By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
DEVILLE, La. (LBM) – Two hundred sixty students kicked off the new school year with worship and a colored powder war at Philadelphia Baptist Church, Deville. Importantly, the “Color Clash” evangelistic event was a catalyst for salvation decisions by 23 students. Student minister Andrew Barber said the event reinforced his students’ passion for reaching their classmates for Christ.
“The students were just ready to go all in on bringing their friends,” Barber told the Baptist Message. “They were excited for the ‘stuff,’ but we were up front that we were going to share Jesus with everyone in that room; and they bought in.”
Color Clash is Philadelphia’s biggest student outreach event of the year and features a Gospel presentation, giveaways and a chance for participants to engage in friendly battle using colored powder.
The church prepared for the event with months of prayer and a mass distribution of flyers by Philadelphia students to classmates.
The outreach effort proved successful as 125 first-time visitors attended.
“When God answered, he answered in an incredible and intentional way,” Barber shared. “I had numerous students come up to me after with excitement that the friend they invited gave their life to Christ. My favorite comment was from a freshman basketball player who said, ‘Two of my teammates got saved tonight.’”
Junior Gabe Lewis, the son of Louisiana Baptist Youth Strategist Brandon Lewis, said he was overcome with joy after seeing three people whom he had invited at the event.
“It was awesome to see so many of the invitations end up in so many areas of our school,” Lewis said. “I was jumping for joy knowing they came and then also seeing some of my classmates accept Christ. I can’t wait to see what God does with our youth group the rest of the year.”
PBC Pastor Philip Robertson believes the event is only the start of a mighty movement of the Holy Spirit in the church and community.
“It was an incredible Wednesday night youth service,” he said. “What a Savior. I’m grateful to Andrew Barber and all of our adult volunteers who minister and shepherd our students.”