What a challenge and faith-building experience! The third Revive Youth Rally was held on July 29-30, 2022, with nearly 300 attending in Charlotte, N.C. Three years ago, this outreach/evangelistic event entered the planning stages with the goal of graduating from the Charlotte Sharon Church gymnasium to the Charlotte Convention Center with as many as 2,500 high school and collegiate students in attendance. The idea was to see a mix of Adventists and those who were not Adventists, specifically hoping to reach the unchurched. Having to postpone for two years due to COVID-19, there was a big question mark about proceeding with such a large gathering. Before the pandemic, this team had seen some growth and momentum with the first two annual rallies in 2018 and 2019, but would the growth match the investment?
The team prayed, “What should we do, God? Should we keep planning for a large event, or shrink the event because of COVID?” The youth rally board committed themselves to fasting and praying as a group, individually, and among church members. But still, they were not sure what God had planned. There was a feeling of, “If you build it, they will come.” But, three months from the event there were only about 60 people registered. With significant funds committed in contracts, worry started to creep up.
y event had been planned in hopes of having as many as 2,500 high school and collegiate students at the event. The idea was to see a mix of Adventists and those who were not Adventists, specifically hoping to reach Emails were sent to youth pastors in the Charlotte area. In an answer to prayer, the registrations started to come in. Even with the increase in registration, there was still the worry that it wouldn’t be enough to cover the accruing expenses. So, the chairman of the board started to pray specifically for money. God provided. Money came in, and more people registered. Some extremely generous people who believed in evangelism for the youth, the Carolina Conference, and the Southern Union added support. The week before the event, the rest of the money showed up. God sent close to 300 people. Most of them were not Seventh-day Adventists.
In the end, it was a powerful weekend that will set the stage for years to come, with amazing speakers like Richie Halversen and Roger Hernadez, a pro gamer, a Christian comedian, a former pro-MLB player, and amazing Christian musicians leading people to Jesus.
A community services project working with the Carolina Conference, David Graham, and Forrest Watson, assembled 370 disaster relief buckets. With compassion international, which usually gets a 1% sponsor rate from events, a 10% sponsor rate was reached. They were amazed by the generosity of the young people in attendance.
To top that, when Richie Halversen, Southern Union church growth director, made a call for people to come forward with decision cards, there were 24 decisions by young people to give their lives to Christ. Another 14 requested Bible study, and 45 students requested prayer.
With numbers like that, every cent that was spent, every prayer that went up, and every hour of work from the amazing volunteers made for an amazing weekend of revival, devotion, and transformation.
To find out more or to send a student next year, visit the website at www.reviveyouthrally.com.
Carolina | November 2022