Student athletes find Christ at Back to School Bash

Published 7:00 am Sunday, August 13, 2023

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The Butler County Ministerial Association hosted its 17th annual Back to School Bash where many student athletes responded in prayer and to the acceptance of Christ as their savior. The event took place at the Hank Williams Park in Georgiana on June 28. 

Founder of the Ministerial Association, Pastor Allen Stephenson, said there were more than 350 students who took part in the fellowship, food, music, encouragement, and prayer. 

“We had about 60 kids come forward who accepted the invitation for prayer for somebody they knew, for themselves, or to re-dedicate their lives to Christ,” Stephenson said. “Out of the 60, there were nine professions of faith. Their lives are now changed forever. If there had only been one profession, it would have been worth it.”

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Samuel Lowery led an inspiring praise and worship performance before three speakers shared their message, explained Stephenson. The guest speakers included Fellowship of Christian Athletes Director Jami Sikes, who spoke about the greatness of the Lord, Pastor Reggie Williams of Centerpoint Church, who preached about the gospel, and keynote speaker, former Faulkner University head football coach Tommy Wasden, who spoke about the importance of choices.

Stephenson said he is very grateful to the community for its generosity, as the whole event was paid for by sponsors. 

“I want to thank the Soldiers of the Cross organization for giving away close to 200 Bibles,” Stephenson said. “I thank Sheriff Danny Bond and the four inmates who helped unload and reload 500 chairs for the event, Brushy Creek Church for aid and support, Food Giant in Georgiana for all of the hotdogs, Super Foods in Greenville for all of the buns, Walmart for all of the water bottles, and First Baptist Church of Greenville for all of the chips. I’m very grateful to all of the guest speakers, Samuel Lowery, all of the pastors present who prayed over the students, and my wife Gina who helped in any way needed.”

Gina Stephenson said she is excited for the work God began in the students that night. 

“We are always amazed at how God brings the Back to School Bash together,” Gina said. “All of God’s people stepped up and He gets all of the credit! The kids get to go back to school knowing there is a God who loves them enough to send His son to die for them. They are not alone this school year or any other time.”