CU sports ministry class leads Bible conference for juveniles

CU sports ministry class leads Bible conference for juveniles

Dec. 5, 2011
For Immediate Release

Campbellsville University students and teens from Lincoln Village Juvenile Detention Center gathered together for a Bible conference held by a CU sports ministry class. Front row, from left: Ronnie Mink, a CU freshman from Liberty, Ky.; Emma Calvert, a CU sophomore from Scottsville, Ky.; Chelsi Netherland, a CU senior from Leitchfield, Ky.; Rebekah Southwood, a CU sophomore from Campbellsville, Ky.; Brett Sowell, a CU sophomore from Auburn, Ky.; Yves Jean Baptiste, a CU freshman from Simpsonville, Ky.; Logan Hazelwood, a CU graduate assistant from Salvisa, Ky.; and Kyle Davis, CU director of campus security/safety. Back row—Mike Smith, recreational director at Lincoln Village and a CU senior from Hodgenville, Ky.; Sherry Bowen, secretary for CU’s School of Theology; Bright Agyei-Sakyi, a CU senior from Ghana, West Africa; Green, Lincoln Village; Fast, Lincoln Village; Combs, Lincoln Village; Andrew McGinnis, a CU senior from Danville, Ky.; Atkins, Lincoln Village; Dr. Frank Cheatham, CU vice president for academic affairs; Dr. DeWayne Frazier, CU associate vice president for academic affairs; Sheri Taylor; and Dr. G. Ted Taylor, professor of Christian studies and lead professor of CU sports ministry program. (Campbellsville University Photo by Christina L. Kern)

By Christina L. Kern, office assistant

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.— Campbellsville University sports ministry students recently taught a Bible conference to juvenile offenders from Lincoln Village in Elizabethtown, Ky.

Dr. Ted Taylor, professor of Christian studies and lead professor of the sports ministry program, and his sports ministry class, began this year hosting students from the Lincoln Village Juvenile Detention Center once per semester.
The juveniles earned the trip to campus with good behavior. The juveniles are from across the Commonwealth of Kentucky and are completing a 20-week treatment program of the state.

Mike Smith, recreational director for Lincoln Village Juvenile Detention Center, of Hodgenville, Ky., is also a senior at Campbellsville University. He plans to graduate next December with a degree in criminal justice. “By bringing select youth to Campbellsville we are showing these youth that someone does care for them. They see firsthand that life has options and a return to life on the street is not their only option.

 
 Combs, a teen from Lincoln Village
Juvenile Detention Center, reads scripture
out loud during a Bible conference hosted
by a CU sports ministry class. (Campbellsville
University Photo by Christina L. Kern)
“I have brought four groups to CU now as a means to show these youth that young people their age are succeeding, just as they have a chance to succeed. To be successful, you must taste success. Visiting campus makes these young men feel they are important. This leaves an impression which impacts their treatment in a positive way,” Smith said.

The Bible conference, titled “Facing the Giants,” provides a “challenging leadership opportunity for sports ministry students to teach the Bible,” Taylor said.

Students played games with the teens from Lincoln Village throughout the conference, while also telling their testimonies, reading scripture, leading worship and fellowshipping with them.

Logan Hazelwood, a graduate assistant from Salvisa, Ky., organized the conference. He said, “It was truly humbling to see these young men from Lincoln Village come in with maybe not the best reputation, deliver the utmost respect toward us. It was even more humbling to see God and His Gospel at work through the teachings and attitudes of our class. I feel that this was one of the most genuine and influential conversion experiences I have witnessed throughout my life.”

Out of the eight Lincoln Village teens, all eight committed to take the Gospel back with them to Lincoln Village and to their local communities.

Half of the teens proclaimed this was their first time the Gospel made sense and knew they had a “complete heart change,” Hazelwood said.

“While the others were struggling and needed repentance for fleshly desires, during invitation all eight stood, many with tears, and discussed one on one with our class what God was doing with them that night.

 
 Andrew McGinnis, a CU senior from Danville, Ky.,
 helps Atkins, a teen from Lincoln Village, find
 a passage of scripture. (Campbellsville University
 Photo by Christina L. Kern)
“God reshaped hearts of young men from Lincoln Village, and renewed minds of ministry students from CU. Praise Him!”

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.
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