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Rushing to make a difference
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The absence of a place where 19-25 year olds can go and fellowship has led young adults to Brian Kitchens, family life director at The Church at Covington. These young adults wish to make a difference and impact others. After months of prayer and planning, RUSH - a College and Career Ministry - was created to provide an outlet for service and ministry.

RUSH is a meeting spot for college and career students or anyone in that age bracket.

"I'm not too far removed from that period, so I remember what it was like," Kitchens said. "It's really the first time when you make serious decisions that affect the rest of your life. You've been given a crash course on life for 18 years, and then suddenly you are thrown into it all."

The goal of RUSH is to help students make their way through the transition from teen to adult. In doing so, TCAC will offer relevant biblical teaching, worship and opportunities to network with peers.

Acts 2:2 gave inspiration to Kitchens and Arlissa Jones in the design of the logo. The text describes the Holy Spirit as a mighty rushing wind coming upon the people in the upper room.

"We want the program to be a place where young adults can come and experience the power of God," Brian said.

Kitchens said the Rev. David Payne was instrumental in the development of this ministry.

"He's open to new ideas and leads by example, encouraging us to get out and test the waters," he said.

 RUSH will meet the first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. starting Nov. 7 with Phil Payton, the first of revolving speakers from The Church at Covington and the community.

Phil and Cheryl Payton said their original goal was to help get the RUSH ministry launched. Phil stated a deeper reason for their wanting the program to succeed.

"We have a daughter 19 years old who is a freshman at Perimeter College," he said. "I have seen her grow out of the youth to a place where she didn't fit in. I want to see our young adults have a place to go and take ownership in a ministry and fellowship with kids the same age and grow in the Lord and not fall off in that gap that society has for them."

Phil recalled being 19 years old when he fell into that gap and was 41 years old before he resolved to have a relationship with God. Payton has the hope that by sharing his experiences, he can prevent someone from making the same mistake.

Employed by CR Bard, Kitchens graduated from Mercer University. He and his ministry partner and wife, Melissa, have two children: Cohen, age 2 and Ava, 10 months. Brian counts on his wife to be his second set of eyes.

"Melissa does a lot of things behind the scenes," he said. "She tells me when we have good ideas, or if we should do something different."

Students who come to RUSH will have the opportunity to sign up for some of the Semester Groups. Following the traditional calendar for colleges, groups will change every semester and have a break in the summer time.

Targeted to begin early 2008, Semester Groups will meet to fellowship a couple of times a month and participate in community service projects.

RUSH is being marketed mostly by word of mouth.

"We have a good mix of kids here that are promoting it in the colleges," said Kitchens.. "Because it is not exclusive to The Church at Covington, we are open to partnering with other ministries and other churches. We believe in combining efforts and making a bigger impact."

For more information, visit or call The Church at Covington at (770) 786-7293.