Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Academy Prepares Present-Day Spiritual Leaders, Pine Forge Academy, Ja'Chin Holness, Stephen Richardson, The 361 Podcast, Christophe Whyte, Kory Douglas

Pine Forge Academy Prepares Present-Day Spiritual Leaders

Story by Tracey Jackson

In the halls of Pine Forge Academy (PFA), a vibrant atmosphere of spiritual growth permeates the campus, nurtured by the dedicated efforts of Ja’Chin Holness, PFA chaplain, and Stephen Richardson, PFA church pastor. Their mission? To equip students with the tools, understanding and fervor to spread their love for God to the world.

Over the past three years, this commitment has borne fruit, with more than 50 students undergoing baptism and experiencing tangible transformations in their character and deportment. At the heart of this transformative journey is Holness, affectionately known as “Chap,” whose passion for guiding young hearts and minds is palpable. Under his guidance, students take active roles in planning and leading prayer meetings and vespers services through the Spiritual Life Committee. According to Holness, the key lies in empowering students to express their love for the Divine in meaningful and effective ways. “These students love the Lord! You just have to teach them how to express it,” he affirms.

Collaborating closely with the chaplain, Richardson has been instrumental in fostering a culture of spiritual growth and expression. His conviction of training youth in the participation of all parts of the worship service has resulted in an ongoing stream of students trained by the church media team, learning helpful skills they can carry back to their home and future churches.

Another area of ministry is The 361 Podcast, hosted by Christophe Whyte, a member of the Class of 2024. The platform, which can be found on Spotify, serves as a space for discussing a myriad of topics relevant to modern-day spirituality.

One of the hallmarks of PFA’s approach to nurturing spiritual leaders is the recognition and cultivation of students’ gifts and callings. Many students, inspired by their spiritual journey, have felt compelled to share their insights and experiences with their peers. Nasya Romulus (’25), is one such student with aspirations for pastoral ministry. After delivering a powerful sermon at a prayer meeting during her sophomore year, Romulus continued to hone her skills and was eventually chosen as the Friday vespers speaker at the Fall Parent’s Weekend, showcasing her growth and impact. But Romulus is not alone in her journey. PFA is a breeding ground for young preachers and speakers, with students like Jeremiah Ampadu (’26), Hayden Reynolds (’24), Marie-Michelle Desir (’25) and Andres Trellis (’25), to name a few, stepping up to the pulpit to share their faith and experiences with their peers. These budding inspirational speakers are embodying a message of hope, transformation and love that resonates deeply with their fellow students.

As PFA continues to nurture and empower its students to become present-day preachers and spiritual leaders, the impact of their efforts reverberates far beyond the school’s walls. These young men and women are not just preparing for a future in ministry; they are already making a difference in the lives of those around them, spreading light in a world that sorely needs it.

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