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Posted: March 21, 2013 9:10 p.m.

Local Christian youths rally

More than 300 middle school and high school students representing 13 different churches and denominations from the Conyers-Covington area, as well as Stockbridge, came together this past weekend at Heritage Hills Baptist Church in Conyers to, “love Jesus and love each other.”

DNow (Disciple Now) is a nationwide nonprofit Christian organization which holds a big weekend rally annually for sixth through 12th graders to connect with God and friends as described on its Facebook page. A small group of youth pastors brought DNow to the Conyers community about six years ago. They were seeking to do something for the local youths by teaching them how to be like Christ, living in this world, but with a heart for others.

“This [past weekend] was about being UNTAMED, forgetting all that previously held us back, whatever it was, and embracing the love of Christ for ourselves and for those around,” said Sarah Jacob, youth pastor of Life Church Conyers.

The UNTAMED theme for the weekend was all about having complete freedom and healing through Christ, said Jacob.

Speaker Wes Springer preached the word during the rally and Alabama-based worship band “Hello August” inspired through music.

One of the driving forces behind DNow comes from John 17:21, “That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

“DNow is typically geared toward teenagers ages 12 to 18,” Jacob said.

“One of the most amazing moments of the weekend was witnessing the Holy Spirit moving through the high schoolers as they prayed and interceded for the middle schoolers and vice versa.”

Over the years, DNow has helped internationally by sponsoring a child or helping to build wells in third world countries, but Jacob said DNow Conyers wanted to show the area youths they don’t have to leave the country to help others and the mission field starts wherever they are in the county.

“There are so many people just a backyard away who are in need,” Jacob said.

Students packed out the sanctuary of Heritage Hills this year and plans are already in the works for next year’s rally to be held in March. Local youth pastors recognized there is a great need in the community, and they strive to make a difference through student ministries.

“We want to put forth every effort to change the environment around these students through an effort that we are calling DoNow,” Jacob said. “Through DoNow, students and student ministries around the area will partner with Mr. John Sarvis’ ministry ‘Let the Children Come’ in order to feed and distribute hygiene items and toys to families that may not have any. We plan on doing DoNow as long as we possibly can!”

For more information about DNow Conyers, contact Heritage Hills Baptist youth pastor Andy Futch at 770-827-4761 or Life Church youth pastor Sarah Jacob at sgjacob727@yahoo.com.

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