It was during the opening session of the 63rd Annual Youth Congress and Leadership Training of the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas that two outstanding young people, Myesha Johnson of the Pennsylvania District and Donte Layton of the Washington-Virginia District took to the microphone to deliver the annual youth addresses.
Both young people did an outstanding job speaking on the theme "Youth Embracing a New Era with Jesus in MySpace". With an apparent eye on the changing landscape of the technological world, Myesha spoke about how the creative and Christ-centered usage of the internet in general and MySpace in particular, could be an effective tool of evangelism for the church. Donte took a more traditional approach and spoke about putting God in the personal areas of one's life.
It was evident that the two young people have a God consciousness that rivals many persons much older than themselves. Their delivery, punctuated with sound doctrine and delivered with passion, made their families and the delegates who have accompanied them to the Youth Congress extremely proud.
Their speeches launched a wonderful day of teaching and information and was a perfect prelude to the Youth Awareness Symposium that followed later on during the morning/afternoon session.
Complimenting the service was the singing of the Congress Youth for Christ Choir which consisted of 58 young people from around the country who came together to provide the ministry of music for the day.
The Youth Awareness Symposium took what many might conside a daring step, by tackling two topics that are sorely needed to be discussed and addressed by the church.
The first of the two topics is the growing misusage of the internet by those who would prey upon the young and the innocent. This topical discussion was led by Brother Larnada Blackmon, who provided those in attendance with a wonderful powerpoint presentation that warned young people to be careful about the information they exchange with people on the other side of a computer.
The second topic was a frank, honest and informative presentation on HIV/AIDS by YPI alumni Michelle D. Morgan who was happy to be returning to the YPI after 15 years. Ms Morgan introduced a number of facts to the young people as well as a series of warning of behaviors that could prove fatal. Embedded in her presentation were facts and figures that illustrated that members of the African American community make up over half of the reported cases of HIV/AIDS in this country.
The session was presided over by Sister Kaye Littlejohn, of the Second Episcopal Diocese and who served as Chairlady. The session was attended by the bishops, supervisors, elders, pastors and delegates that represented a powerful cross-section of the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas.