Baptist Convention highlights work of area youths

Many youngsters were recognized at the Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention 3rd Annual Awards Luncheon are pictured here during the March 29 ceremony. — PHOTO BY SAMARIA BAILEY

Twenty-four youth from Philadelphia and surrounding counties were honored for service in their respective churches at the Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention’s 3rd Annual Awards Luncheon, held March 29 at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church.

The luncheon was started by the Convention’s Eastern Regions’ Youth and Young Adult Ministry as a way to express appreciation for some of the group’s brightest youngsters.

“We try to acknowledge our youth and our young adults who serve in ministries in local assemblies,” said State Director Gilbert Kinsey. “It’s to help them grow spiritually and help them know it takes support, leadership and mentoring in this Christian walk. And the impact of it is to go be a resource to someone else – not be selfish-minded, but be a resource in all walks of life: school, sports organizations. We want them to be a [resource] in a spiritual way.”

For the selection process, the convention asked member churches to nominate two deserving youth.

Those that were recognized at Saturday’s event serve in a range of roles at their churches – in music and ministries and on usher boards.

Some also take part in the Convention’s youth programming, which includes such quarterly mission work as visiting nursing homes and hospitals to minister, and an annual “convention” or “retreat” where they attend Bible classes and enrichment activities like “college night.”

“I feel great because I’ve been helping people,” said M’Kaiyah Commeger, a fourth grader who attends the Shalom Baptist Church. “I give people my clothes that are too small for me, [and] I sing in the junior choir.” Commeger has also bore a kidney disease since 2008, but noted she still continues her work in the church.

“It doesn’t stop me because I take my medicine,” she said, adding that by being a part of the church, she has realized some spiritual lessons. “I’ve learned that the Lord is always watching over me and keeping me safe.”

Gabriel Davis, a member of Mount Olive Baptist Church, was also an award recipient. Singled out in the Convention’s program book as one “often called to be the worship leader,” he said having served in multiple roles has benefited him as much as it has his church.

“I try to hype the crowd and find creative ways to serve God,” he said of his worship leadership. “[And] I help out with the little kids in church school — I might read the lesson, help them with different words they don’t know and give them the meaning of a text. It [teaches] me different mental and social skills [and] makes me a better person.”

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