The youth ministry department of Boonville's New Hope Christian Center will hold the aptly titled "Living Young, Wild & Saved" youth explosion weekend, beginning this Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Lion's Park will host the event where there will be games for children of all ages, bounce houses, group competitions and dance ministries.
New Hope's director of youth ministries, VerDonna Pinkett has helped organize it.
"From the youngest of kids, all the way up to 18 – we want everyone to come out. Local and almost-local talent will come in. We've got some real talent coming out – Cardell Williams is a rapper that switches up and tones everything down for the kids. He's real positive in the Sedalia community trying to do things for the youth there," she said.
"We're excited that our guest speaker will be Minister Michael Owens, Youth Minister from Creflo Dollar Ministries/World Changers Church International," said Darrell D. Luther, Sr., Bishop of New Hope.
Bishop is also a teacher for the Columbia public school system, and is consistently active in community events.
Saturday's event will not be the first that New Hope has organized. Regarding their youth, the church has been active in past Heritage Days and Christmas events, in addition to holding other youth explosion weekends – the last of the weekends being in 2010. Over 100 young people participated at the time. Pinkett expects an even higher number this year.
"What we're trying to do is bring in talent that will draw local kids to what we're doing on Saturday. We want the kids to know that there are other youth out there doing positive things out in the world and even out in the Christian community. Churches around here tend to be small and sometimes counts are low. An activity like this will gather all the youth together. We just want to give kids that feeling of being a kid that we can all remember," she said.
The Lion's Park game and show setup will have adult supervision. Parents are encouraged to come, but are assured that the environment, if they choose to drop their children off, will be drug and alcohol free. The day comes to an end at 8:00 p.m., and those that enjoyed themselves are invited to a 10:30 a.m. service on Sunday morning at New Hope's 600 6th Street location.
"Donnell McComb, from Neelyville, is an awesome speaker that'll be there on Saturday. He really speaks to the teens, to the youth. What's different this year is that our kids specifically asked for him to come. Our other speaker that's coming on Sunday, Minister Mike Owens happens to be the brother of one of our members," said Pinkett.