Tens of thousands of high school students packed a stadium at a Christian conference to raise $57,000 for abused women and the homeless throughout the country.
About 12,600 students, hailing from 32 states and five countries, gathered at Forward Conference 2019, which took place Thursday through Saturday at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, Georgia, to give money and prayers to those in need. The event is on its 14th consecutive year and is hosted by the Christian group Jentezen Franklin’s Free Chapel.
Event leaders encouraged the students and youth leaders through praise and worship to donate generously to the abused women and homeless families, some of whom share their testimonies onstage.
“What we’re doing stretches far beyond these walls,” Reggie Dabbs, an influential Christian leader who emceed the event, told Fox News.
The conference partnered with two ministries so the students could see how they could make a difference.
The first one, New Beginnings, aids battered women in inner-city Atlanta who suffer from addiction and abuse.
The second, the faith-based Dream Center, focuses on getting homeless families off the streets and providing assistance to those suffering from addiction.
The event also included celebrity pastors, such as Carl Lentz of Hillsong NYC, and other worship leaders who fired up the group.
“Why not use what has been provided for you? Why do we do things on our own?” Lentz asked the students. “The next chapter of your faith starts with a renewed desire to get to know the Holy Spirit. We desperately need the Holy Spirit to refresh us every day.”
A date for Forward Conference 2020 has already been set. It will take place June 25-27, 2020, once again at the Infinite Energy Center.