Hammond Youth Conference 2012 Recap

The First Baptist Church of Hammond hosted their annual nationwide Youth Conference in Hammond, Indiana from Tuesday, July 17 through Friday, July 20, 2012. Thirty nine of our young people attended this conference, and we had a great time despite some very hot weather! Of the thirty nine teenagers who attended we had several bus kids that were able to attend; we were very grateful everyone had an opportunity to be part of this – and many attended the conference for the first time.

Mr. Graves drove one bus transporting the 7th-9th grade students while Mr. Otterdahl drove the 10th-12th grade students along with a couple of 2012 graduates who attended, also. Mrs. Clear, Mr. and Mrs. Von Wald, and Mr. Brett Tidrick were all able to attend the conference and help out during the four days as chaperones. Mr. Brett Tidrick attended as a summer preacher intern with First Baptist Church of Rosemount. What a blessing it was to have these folks come and serve our young people during this important week.

We left at 8:11 a.m. on Tuesday, July 17 and endured a 100-plus degree day of travel with about every window down in the bus. We stayed in the dormitories at Hyles-Anderson College for the three nights. Since we did not have time to make it to the dormitories of Hyles-Anderson College on Tuesday, we cleaned up at an oasis and then went straight to First Baptist Church of Hammond. The evening service started at 6 p.m. and Dr. Kenny Baldwin and Dr. Schaap both preached with the Lord working in many of the hearts of our teenagers already that evening. An invitation was given and several went forward for various reasons. We had some students who had never heard Dr. Baldwin or Dr. Schaap preach. The young people enjoyed a pizza break during the midway part of the services, which ended at 11 p.m. that evening, making Tuesday a pretty long day for the young people.

Dr. Kenny Baldwin was the featured speaker for Youth Conference 2012.

Wednesday morning started at 10 a.m. The teenagers had their own session while the youth workers were in the Jack Hyles Memorial Auditorium. Lunch was served at approximately 12 p.m. for all of us, and then an afternoon session for everyone started at 1 p.m. and ended around 3:30 p.m. On Wednesday afternoon during this very session, Dr. Baldwin preached a message on salvation and over 100 teenagers accepted Christ as Saviour.

The afternoon dismissal on Wednesday had everyone head over to Hyles-Anderson College for games, contests, fireworks, etc. Nakwon, Jeff, Daniel F., and Nate participated in the annual basketball tournament. Unfortunately, we came up short in the very first game playing a team from North Carolina who happened to be the champions in a previous tournament. We also had a junior high basketball team represented in the tournament consisting of Daniel B., David B., Michael, and David W. Unfortunately, they also lost the first game they played but did their best to make it competitive.

On Thursday morning, the teenagers and youth workers had their own separate sessions starting at 10 a.m. The day was filled with some great preaching, skits, singing, etc. We witnessed Dr. Schaap confer upon Mr. Stuart Mason an honorary doctorate from Hyles-Anderson College. Dr. Stuart Mason is the new President of Hyles-Anderson College, and he was honored as a man with experience and capable leadership for the position. The conference showed a short video and stated that the First Baptist Church of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson College will be hosting a Youth Conference next year, July 16-18, 2013; the theme is iConference!

The chaperones enjoy some fellowship at Steak ‘n Shake on Thursday evening.

During the Thursday evening session, Dr. Schaap publicly mentioned and had Dr. Kenny Baldwin speak in the last session even though he was scheduled. The crowd cheered for Dr. Baldwin and Dr. Schaap joked that nobody loved him at all. Dr. Baldwin closed out the conference by preaching, “Shake It Off.” As the power of God moved in the hearts of hundreds of teenagers, several teenage guys made a decision for the call of God on their life to preach. Included with these decisions were three of our own young men from our church who surrounded their life to preach. We also had two ladies who either came for salvation, reassurance, and dedicating their life to Christ! We praise the Lord for how he worked in the hearts of many of the teenagers who went forward various times during the entire conference.

Mr. Graves would like to thank all of our chaperones, teenagers, and parents of the teenagers for a great conference. Thank you for allowing your young people to attend this conference. I believe they would agree the preaching for all of us is needed, and growing closer to the Lord Jesus Christ and making decisions to help us be better for Him is an important part in the life of a young person! Praise the Lord for how He works in our lives!

Click here for the Hammond Youth Conference pictures for 2012.
Click here for the Hammond Youth Conference pictures from 2010.

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  1. Young people, thank you for attending the Youth Conference! It was exciting to see the Lord work in your hearts. Remember the decisions you’ve made for Christ and resolve to work at doing what you need to do on a daily basis.

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