Children From Atholton Church and Academy are ‘Called’ to Evangelize
Story, photos and video by Michelle Greene
Children from Chesapeake Conference’s Atholton church in Columbia, Md., recently led an evangelistic series themed “Called” under a tent pitched on the church grounds. Each night following singing and arts and crafts, a child from the church or Atholton Adventist Academy (AAA)—located on the same campus—delivered a sermon.
According to Anastacia Ferguson-Bansie, associate pastor for Children’s and Youth Ministries, the nightly series highlighted the importance of the role of children in ministry. She says, “Their voice needs to be heard, not only on the playground, but on the pulpit as well.”
Sarita Blyden, the junior Children’s Ministries director for the church, began the meetings with a sermon, “Called to Love.” Other nightly speakers, Helen Moreland, Brianna Hastick and Carsten Myers, revealed how everyone is called by Jesus, called to grow, called to serve and called to follow.
This series gave some of the young attendees, who are also members of an Adventurer club, the opportunity to achieve the evangelism badge.
Claudette Duhaney, Pathfinder director for Chesapeake Conference’s Reisterstown (Md.) church, also manages a global Pathfinder group and live streamed the event to the members stationed in Canada, the Bahamas, Jamaica and other parts of the world.
In-person attendance grew from 58 on opening night to 142 by the final evening, followed by a Sabbath worship in which children led the entire service with skits, songs, scripture and short sermons by Anna Singalla, Myles and Arriannah Guity and Anja Ericson.
Ericson, the final speaker of the series, illustrated how God’s children are called to be fishers of men.
With the help of Adventurer and Pathfinder leaders, Mark O’Ffill, AAA chaplain, and Bansie planned this evangelistic effort.
“Our children are the future leaders of our church,” says Bansie. “It is our responsibility as a church to nurture the gifts God has placed in them by helping them to recognize that they have been called and have a special role to play in building up God’s kingdom.”