By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – Louisiana Baptist youth and adult leaders are gearing up for the 36th annual Youth Evangelism Celebration, a statewide assembly focused on preparing the next generation to share Christ with the world.
Scheduled Nov. 19-20 in the Rapides Parish Coliseum, Alexandria, the largest annual gathering of Louisiana Baptists will feature messages by Daryl Jones, founder of Point Ministries, high-energy music, times of fellowship and much more.
Last year’s event drew more than 5,300 youth and resulted in 830 decisions for Christ.
“We are excited for this year’s lineup,” Louisiana Baptist Youth Strategist Lee Myers said. “I believe God is going to do some amazing things over the course of those couple of days. I’m asking folks to start praying even now before the event! Pray that God’s presence is felt by every person that comes in the building. Pray for those on the program and those in attendance. I really sense big things are going to happen at this event! Don’t miss it!”
Caitlin Rolon is one of those who will be making a return trip to YEC.
Rolon began coming to the event in 2006 as a student at Simpson Baptist Church and now as an adult chaperone at First Baptist Church, Leesville.
“YEC will always stir in me a passion to keep learning, growing my relationship with the Lord, and helping kids come to know Jesus,” she said. “I even had my second date with my husband, Kaplan, at the Crowder concert during YEC 2021. YEC was a pivotal part in keeping me grounded in my faith and involved in church even after graduating high school.”
Larry Emory, pastor of Longstraw Baptist Church, Choudrant, has taken his students to YEC since 2013. He said the event is a highlight for his youth each year.
“When we begin promoting it in May each year, I always tell the church, ‘I am going to YEC; does anybody want to go with me?’” he said.
“From there, the excitement begins to grow.
“The only time I missed was when my wife, Judy, died the Friday before we were to leave on that Sunday in November 2021,” he continued. “The youth and leaders said they would cancel the trip and I told them my wife would never want you to do that. I sent them on their way that Sunday.
“I do not want to miss YEC,” he said. “It is inspiring to the church and to me personally.”
Throughout the two-day event, Louisiana Baptist teens will be challenged to celebrate what Christ has done in their lives and to share their stories of how Christ changed their lives, and they will be engaged in a number of different ways to experience a message about Him:
— weRcalled will offer worship music.
— The Skit Guys of Edmond, Okla., will present comedy and serve as master of ceremonies.
— The Exiles will provide entertainment.
— The conference will close with a concert by Cain.
The event kicks off Sunday, 7 p.m., and is scheduled to end by 10 p.m., Monday. For more information, visit yeclouisiana.org