, “We truly appreciate our guest speaker, Samuel Green, for his dynamic and inspirational message.”
Ashley Knight, president of the Youth Ministry, shared her delight in the evening by saying, “The Park and Praise was a wonderful event with great energy. The past year has kept us from being together like we would like to be. This gave us a chance to get together with our current youth ministry members and new ministry members. We had a great time.”
The young people of church also gathered weeks earlier in the parking lot of the church to offer a community service to school aged children in the surrounding neighborhood.
The College and Youth Ministries hosted a “Welcome Back to School” Supplies Drive-thru a few weeks after the start of school to make sure that all children who still needed supplies were properly equipped. The event hosts lined the rear of the church’s parking lot with bookbags filled with binders, tablets, writing utensils, personal protective equipment and etc. More than 50 bookbags were prepared and given away.
Arion Parks, a first-year teacher at Raines Elementary and a member of the College Ministry, said, “Just being a part of this event was heart-warming. To know that our children can have all of the supplies they need makes for a more comfortable learning environment for the child and the parent. To see the smiles on their faces when they open their backpacks is such a joy. Thank you, College Hill, for helping to take care of our children.”