So let us have the prayers … that the message of truth may reach this large army of favored youth, and that some of them may be gathered out and hastily prepared to spread the message of the third angel,” M.C. Strachan, Gospel Herald, February1907.
Matthew Carpenter Strachan was a pastor who worked arduously to make the annual Florida Camp Meetings (prior to the organization of the South Atlantic Conference) a great success. During his time, the Florida Camp Meetings brought many, many visitors from other Seventh- day Adventist Conferences.
Remembering Strachan’s good work in Florida, the name selected for the newly organized Youth Federation was M.C. Strachan Chapter. The life of this pioneer worker came to an end in the late summer of 1951.
Today, this Federation is one of four in the Southeastern Conference, and has a membership of 69 churches. Its emphasis is on youth leadership, and preparation for Christ’s second coming.
The Southeastern Conference M.C. Strachan Youth Federation held its annual youth federation services in Orlando, Fla. The weekend was packed with dynamic worship services, powerful workshops, children’s church, and community outreach activities.
The theme for the event, as well as for their calendar year, was “The Winner Within.” The focus centered around an intentional request for the youth to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit.
The Federation program began Friday night at Patmos Chapel, Winter Park, Fla. Young people from all over the Conference gathered for a praise and worship service that set the tone for the weekend. Byron Crockett, senior pastor of the Emmanuel Church in Orlando, Fla., and Mt. Pleasant Church in Leesburg, Fla., was the evening’s speaker. His focus was redefining the meaning of “winning.” “Your definition of winning may not be my definition of winning, because if it’s not with God, then it’s not winning,” says Crockett.
More than 1,700 individuals attended the Sabbath services held at the Majestic Life Ministries Church. The program featured an array of talented young people, inspirational music, and a powerful word from the Lord by his manservant, Georges Fleurimond, associate pastor of Palm Bay Church, Palm Bay, Fla. When the appeal was offered, the young people pressed forward together, and askedGod to make them “winners.”
The afternoon activities offered the youth a choice between workshops and an outreach activity. The title of the first workshop was “The Faith Effect: Religion vs. Relationship with God (Practical Ways to Strengthen My Relationship with God in 2016),” by Lindsey Syeh, associate pastor of Patmos Chapel Church in Winter Park, Fla. The second workshop presented was “In It to Win It: 7 Steps to a Better Relationship with God,” by Elvis Epps, Ed.D., a national motivational speaker from West Palm Beach, Fla.
For the first time in a number of years, the Federation was able to have a community outreach project. This project was six months in the making, as support was enlisted of local AYMs to collect toiletries and gently used purses. Sabbath, May 14, 2016, the youth came together to organize and pack the toiletries into each gently used purse and ziploc baggie. The evening program prominently featured the youth in a display of Bible bowl games, thought-provoking poetry, engaging drama presentation, and uplifting music. The night ended with an all-star basketball game, complete with medals and trophies for the victors.
On Sunday, all the donated items were brought to the Coalition for the Homeless in Orlando, Fla. While on site, a group of volunteers were prepared to assemble bag lunches for the women’s and children’s campus, while another group served meals to the men’s campus. The chaplains were on hand to offer a word of prayer and a devotional thought. More than 200 individuals were served.
M.C. Strachan functions primarily to support the local youth ministries of the territories from southern Georgia to Florida, engaging the youth in year-round Federation events, and offers community support, training, and numerous opportunities to volunteer. “If we can bless the lives of just one person and introduce them to Jesus, it makes what we do worthwhile,”says Sherrie Smith, Federation president. The Youth Federation invites you to participate and support their events. To learn more, visit www.mcsyouth.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Southeastern | January 2017