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Churches organize bilingual event for Central Florida youth

Members of the Harvester United Methodist Church youth band will participate in the youth rally. The band includes, from left, Rachael Dawson, Kirstin Dawson, Sara Sturgess, director Aaron Miller, Sarah Rodhouse and Christine Rodhouse.

Special to the Times

Members of the Harvester United Methodist Church youth band will participate in the youth rally. The band includes, from left, Rachael Dawson, Kirstin Dawson, Sara Sturgess, director Aaron Miller, Sarah Rodhouse and Christine Rodhouse.

RIDGE MANOR — Bringing together youth from all over Central Florida, regardless of church affiliation, is the goal of the War Cry youth rally.

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The cross-cultural event, at 7 p.m. Friday at Anchor Church, will be presented in both English and Spanish.

The rally is one of several coordinated in recent years at area churches by David L. Herring, a Spanish teacher at West Hernando Middle School.

"It will be the first time we've had this many churches participating," Herring said. "And half of them are Hispanic."

The rally will feature the ministries of youth groups from Christian Fellowship and Iglesia Arca Evangelica in Brooksville, First Hispanic Christian Church-Disciples of Christ and Templo Mantial de Vida of Dade City, Harvester United Methodist Church of Land O'Lakes, Iglesia Pentecosta Lluvias de Bendiciones of Plant City and Anchor Church.

The Harvester Youth Worship Band will open the event.

Other groups will present human videos, drama skits, pantomime, dance and Christian rap, along with youth-oriented music in English and Spanish.

"All the different churches will have their youth bands there, so we're going to focus on the different ways that we worship," Herring said.

Herring will introduce the groups in English, and his wife, Antonia, will interpret into Spanish.

"We're also going to be teaching the audience a little bit of Spanish," Herring said. "We'll teach them how to greet the kids that are Hispanic and say, 'God bless you.' "

The theme of the rally, "War Cry," is taken from a song released in 2005 by recording artist Micah Stampley.

Anchor Church's dance team, Veils of Worship, will perform to the song. Elizabeth Peach, the featured teen speaker, will follow with a short message on "Sounding the War Cry for Our Generation."

"We are declaring war," Herring said. "There are so many things that our youth are going through. Kids are cutting themselves and using drugs. There are so many sexually transmitted diseases that are affecting so many teens. So we've decided to take our youth back for Christ."

The main speaker at the rally will be the Rev. Omar DiPablo, youth pastor of Christian Fellowship and a regular speaker at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter that meets at Herring's school.

"He's a dynamic speaker who connects with youth where they are at," Herring said.

Sent Back, the professional name used by Herring's 17-year-old son, David A. Herring, is a Christian rapper who will perform a song that shares his name. His song, which was recently released as a single by Arca Studios in Weeki Wachee, tells his story of a near-death experience after being hit by a car six years ago. The song relates how God brought him out of a coma and led him to minister to other youth.

Youth attending the rally will be invited to participate in the filming of a live video for the song, which will be featured on the Internet on YouTube and MySpace about a week after the event.

"The kids will be up front and really getting into the song, and we'll let them know that we're videotaping the song, so hopefully they'll want to be in the video," Herring said.

The teens will be given tickets for free refreshments.

"It's not like a church service," Herring said, "so anytime during the event, they can go to the back and get their free pizza and soda."

There will also be door prizes and free Christian CDs and T-shirts.

Herring said he hopes more than 200 will attend the rally.

"We're just hoping it will touch the lives of the youth in our area, that it will bring youth groups together and that we'll get a view of how other people worship God," he said.

"It will also show the youth who are Christians that even though they may not see many other Christians in their school, there are a lot of other kids like them that are going through similar experiences."

>>Fast facts

If you go

The War Cry youth rally will begin at 7 p.m. Friday at Anchor Church, 24274 Cortez Blvd., Ridge Manor. The event is free and open to all area youth.

Churches organize bilingual event for Central Florida youth 08/24/08 [Last modified: Sunday, August 24, 2008 8:06pm]

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