Bath church plans youth event

Published 8:00 pm Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

BATH — Bath Church of God is gearing up for its third big youth event, this one called Ignite Student Conference.
The event will be held Feb. 20 at the Turnage Theater in Washington, according to Pastor Ron Bousquet.
“We’re trying to build it each year,” Bousquet said of the conference. “We want to step it up a notch this year.”
To that end, the conference will feature a concert by Chris Sligh, a finalist in the sixth season of American Idol. Sligh is also an accomplished songwriter and his “Here Comes Goodbye,” recorded by Rascal Flatts, was nominated for a Grammy Award.
“It was Rascal Flatts’ 10th No. 1 hit song,” Bousquet said. “It jumped from No. 6 to No. 1 on April 25, 2009, and that was the biggest jump to No. 1 since Taylor Swift in December 2007.”
Sligh is no stranger to younger music enthusiasts, according to Bousquet.
“Chris is one of the more popular finalists on American Idol who didn’t win,” he said. “He’s been on Jay Leno and he’s traveling around the country. He’s had a lot of success.”
Ignite Student Conference will include a concert of contemporary Christmas music and a worship service. Joining Sligh on the program will be guest speakers Pastor Israel Campbell and Pastor Rachel Campbell, who also took part in last year’s event.
“We had about 400 people last year, and 65 made a profession of faith during that service,” Bousquet said. “It was tremendous.”
And while the event is youth-oriented, there is no age limit for those who wish to attend.
“It’s geared for teenagers and college-age young people, but we had people of all ages who were there last year,” Bousquet said.
Bousquet’s vision for Ignite Student Conference is to make a difference in the lives of young people.
“The kids in this area, and young people in general, are just bombarded today with sex, drugs and alcohol,” he said. “They’re just told that these things are going to bring them happiness, and they’re not. We just want to provide a positive influence and help them realize there is something better out there.”
Tickets are $10 if purchased before Feb. 8, and $12 after that date. Organizers welcome entire families and church youth groups; one such group from West Virginia has already reserved tickets.
“We never do this to make money. We have an entirely separate account for this, separate from the church,” Bousquet said. “It costs quite a bit to do this, but we are really blessed this year to have O’Neal’s Drug Store as a major corporate sponsor. And New Beginnings Fitness of Bayview has also stepped up to be a corporate sponsor, along with Double Portion, Propagand! and Trade Wilco.”
Tickets for the event are now on sale and can be purchased at Good News Christian Book Store in Washington, Straight Up Faith Gear Book Store in New Bern and
The event is expected to run from 6 to 9 p.m. and the doors will open at 5 p.m., according to Bousquet. For more information, visit