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Women who answer God's call provide valuable local ministries (1/11/04)

Pastors predict bleak future if local casinos open (12/28/03)

Soap, figurines, candles keep books company in Christian stores (12/21/03)

In order to form a more perfect union (11/30/03)

Federal Marriage Amendment receives Fellowship’s endorsement (11/23/03)

Drug czar congratulates Teen Challenge (11/16/03)

Christian fiction no long back-shelf item (10/19/03)

DREAM3 benefits churches (10/19/03)

Youth rise to DC03 challenge (10/12/03)

Ministry uses drama, music to touch city for Christ (9/28/03)

Displeased viewers protest raunchy programs (9/21/03)

Grit, determination key to cities blocking cable pornography (8/31/03)

Economic slump doesn't always derail giving (8/24/03)

Ruling threatens family, Christian leaders say (8/17/03)

Anti-aging options require balanced approach to health, beauty (8/10/03)

Convoy of Hope reaches out to inner-city neighborhood (7/27/03)

Fight for the flag moves to nation’s schools (7/20/03)

Drama speaks volumes to alienated veterans (7/13/03)

Church's integrity well received following nightmarish ordeal (6/29/03)

Tornadoes cut wide swath across nation's midsection (6/22/03)

Accountability partners provide human feedback that filters don't (6/15/03)

Checking out your horoscope? God advises you to skip it (6/8/03)

Christian filmmakers pursue wider market success (5/25/03)

Intervention is key to preventing suicide (5/18/03)

Adoption often right decision for young expectant mothers (5/11/03)

Dallas-based ministry keeps inmates out of jail (4/27/03)

Medical analysis of Jesus' death generates interest (4/20/03)

Small-town church reaches community (4/13/03)

Young married couples lulled by false sense of security (3/30/03)

Virtual gambling days may be numbered (3/23/03)

Contemporary Christian music copes with its continuing success (3/16/03)

A/G prayer event set for gathering in nation's capital (3/9/03)

Volunteers give church voice in community (2/23/02)

Federal law protects churches in zoning battles (2/16/03)

Singles find cyberspace dating not always match made in heaven (2/9/03)

Predators often plan strategies long in advance (1/19/03)

The Cross and the Switchblade still makes impact 40 years later (1/12/03)

Frontline Reports

2002 PE Report stories

2001 News Digest stories

2000 News Digest stories

Youth rise to DC03 Challenge

By Kirk Noonan (10/12/03)

Editor's note: for complete coverage of the 2003 General Council, please visit

The place teemed with thousands of teens, representing every species of the 13- to 18-year-old crowd, from Abercrombie & Fitch disciples to skaters to urban hip-hoppers to standard-issue jeans and T-shirt types.

The sheer number of them inspired awe. But what sent chills down many a youth pastor’s spine was watching them worship: hands raised, eyes clenched, bodies swaying, lips dripping with praises to God.

“To see thousands of teens with their hands lifted is what it’s all about,” said Tom Greene, the Assemblies of God’s national youth director. “I know I should be shocked, but I am beginning to expect this kind of worship from our youth. There is obviously a hunger for God.”

Welcome to DC03, a gathering of more than 13,000 teens and sponsors at the 50th General Council of the Assemblies of God. For four nights in July and August, teens from around the nation were challenged to live holier lives, make a positive difference in their communities and to worship with abandon.

“There has been a renewing with the Lord, themselves and with each other,” said Rebecca Crowe, a youth pastor from Westernport, Md. “God’s anointing is so strong on these teens it’s absolutely phenomenal.”

Jim Wellborn, A/G World Missions Ambassadors in Mission liaison, agreed. “The kids are right there with the speakers,” he said. “They’re so responsive and there is no end to their energy and zeal.”

Jeff Deyo, a worship leader formerly with Sonic Flood, led the teens into intense sessions of praise. With thousands of teens taking to the aisles and the area in front of the stage, Deyo kept the crowd focused.

“Your main purpose is to give Him glory,” Deyo told the teens. “We’re here to worship our God. Your body, your hands, your brain, your gifts and talents are made to worship. They’re not yours.”

With that in mind many of the teens hopped, pumped their fists, sang, knelt at their chairs, prayed and shouted out praises.

Throughout the week others worshiped by doing what they felt God had called them to do.

Heather Joy Terhark, a 17-year-old from Corwith, Iowa, came to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Fine Arts Festival. A talented artist, she had undertaken an ambitious project to raise enough money to buy a vehicle for a missionary by selling signed prints of her work.

“This is what God wants me to do,” she said as she sold her work in the upper lobby of the Washington Convention Center. “I’m giving everything to God and letting Him use it.”

During the opening night service a personalized video message from President George W. Bush played on gigantic television screens. As Bush thanked the teens for coming to the nation’s capital, hundreds of flashes from cameras went off throughout the hall.

Thomas E. Trask, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, also spoke to the teens. He expressed gratitude for their commitment to Christ and their desire to fulfill the Great Commission.

“We’re thrilled with what is going on here,” Trask told the teens. “The church of today is sitting before me and Jesus is going to continue to use you.”

Oklahoman youth evangelist and church planter Herbert Cooper encouraged the youth to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit at one of the gatherings. “The baptism in the Holy Spirit is for you!” Cooper, a former college football player, shouted at one point during his sermon. “When it comes to the baptism in the Holy Spirit you can’t work it up, you can’t emotionalize it. The Bible says it’s a free gift that you receive.”

When Cooper gave an altar call, scores of teens rushed down the aisles toward the altars; others walked slowly, contemplatively. Hundreds spoke in tongues as youth leaders and workers bobbed and weaved through the throng praying with them.

“Everyone was here for the same reason and that was to glorify God,” said Kevin Frank, 16, of Glens Falls, N.Y.

“Being here has lit a spark in me,” said Gabe Hensley, 17, from Kansas City, Mo. “That spark makes me want to see people in my community getting saved.”

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