Youth Explosion offers juveniles positive options

Published 9:28 am Thursday, April 8, 2010

Community Editor

Superior Court Judge Regina Parker wants to keep juveniles out of her courtroom and off the streets, where many of them get in trouble. She prays Youth Explosion, the now-annual event she helped organize, will do just that.
Last summer, Parker brought the faith-based youth event to Williamston. The first Youth Explosion featured gospel rappers, gospel singers, church choirs, evangelists and youth groups from across eastern North Carolina. This spring, Parker is spreading the word of the Lord and bringing the event to Washington.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the grassy area adjacent to the former Beaufort County Health Department building on Harvey Street. Lunch, including hamburgers, hot dogs and refreshments, will be served at noon.
Parker enlisted the help of Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Jones in bringing the event to Washington. Jones brought in the Kingdom Builders, a group of concerned residents from area churches that does evangelism work in the Seventh and Ninth street areas of the city, to help plan the event.
Youth Explosion is designed to “reach all youth, but particularly young people we see coming into the court system,” Jones said.
He’s hoping for a turnout of at least 300, but he said, “The Lord will bring who he wants to hear the message.”
Pastors from local churches will help spread that message with messages during the event.
“We hope to reach young people that don’t have a purpose. We want to show them a better way; guide them to a relationship with Jesus Christ,” Jones, who is giving the day’s final prayer and testimony, said.
Jones hopes Youth Explosion will occur annually, if not more often.
The event’s schedule includes Washington-based gospel rappers Seed Da’ Messenger and Cappello, youth choirs from House of Prayer Deliverance Ministries and St. John Church of Christ and Old Ford Church of Christ’s praise band. A 45-minute set by the Power Team, which performs feats of strength while delivering a gospel message, and a 30-minute closing set by the Love &Victory gospel-dance group, highlight the event. Pastor Thomas Lee with 15th Street Church of God will be the event’s master of ceremonies.
In case of rain, the event will be held at the Temple of Jesus Christ’s Family Center on Hackney Avenue. The Christian Community Events Committee, which helped organize the event, is promoting the Youth Explosion.