Life can be confusing and chaotic. That’s true for adults, but it’s also very real for middle and high school students. Finding a sense of stability, connection and spirituality is critically important.
That’s what the Main Event had sought to offer for the last 41 years. Organized by The Gathering Place in Brunswick, the programs serve as a place for students to learn about God in an energetic and welcoming environment. Students at Main Events are all different kinds of people, coming together to be a part of a community centered around understanding the love of God.
It’s something that’s proved incredibly meaningful for Izzy Counsil.
“This program provides a place for students of all ages to meet, hang out and most importantly, talk about God,” the freshman attendee said.
The Gathering Place youth Christian organization is kicking this summer off by hosting multiple middle and high school school free worship gatherings at Community Church in St. Simons and Brunswick.
The events are taking place June 12 and 26, as well as every Sunday in July. Hundreds of students attend the event weekly, with the Gathering Place staff and volunteers helping put the whole thing together. Every gathering will include live music, a speaker and a fun environment for students to grow their faith and connect with their community.
“Each night is a full production with lights, live music, skits, games and features dynamic special guest speakers who address relevant topics for students,” said Lucas Ramirez, CEO of The Gathering Place.
The upcoming speakers and performers include George Dennehy (June 12), Jimmy Gunderman (June 26), Massey McLain (July 3), Pastor Kenny Grant (July 10), Zion (July 10) and Camilo Buchanan (July 17). This assortment of speakers is a way to connect with all of the different kinds of students attending the events.
“Students also enjoy special guests The Gathering Place brings in, including bestselling authors, hip-hop artists, comedians, nationally known speakers, actors, pastors and musicians. We bring an array of special guests to connect with a diverse group of students,” Ramirez said.
Ramirez emphasizes the value that The Gathering Place puts on students receiving a message of hope, due to the struggles with mental health issues many middle and high school students are facing on a day-to-day basis. He hopes The Gathering Place and Main Event will be a place of hope for students.
“Today’s youth generation is struggling with more anxiety and depression than ever before. They need a message of everlasting hope that is only found in the person of Jesus. We want students to know that they are loved by God, by their community and that there is freedom in Christ to live in a way that is daringly different from the destructive trends that inundate their world,” Ramirez said.
The Main Event originally was started by students at the University of Georgia, and continued on by local students and residents in the Golden Isles. This program is very important to the community, as it shows a way in which students come together to have fun and grow their faith with friends. The goal of this program has always been to be an Christian outreach program for students in the area with a fun and energetic environment.
“Here, people’s differences don’t matter, we are all here to have a good time, and even if some people don’t know it, learn about God in a way that applies and makes sense to pre-teens and teens,” says Counsil.
“You should expect to be welcomed (at the Main Event gatherings). The volunteers and staff at the Main Event are so nice and are happy to talk to you if you don’t know anyone.”